Starting a new business? Get 40% off our accountancy services for 3 months! 😀


Negotiation is a useful skill in most areas of life, and certainly if you run your own business. Like all skills, negotiating a better deal with your suppliers is something you get better at with practice and experience. Read our tips (and key points to remember) for more success with business supplier negotiations.

What else could I negotiate on, other than price?

Whether you’re shopping around for a new supplier or trying to renegotiate with an existing one, keep an open mind. Your suppliers might not budge on price, no matter how persuasive you are – they might not even be able to drop the price.

So what else could you ask for that will help you bring down your expenses or operate more efficiently? Extended payment terms might relieve cash flow pressure points, whilst different shipping options could help your ongoing processes.

What can I use as leverage when negotiating?

Successful negotiation is built on everyone getting something from the deal. To avoid the discussion ending with a very quick ‘nope’, identify what you can use as leverage. Even a supplier who is desperate to make the sale will want the best deal possible.

As such, you might emphasise how much business you’re likely to give them. You might offer a larger deposit which could be useful for their own cash flow, in exchange for a bigger discount on the total price. If you’re working on a high-profile project, could you give your supplier good coverage in return for favourable terms?

How firm do I need to be when negotiating?

Being good at negotiating doesn’t mean going in there like a Viking charging into battle. Haggling does take nerve, and projecting an air of confidence will help suppliers understand you should be taken seriously. But.

Be observant, and try to understand what the other party is telling you, and not telling you. It might point the way to something you can offer in order to reach an agreement which works for you both. Plus, this brings us very nicely to our next point.

Be the business that suppliers want to work with

Your suppliers are running their own businesses, which means they have their own interests to look after too. And as we all know, there are some customers that, no matter how much money they bring in, just aren’t worth the hassle.

Supplier agreements are reciprocal; they might want your business, but you need their product or service. So be the kind of customer that you like to do business with! As well as open honesty and paying your bills on time, work towards getting a reputation for passing on the good stuff.

So, if you get good feedback on something and want to shout about it, include the supplier who was part of making it happen.

Take a look through our business guides and videos for advice that will help you run your business as efficiently as possible,  or use the Live Chat button to ask us any questions.

About The Author

Elizabeth Hughes

A content writer specialising in business, finance, software, and beyond. I'm a wordsmith with a penchant for puns and making complex subjects accessible. Learn more about Elizabeth.

More posts by this author
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Read more posts...

Umbrella Companies for Self-Employed Contractors

When you set up in business as a contractor you might either work as a sole trader or as a limited company….

Read More

Get Ready for Small Business Saturday UK 2022

Small Business Saturday started in the US in 2010, on the first Saturday following Thanksgiving. It aims to encourage shoppers to consider…

Read More

Architects and Tax

Architecture is a highly diverse sector when it comes to tax. It’s partly down to the type of businesses that carry out…

Read More
Back to Blog...

Confirm Transactions

The number of monthly transactions you have entered based on your turnover seem high. A transaction is one bookkeeping entry such as a sale, purchase, payment or receipt. Are you sure this is correct?

Yes, submit my quote
No, let me change it

Please contact our sales team if you’re unsure

VAT Returns

It is unlikely you will need this service, unless you are voluntarily registered for VAT.

Are you sure this is correct?

Yes, the business is VAT registered
No, let me change it

Call us on 020 3355 4047 if you’re not sure.


You only need this service if you want us to complete the bookkeeping on your behalf.

Would you prefer to complete your own bookkeeping?


Call us on 020 3355 4047 if you’re not sure.