How To Negotiate Contracts With Big Companies

If you’re a startup or even an independent contractor, and you want to advance your career, you’re likely going to try to work with big names in your industry. For example, if you’re a coder, an IT professional, or involved in technology, the best way to build your resume and also your entire career is to secure a contract with a large-scale company.

While that may be obvious, what’s not quite as obvious is how exactly to go about doing that. How do you negotiate successfully with companies that are big and have the resources to essentially do whatever they want, particularly when you’re a tiny startup or working on your own?

Below are some tips that can help you land the contract you’ve always wanted.

Be Armed With Knowledge

When you’re a startup, small business or independent contractor who intends to work with an established company, it’s up to you to do the legwork. They can easily go and find someone else who’s more prepared, so don’t let that happen. Do your research, not just on the position and the requirements of the role, but the company itself. Be ready to outline, in specifics, how you can bring value to this particular company. Not knowing the company or speaking in generalities is going to do you no favors during contract negotiations.

Have a Unique Value Proposition

If you’re working with other small businesses, it may not be as challenging or even as necessary to go into an interview or negotiations ready to show who you are and why you’re the best. This doesn’t hold true when you’re the little guy trying to get the attention of the big guy. It’s critical that you not only have a unique value proposition that will appeal to big companies but that you’re able and ready to sell it to them. You have to be able to set yourself apart from the competition, almost above all else. Even if you’re the best at what you do, if you can’t communicate that, you’re not likely to get the contract.

Watch Out For Yourself

If you’re a small business working to land a major contract, it can be tempting to rush into the situation and take whatever terms that business is willing to give you. Unfortunately, based on a Firmex report on artificial intelligence and deal making, anytime there are negotiations, there is room for human error or overlooking important details that can sabotage a deal. Don’t let that happen to you. Make sure you don’t let excitement at possible new opportunities get in the way of reading through the fine print, and ensuring you’re getting the best terms for you.

As a final note, it can take time to move into a thriving contract with a large company. Things like cultural fit and understanding how the business works can be an important aspect of working together, and they may want you to take the time to get an accurate understanding of these elements. Throughout the process of negotiating a contract, exercise some patience, and let the company get to know you before expecting a signed deal.

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