13 Business Etiquette in Bali – Norms

Knowing business etiquette can help you know how to carry yourself while establishing a business matter with other people. In Bali, there are several ways of conducting yourself among your business partners. Below are 13 Business Etiquette in Bali that you should know so that you can avoid any behaviours that will give people the wrong impression of you. Before start up the business, you must know first about Business Practices in Indonesia and also Business Ethics in Indonesia

1. Wear Business Attire

Men and women should wear the usual business attire to give off the impression of professionalism. The material of the clothing can be light as the weather in Bali can be hot. Wearing a batik shirt with pants or wearing a batik dress would also be okay as they are also formal clothing of the people in Indonesia. Do not wear revealing or tight attire as Balinese can be quite conservative. If you still confuse, you can read about What to Wear in Indonesia.

2. Call Partners with Titles

While dealing with business matter, titles must be used when you want to call the other business partners. Use the title of Bapak for Sir and Ibu for Ma’am. The titles could then be followed with their first name such as Bapak Hendri. Addressing them by their first names would be rude especially if you don’t know the person very well. Its also correct way How to Avoid Scams in Bali.

3. Right Hand Shake

The right hand is used for greeting business partners. Avoid giving a firm handshake as a light hand shake is more preferred. While giving a handshake, you can also smile at your business partner to appear more friendly and polite.

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4. Exchange Cards

When meeting new business, start exchanging cards. The sooner, the better. Exchanging cards show that you are also interested in your other business partners. When giving out and receiving business cards, makes sure to use your right hand as the left hand is impolite. Be mindful of where you keep your business partner’s card.

5. Business Cards Printed in More Than One Language

 Indonesian Language known as having diversity in term of phrases and grammars, around archipelago. Having your business cards printed in more than one language can help you in the long run. Print your business cards in both English and Bahasa Indonesia. You can even add Mandarin to it. This way, the people who reads your card can understand it best in their own language.

6. Rephrasing to Avoid Miscommunication

People in Bali, like elsewhere in Indonesia would likely avoid going straight into the topic of the matter. This might cause unnecessary confusion and miscommunication in business matter. To avoid any misunderstandings, politely repeat the statement or rephrase it to make sure that you are getting the right message. To avoid this, you can read more about Communication Etiquette in Indonesia.

7. Be Punctual

Indonesians are known to be quite late when going to places and the same theory could apply to most Balinese. However, be punctual for any business meeting or appointment. Come earlier so you won’t be late. Tardiness is never a good look. Being on time would earn you respect and it shows how serious you are about the business. Even though other people might come late to a business meeting, try as much as possible to always be on time.

8. Drink or Eat What is Offered

Try to drink or eat whatever is offered to you during a business meet-up. You don’t have to eat or drink the whole thing but you can take a small bite or a small sip. It is a sign of gratefulness to the person hosting the business meet-up. If you still refuse to consume any of the food or drinks then politely decline. Never show a disgusted look on your face as that would be rude. In addition, you must know about Dining Etiquette in Indonesia.

9. Be Patient for E-mail Reply

Waiting for en e-mail reply might take a long while. Some people would not respond as quick as you want them too. This could happen if you are not that close yet to your business partner. Avoid sending multiple e-mails in hope to get a faster reply. Wait for them to reply as patience is a virtue that Balinese will highly appreciate.

10. Introduce Yourself to the Eldest

While introducing yourself to the other business partners, make sure that you know who is the eldest. It is always a respectable behaviour to acknowledge the elderly first before the other people. This is also a good way to give a positive impression to the seniors. By greeting them, it shows your politeness and humbleness.

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11. Friendly Body Language

Body language and manner is an important aspect while doing business in Bali. Try not to touch anyone’s head or even try to reach something by placing your arm over the head. The head is seen as a sacred body part. Moreover, avoid placing hands on hips as that will show impatience or dissatisfaction. Folding arms should also be avoided because it might make you seem cold and unfriendly.

12. Building Relationship

It’s important to build relationship with your business partners. By building a strong relationship and also knowing your business partners, it will be easier to carry on with business matters. People in Bali appreciate trust and familiar contact with people they have a business with. This is why they spend a lot of time to know more about their partners. If you have a good sense a humour then that could be a plus because most people like it when others know how to be a bit laid back sometimes.

13. Avoid Talking Aggressively

Avoid talking aggressively in any business setting. It might give off the impression that you are easily angered. People appreciate those who can speak in a soft voice and also polite. Aggressive way of talking can make you seem harsh and unfriendly. People will not likely to continue business with someone who behaves like this.

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Knowing how to behave among your business partners can help you reach your business goal. They might increase the chances of you making more connections and widening your business networks.