A formal dinner at your home is one of the best ways to introduce your partner to your business and to show them how all aspects of your life are involved in the company. There are a few ways to maximise your productivity and give the best overall impression of yourself as a businessperson and a partner.
Keep control, prepare.
The devil is in the details, and if you take care of them, your guest won’t be distracted by things going wrong and can focus on the more important things. Make sure dinner is prepared on time – you could enlist the help of a friend or spouse, or a professional if that is a viable option. Make any trivial decisions well ahead of time, so things will run smoothly – this will not only keep your dinner focused on work but will also demonstrate your organisation and management skills.
Create a relaxed environment
Making your home look impressive always helps; first impressions are important, and you’ll want to show that you’re professional but personable. You should look at replacing any tatty mainstays with high-quality pieces. These doesn’t have to be expensive, as mentioned earlier. For example, if you want modern replacements, Furniture Village dining tables offer a wide range of choices, including glass, marble and wood, and you can decide based on how you want your furniture to represent you; matching decor often impresses, as it shows an ability to coordinate different aspects of your life.
Open with politeness
You are inviting your business partner into your home, which is a more intimate setting than the office, so it is likely that they are expecting to learn more about you as a person as well as discussing work. Clearly, if you wait too long then your productivity will decrease, but it is generally considered polite to wait until the mains are served before getting down to business. You must remember that you have invited them over in order to show courtesy and appreciation, not just to force more work hours out of them. Civility goes a long way in ensuring a positive partnership.
Keep an eye on the time
Both in the planning stage and during the dinner, timing is crucial. Firstly, try to plan the dinner on a day and at a time that is convenient to both you and your business partner, as they will feel disinclined to work if you have majorly inconvenienced them. In this vein, make sure you keep an eye on the clock whilst you are eating because, although you may be making a lot of progress, it is likely that your partner has someone waiting for them to return home, or they may want to be home in time to catch their favourite show. Interrupting a schedule can bring about feelings of animosity, which is the opposite of what you want, so make sure you notice when your guest wishes to leave and you will benefit from it in the future.
The most important thing is to walk the line between friendliness and professionalism and ensure that you and your partner maintain a good relationship whilst progressing your business.