When a large company wants to reach an accord with your smaller company, it can be an exciting time, but it can also raise many questions, particularly if this is the first time you’ve dealt with this kind of deal. What kinds of research should you do ahead of negotiations? What kinds of attitudes should you have, going in? How long will the process take?

To help you prepare, 15 members of the YEC, below, discuss some of the things small businesses should remember when negotiating a contract with a larger company, as well as discuss why. Here’s what they said:

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.

1. Communicate effectively

We often seek to be understood before being willing to understand which often results in ineffective communication. Having a clear understanding of the other party’s propositions and goals is an important prerequisite for any successful negotiation to take place. Knowing exactly what value they add to your firm will also be helpful when considering alternatives, in case things

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