Let’s face it, one of the reasons you’ve probably avoided hiring contractors and outsourcing tasks is because it costs money. You’re on a budget, and sometimes it feels like there’s very little wiggle room.

You probably know that when you outsource non-profit generating tasks, it frees up your time so that you can spend more of it actually making money. Instead of researching keywords or designing your website, you could be coaching clients and making money.

Another way to make sure you get the most for your time and your money is to negotiate the price when you’re outsourcing and hiring contractors.

Negotiation isn’t easy for many. It can feel uncomfortable. You might feel like a big jerk when you ask for a reduced fee. Or you might feel like if the negotiations don’t go well then the partnership is off to a bad start.

Here are three negotiation tips to get you started

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It’s Not a Competition

Let’s start by saying negotiation isn’t a competition. It’s a win/win proposition. So let go of the feeling that negotiation has winners and losers. That’s the first, and most important, tip.  Let’s take a look at some more powerful negotiation tips.

Research the Provider

Whether you’re outsourcing to a single provider or to a service with several employees, it’s important to research them well. Look for opportunities to help them out. For example, a virtual assistant might be willing to give you a discount if you can promise regular monthly work. Or a copywriter might be willing to negotiate on the fee if they earn a percentage of your sales from the material they write.

Be Friendly

When negotiating, it’s important to be friendly during the process. Ask for a reduced rate and make your pitch. You can be up front and ask for a specific price in exchange for regular work, a commission or something else. Or you can leave it open ended.

For example, “I’m interested in working together and I’m hoping there’s a way we can find a way to reduce the rate. Is there a way we can work something out?” Leaving it open ended isn’t always the most effective method. It makes the potential contractor do the work. However, it can also let you know if they’re interested in working with you.

Negotiations don’t always work out. Know in advance what you are willing to concede, what you can afford, and when it’ll be time to walk away. Remember that it’s not a competition. If you can reach a mutually beneficial agreement, then that’s great. If not, then move on. There are other contractors you can work with who will be a better fit for your needs and budget.