Small business owners face countless decisions every day. You know what it’s like, juggling all 12 areas of internal management as you race toward your business goals. Some days, you can’t imagine making even one more decision.

That’s why Officeheads specializes in designing and building top-notch financial engines for our clients. Your financial engine sets the pace for the whole company with processes and procedures to help you streamline your decision making. Whenever a situation pops up, you already have documented standards to keep your operation running in the right direction.

But have you noticed that some decisions don’t fit into your neat-and-tidy procedures manual? Me too. 

A recent situation here at Officeheads wasn’t made easier by consulting the documented standards I had put to paper years before. There was even a contract between Officeheads and this partner business, detailing how the situation would unfold. But then we hit a snag in executing the contract. Our situation had changed in ways we couldn’t have planned for years ago when we developed and committed to the contract. We were stuck between a signed legal standard and a situation that no longer fit under it.

This is a sticky spot to be in, to say the least! I was torn between holding to the contract terms—which would have been fully to my benefit—and choosing to compromise for the benefit of all parties involved. I chose middle ground, after a long week of consideration. After all was settled, these two truths were clear to me about business negotiations:

#1 Contracts Are Negotiable

Business is like life—just when you think you have it figured out, the unexpected happens. But that doesn’t mean plans are a waste. Actually, it’s the opposite: because business includes the unpredictable, contracts will help you mitigate the risks that are sure to come. In my situation, even though I chose to compromise, that contract gave me the leverage to do so while protecting my business for the future.

#2 Values Are Nonnegotiable

We just wrapped a series about core values and how these serve as guardrails for your team and your business. When faced with a stressful or confusing business decision, these values provide clarity. While processes and procedures should be upheld for consistency’s sake, they are meant to serve you, not bind you. Your values, on the other hand, help you know when to ease back on the processes and procedures in order to uphold your values. In my situation, I could have legally demanded the contract terms. But in doing so, I would have violated my values—and it would have been tough to sleep at night knowing that I had refused to seek a solution more beneficial to all.

My unsettling situation is now at rest. But you may be in the middle of one—or there may be one heading your way, hidden just over the horizon. Either way, our proven process at Officeheads will get your financial engine humming and keep you moving forward, even when the unforeseen and unsettling situations arise. We can help you develop the processes and procedures that help you make decisions that align with your values and keep your business moving forward toward your goals.