Sometimes doing business really does mean making partnerships. While having the ability to do a job and do it well will always be the most important factor, establishing a good working relationship with your clients and contacts is also crucial. This can be especially important when you’re dealing with people who are based far away from you and who you may only have an opportunity to meet occasionally. It’s a good idea to make the most of the time you spend with your business contacts out of the office as well as in it, so you have a chance to get to know each other and build trust. Don’t worry though, this can be far easier than it sounds.
One of the most traditional UK ways to entertain guests is to take them out to pubs or clubs for a little relaxation and recreation. While this can be a great way to shake off the office, unwind and maybe even bond, it’s very important to be culturally sensitive when making plans to entertain business guests. There are a number of cultures that don’t look at drinking as favourably as we do and many people who don’t drink for religious reasons. So if you want to avoid putting your foot in it, it’s a good idea to ask ahead.
A nice meal in a fancy restaurant is another favourite choice for business people hoping to wine and dine their contacts. This can be a good choice as people can find it easier to relax in the atmosphere of a busy yet welcoming restaurant, but it also has its downsides – such as unpredictable staff or customers – which could make it hard for you and your guests to talk about what’s important to you.
Another option is to think about entertaining your business guests in your own home. While this can be a very enjoyable way to pass an evening, you’ll need to be careful to make sure you retain a good balance between professional and personal – which can be difficult when you’re in your own home. It’s also a good idea to make sure you speak to your guests beforehand and plan your menu accordingly, you don’t want your important business contacts choking through seafood chowder when they are allergic to fish after all.
When you’re looking for a way to entertain business travellers that won’t see you spending all your time trying to cook up a storm or stuck in noisy pubs or restaurants, why not think of gentle sporting activities such as golf? Golf has become a top choice for business people over the years and it’s no longer a sport only to be enjoyed by the very top-tiers of corporate entertainment, it’s now an affordable option for plenty of business owners looking for ways to show their guests a good time. Many business deals have been made between the first and eighteenth holes, and there are plenty of golf breaks UK wide, so it should be easy to find the perfect course without travelling too far.
No matter how you decide to entertain your business contacts, make sure you remain friendly and open as well as professional to make the most of the opportunity.