FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JULY 7, 2022
KINGSTON, Jamaica –The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) is underscoring the importance of negotiation skills when Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) interface with financial institutions. JBDC’s Senior Business Development Officer, Mr. Colin Coley urged entrepreneurs to “think like a banker” as he shared the requisite skills and steps needed for various negotiating relationships, with particular emphasis on entrepreneurs and banks. He was speaking at the Virtual Biz Zone webinar held on Tuesday, July 5, 2022 under the theme Negotiation Skills for MSMEs.
Mr. Coley noted that “There are several considerations that must be given to successfully negotiate with a bank as a business owner. It is important to think like bankers do. This involves knowing the state of the economy, the industry, and your own company’s risk profile and appetite. Bankers think in terms of numbers, so it is important that when you sit with a banker to negotiate, you sit with information.”
Continuing, Mr. Coley added “In negotiating with banks, it is crucial to develop a relationship with your Business Banker. Entrepreneurs must do their research before negotiating a term loan, you should use your contacts within the banking system as well as within your industry to obtain information on the types of covenants that the bank might demand. Armed with this knowledge, you can mention the requirements of the other banks if the lender you have approached is unduly restrictive.”
Mr. Coley advised participants to “Monitor your credit score. The banks will do this, but it is important for the business owner to have an idea of the state of their credit prior to negotiation.” He also encouraged participants to focus on the needs of their business and be aware that there are options available to fill these needs.
Mr. Coley went on to walk participants in the Virtual Biz Zone through the steps necessary to prepare for negotiations in business with banks, suppliers or partners. He noted “Entrepreneurs must do their research, know their priorities, consider possible opposition, know when to walk away and always keep your timeline in mind.”
Concluding, Mr. Coley reminded participants that the purpose of negotiation is to reach an agreement to participate in an activity that results in mutual benefit and there are skills such as communication, active listening, emotional intelligence, expectation management, adaptability that are critical in ensuring the process ends successfully.
The JBDC Virtual Biz Zone webinars are geared toward stimulating entrepreneurs within the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (MSME) sector. The second in the two-part series on Business Strategy will cover the topic of Pricing Strategies for MSMEs on Tuesday, July 12, 2022. The webinar will be facilitated by Ms. Opal Levy, Managing Director of Sisters’ Ink. The webinars are held on Tuesdays at 10:00am via Zoom. Interested persons are encouraged to join by registering at www.jbdc.net. The sessions can also be watched on JBDC’s YouTube channel.
The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) was established in 2001 as the premier government agency providing business development services to Jamaican Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) ‘From Concept to Market’. JBDC provides guidance for business start-ups and expansion, offering business advice and consultation, research services, business monitoring, training and capacity building, project management services, financial advice, design and product development as well as market penetration support and access. The organisation which operates within the ambit of the Ministry of Industry, Investment & Commerce (MIIC), strives to continually fuel the local economy through its services and programmes designed to support the growth and development of the MSME sector.