I've made some vendor changes lately for StartupNation and have made some key purchases for the business.
For example, we decided to move our ad-serving service from Atlas to Doubleclick. We also found a much less expensive way to produce our radio program by reviewing our procedures and relationships. And as an example of a purchase, we acquired a very nice video camera so we could create more videos for your viewing pleasure…
And the one big takeaway? Almost everything is negotiable.
That fancy video camera? Just by asking for a better price, they knocked off 15% and gave me a gift card to come back and get future discounts.
The ad-serving switch to Doubleclick? We told them we couldn't afford their price as quoted and voila! We're getting a more robust service from a more widely-used provider at a better price.
The radio show production costs? We put up the opportunity for quote by other vendors and now, with a new vendor, we're getting the same great show produced with half the cost in people and studio time, making the ads we sell during the show truly a profit center.
And these are just the tip of the iceberg. The fact is, if you don't at least ask for special consideration, you'll never know if you've been throwing away your precious, earned money unnecessarily.
And especially when it comes to doing business with big companies (where they can spare a little margin here or there much easier than small businesses, this strategy really works well.
So, basic as it may sound, my subject today is: Don't accept things at face value – NEGOTIATE! Worst case scenario, the vendor will say, "no."
You owe it to yourself, as hard as you work for every penny.