When it comes to business, any place you go usually features a different etiquette from certain points of view. There are definitely numerous common elements in the world of business in terms of etiquette and customs in all countries but also certain specific features which you should focus on.
Knowing as much as possible about the specific business etiquette of the country where you plan on having business is always a great asset. It will offer you the chance to act natural and feel comfortable during a business meeting because you will know all you have to do and all that a gesture coming from the other person might mean.
Learn about your business partner
If you are planning to become a successful business man then you should know all there is to know about any possible future business partner you might have. The way in which you two interact will have a great effect on your business. When we are considering a place like South Africa, becoming familiar with the business etiquette there is even more important because there are definitely a lot of different customs that you should become familiar with.
South Africa: a special place for business
South Africa is not a place where you can just go and do your thing without paying attention to its rules and customs especially in the business world. You have no chance of having a business there if you do not know how to behave because you will never be considered a member of their business community unless you prove that you are one for them in terms of behavior.
Get a direct introduction from a mutual contact
First of all, you should know that people living in South Africa are usually quite reluctant when it comes to dealing with people that they have never seen before. It is always better to go for introductions made by a mutual contact so as to actually be able to start a business relationship on the right foot right from the start.
Letters of introduction from a mutual contact
Another way to go is to have letters of introduction from mutual contacts if their actual presence is not possible during the business meeting. This will give your business partner from South Africa the chance to have confidence in you and thus become more open and interested in knowing you better.
Take your time to get to know each other first
Furthermore, do not try to make things happen from the first meeting. Business is done differently in South Africa. The first meeting should be more about building confidence by getting to know one another better. Do not hurry to make all the decisions during the first meeting because it is never going to happen this way when you do business in South Africa.
Office hours in South Africa
In terms of proper hours for business meetings it is important for you to know that these are similar to those from Western countries. What is very important to mention though at this stage is that business men do not work on weekends in South Africa so you definitely do not want to try and have a business meeting then.
Make sure to look like a business man
No matter what you do, the important thing is to first of all look like a business man. Suits and ties are a must if you want to be regarded as one in South Africa, They consider this a very important thing that can actually say a lot about a business person. Be nice, follow their rules and you are good to go!