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Negotiating Business Deals/T-shirts... how to sell 1,000,000

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Question
Hey Rhett! So me and my buddy Alex Recently started a local Screenprinting shop where we've been making t-shirts. We have a crazy amount of ambition but we are also both very new to the field. What are some of the first steps we need to take to eventually become the next Nike? how do we get our product in with retailers?

Answer
Thanks for the question, Tanner.

Good to hear from a fellow entrepreneur! You definitely have the most important ingredient: drive (or ambition, vision, etc.) Keep the passion no matter what happens and you will succeed.

There are many important steps to business success, but I believe the single most important element is MARKETING. Become the best marketer you can be, pour your energy and passion into marketing and your business will progress. Sadly, many people simply view this step as a necessary "expense" and hire the cheapest they can find to do the absolute minimum.

Big mistake.

You must train in marketing, practice marketing, and use a portion of every dollar you make to market if you will have a thriving business. And...you must do the marketing yourself, not others. Why? Because it is the most vital part of business, and if you pass it along to $10 an hour newbie, you will get mediocre, or even poor marketing.

Your question of getting in with retailers is a key question, and it happens by - you guessed it - marketing. I don't know the ins and outs of securing a deal with a big box retailer, but I do know the path there will follow your marketing efforts.

My personal take on getting contracts is that there is really only one way that works - you must go, in person, to meet with decision-makers of potential outlets for your product. If you just write letters or send emails or make phone calls, I think your chances of landing a good working relationship are very slim.

People do business with people. If someone likes you, believes in you, and trust you, chances are they will DO BUSINESS WITH YOU. Don't leave that crucial step to a quick, faceless email. Go in person, and tell them your passion and what you can, and will do.

My best

Rhett  

Negotiating Business Deals

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Rhett Kniep, CBB

Expertise

There is a philosophy behind all negotiations, and having the right perspective and approach is vital to successful deals. I can answer questions regarding business and personal negotiation, and advise on successful strategies.

Experience

I have been a business and real estate broker for over 12 years and a building contractor for over 20. I have done numerous trainings in commercial real estate and real estate investment and have managed multi million dollar funds for real estate investment clients. I have counseled both buyers and sellers in high dollar real estate and business deals.

Organizations
Ca Association of Business Brokers, Contractor's State License Board, Better Business Bureau.

Publications
The Contractor Investor, Phi Logos Publishing, 2011

Education/Credentials
Certified Business Broker, California Association of Business Brokers, AA Communications, student at Lincoln Law School of Sacramento, dozens of real estate investment and negotiation trainings.

Awards and Honors
Stormy Seibring College Scholarship, Rescue Mission Service award, Film School Certificate

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