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13 Business Rules in Indonesia You Must Know

by Fifi Fitriani

When attending to business matters in Indonesia, there are several things that are extremely tied to the Cultural Habits in Indonesia. Moreover, social norms also a crucial aspect as well. Carrying out business projects is no laughing matter. The way you dress, behave and talk to your business partners can either make you or break you.

That things are important to how smoothly a business matter can go for the long term. Also, they help in building relationships with your business partners. To know how you can do well in your business then you should definitely read these 13 Business Rules in Indonesia. These rules will guide you in the ways Indonesians carry out their business.

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1. Dress Professionally

Always dress professionally when you are in a serious business matter. The way you dress gives off the first impression of yourself to those who see you. If you dress sloppily, potential business partners may turn away. When you dress neatly, people will see how serious you are about your business.

2. Be in Your Best Manner

Always be in your best manner among your business partners. The way you behave among them will determine how they are willing to interact with you. Try as much as possible to not cause offence. Pay attention to the words you use as Indonesians like it better when people are humble and also polite.

3. Exchange Business Cards

Exchange your business cards with many potential business partners. This is a standard Business Practices in Indonesia. You have to muster up all the courage that you have and swallow your pride. Make the first move when you want to exchange business cards. This shows that you are willing to work on the business. Moreover, it also shows that you are not afraid to take chances. Most people will gladly exchange their cards with you if you are nice to them.

4. Avoid Placing Hands on Hips

It is the important matter to avoid placing your hands on your hips. If you find yourself unconsciously doing it then move your hands immediately. Placing hands on hips can make you seem anxious and angry. It may be a rude gesture to all the business partners around you.

Also read: Advertising Rules in Indonesia

5. Eat What is Served

During a business meeting, there could be food and drink. Try as much as you can to eat the food that has been given to you. If you do not like the food then you should not show disgust on your face because it could cause some of your business partners to think that you are being rude. If you have allergy then you can politely decline the food.

6. Greet in Order

Greet everyone that is doing business with you. Learn Indonesian Greetings so you won’t be at a loss for words. The most important thing is to greet the person who is the oldest or the one who has the highest position in the business. From then on, you can greet the other ones. Greeting the person with highest importance is an unwritten rule of showing one’s status. However you should still be friendly towards everyone.

7. Always Use the Right Hand

Use your right hand to do things around your business partners. The right hand is the only hand that is considered as polite. This is a similar behaviour for Business Etiquette in Bali. The left hand should never be used to take or receive things. When you must use your left hand then apologise while you are doing the action.

8. Be Humorous

Interacting with your business partners is a good thing. Indonesians are sociable people. Being humorous could be a bonus point while interacting with your business partners. Most Indonesians like to joke around. Showing a sense of humour can make you seem more likeable.

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9. Never Fold Arms

Never fold your arms around your business partners. This may give off the impression that you are not pleased with something. It’s also a very closed body language. People may tend to hesitate in interacting with you if you are not showing signs of openness to them.

10. Increase Smiling

Smile a lot when you are doing a business matter with people but don’t overdo it. Smiling shows that you are happy doing business with them. It also shows a friendly attitude that Indonesians are very fond of. You have to understand that the Indonesia Business Culture includes an amicable attitude towards one another. Smiling will help you gain business friends instead of making business enemies.

11. Speak at Normal Tone

Speak at a normal tone when you talking to your business partners. Normal tone of voice is better to hear. A loud and aggressive tone will not be a good way of talking to Indonesians. They do not like people who talk too loudly. They may take it as a sign of boastfulness. Always talk humbly with the people around you. Speak with them respectfully.

12. Do Not Cut Conversations

When you are talking with your business colleagues, wait patiently until they are fully done speaking. Never cut off a conversation. It is very rude. Patience is a virtue that is highly regarded in Indonesia. Whey you allow yourself to wait for your turn to speak, Indonesians will have a high respect for you because you are willing to listen to them talk.

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13. Invest in Small Talk

Indonesians love to talk about anything. Other than that, when you want to seriously build a strong relationship with your business partner, always invest in small talk. Indonesians rarely get straight to the point anyway. They like to talk about other things first. It’s almost considered as a Social Norms in Indonesia. Follow this pattern of conversation and they may consider you as a good person to have a business with.

Now that you have an idea on the rules of business in Indonesia, hopefully you are able to put them into practice. These rules will certainly help in your business matter as long as you follow along the above guidelines.

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