The benefit of experience is the opportunity to make a bunch of mistakes. Wisdom is exhibited by not repeating those mistakes. The benefit of a new year is to start fresh and 2015 promises to be an active year for businesses. The economy continues to improve and it is likely new business deals will be presented to you.
Resolve to yourself that you will look at promising business opportunities with a critical eye. Do your due diligence. If a deal reminds you of one that didn’t go as well as you would have liked in the past, don’t repeat the mistake. Restructure the opportunity for a better chance at success. Or walk away. There is no shame in not following through on a deal that doesn’t feel right. Only saved money and energy.
Any business transaction requires at least two parties. Each party must contribute for the deal to pay off. A true win-win situation requires all parties to be fully committed to the transaction and all of its requisite components. Even small differences in process, or ultimate goal will be magnified and lead to a less than optimal result. And a wasteful use of money and energy. Again structure the deal for success. Or walk away.
Finally, I’ve learned the hard way that desperate people do desperate things. Recognize those moments in yourself or in the party with whom you are negotiating. Desperate people will make painful long term commitments to solve a short term problem. If you recognize desperation on your part, take a beat and determine if you are giving up critical deal points which will burden your business for a long time for transitory benefits. Again, structure the deal for success. Or walk away.
See this American Express Open Forum article for additional discussion about recognizing the signs of a bad business opportunity.
Good luck in 2015 and resolve to make good business deals. Or walk away.