I often get asked to boil down negotiation strategy into a few key pointers, which is a tricky thing for me to do. My shortest list of essential items to consider when preparing for any negotiation currently stands at about 10 elements, and those are just the high-level points. But I get why people ask me this, especially when I’m asked by hurried entrepreneurs or freelancers. When you are self-employed or just launching a business, every minute counts. Time is the ultimate scarce resource we manage every day. So can those 10 points collapse down into fewer key elements? The short answer is yes. I narrowed down my usual list into four key strategic points that you can evaluate when entering into a negotiation, particularly if you’re self-employed or running a small business.