Communicating with different kinds of people, especially in the business world, requires excellent interpersonal skills. Many Haitian professionals make use of eye contact to convey their sincerity and interest in doing business with other parties. Though lower-class Haitians tend to avoid direct eye contact with people they see as superior to them, professionals value this form of communication.
Through eye contact, one can earn the respect of the other party. It also helps a businessman become more persuasive and convincing. A businessman who makes eye contact with his client suggests that he is serious, interested and focused on their discussion. This is important when doing business.
Men and women hold certain jobs in Haiti. This is because there are jobs wherein women are not allowed in and there are jobs that are solely for them. For instance, men dominate the labor and business market. They are allowed to work as laborers, mechanics, construction workers, and chauffeurs. Even if women are starting to achieve higher class professions, it is still men who often get jobs in schools, politics and medicine. Most school directors, pastors, and spiritual and herbal healers are also men. They are also responsible for livestock and garden care at households.
Women, on the other hand, are more associated with domestic tasks, including cooking and washing clothes. They also kind of dominate the health care sector, where almost all nurses are female. Women are also relied on when it comes to marketing and entrepreneurship. They are active in the fish, green produce and tobacco business industries.
How would you communicate with Haitian business people? How do you engage them in talks? And how can you break the ice during business meetings? These might be the questions circling your mind when you are about to go on a meeting with Haitian professionals.
First and foremost, greeting business associates during a meeting is necessary as it is a sign of respect. Haitians shake each other's hands to greet one another during a business meeting. This way, you can acknowledge each other. It is also advisable to give out your business card prior to the start of the discussion.
Haitians do not follow the "clock time," meaning that being late is not that uncommon among them. As a matter of fact, being late in a business meeting isn't considered rude at all. What they see as rude is if you arrive too early. This is because Haitians follow the Caribbean time. They do not say "9am sharp." Rather, they say "around 9am." However, Haitians can still be punctual as long as they were ordered to come exactly at the given time. But in regular cases, being late is not a big deal.
The same goes with business meetings. However, if you will be late for several hours or if you will be unable to come to the scheduled meeting, you have to notify the company or the person you are meeting with. It is proper to make a call and reschedule the meeting than to not show up without any notice.
Since the 2010 earthquake that killed thousands of people and destroyed infrastructure in Haiti, entrepreneurs have been having a tough time doing business in the Caribbean nation. However, it does not mean that putting up a business in the country is not a wise decision. There are key sectors that provide good opportunities for businessmen. Among these are the garment, agribusiness and tourism sectors. Opening a business in these industries can lead to success.
Analysts believe that Haiti's gross domestic product can grow in the coming years and this is good for businessmen. Also, there are ways on how to do business in Haiti easier. One can work with non-government organizations so as to combine business and social goals. The good thing about this is that NGOs are knowledgeable about Haiti when it comes to its markets, society, and people.
The gross domestic product (GDP) is a measurement of how healthy the economy is. The GDP is made up of income and spending totals. The rate is calculated either annually or quarterly, as compared to the previous year or quarter. For instance, if the quarterly GDP is up 1.5%, this means a 1.5% growth in the economy over the last quarter.
The GDP formula is too complex to explain, but it can be simplified for discussion's sake. Calculation occurs by one of two methods. The income model totals annual workers' wages, or the spending model totals annual consumer spending. When both models' totals are compared, they should approximate the same figure.
Haiti's economy has tumbled, especially after the devastating earthquake in 2010. A lot of infrastructure was damaged, sending Haitians deeper into poverty. However, the country continues to take initiative to improve its economy and business market. As a matter of fact, it remains a free market economy that makes use of low labor costs and tariff-free exports to the United States market.
The country is working to attract more investors so as to prop up its economy. There are top sectors and businesses in the country that provide good investment opportunities. One of these is the garment sector. Haiti showed a significant growth in its exports in the first quarter of 2009. It recorded a rise of 16.1%, much higher than China's growth of 0.3%. Currently, Haiti is considered as the fastest growing exporter of garments to the United States. It has a wide range of clients, including Levi's, Walmart, and JCPenny. Also, half of its garment manufacturers are expected to boost their work force and expand their factories in the coming year.
It is common to give out business cards during business meetings in Haiti. As a matter of fact, it is very helpful for your business if you always have cards to present to your clients. This way, they can have your contact details all the time.
There's no definite method or process in exchanging business cards but it is advisable to give your card at the start of the meeting. Carrying a small folder to keep the business cards you receive can also help you make a good impression. One thing to remember when dealing with business cards is to treat the material with respect. Avoid folding it and keep it safe from tears and scratches. You should also not write anything on the card. While it is not required, it is better to use one side of the card to translate all the information into French. Of course, you should not forget to include all the vital information in the card, including your name and the name of your business, as well as your address and the contact details. The card wouldn't serve its purpose if any of these information is missing.
Business negotiations among Haitians can be loud and dramatic. This is because Haitian professionals enter into negotiations head on. They are animated and they do everything they can to get the best deal. As a matter of fact, it is common for Haitians to haggle over almost everything that involves money.
Some Haitian professionals tend to act as if they were offended by the offered deal so that they can negotiate the price. More often than not, the one that dominates the negotiation proceedings win. Haitian businessmen are also not used to using direct words and sentences to convey their thoughts and feelings. They usually make use of parables to express what they want. This is why foreign business people have to be patient when dealing with Haitian professionals. Otherwise, it could lead to conflicts. The use of harsh and offensive language during negotiations will never produce good results and this is why both sides should avoid it.
There might come a time that you will have dinner with Haitian clients or business associates. When this happens, make sure that you know the table etiquette that Haitians carefully observe. Remember that Haitians take dining etiquette very seriously because it is an honor for them to invite people to their table. What more if you are dining with business partners and clients, right?
First of all, do not go to a dinner and social event in a casual dress. Make sure to dress properly. Avoid wearing jeans and rubber shoes. Instead, show up in a semi-formal attire. If it is a high-end event, make sure that you follow the dress code. In case you do not know the dress code, it is advisable to ask the hosts rather than show up in just about any attire.
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