Exchange currency

Singapore 9th June 2011

Bit of a scare with my blog yesterday, not sure what happened but could not upload other then just the heading. One of those days you wished you were an IT expert! I later realised I had Windows service pack 1 installed earlier in the day and that as a result the blog software could possibly not communicate properly with the updated laptop software. I downloaded the latest blog software version and …voila!…we are back in business!

Doing business in Asia is always about money, always about negotiating a better deal, getting discounts. It is so ingrained in the culture
that you need to prepare yourself for that in everything you do. Most of all your fee proposals. Today I have been busy preparing some lighting design proposals for projects in China and part of the “technique” to get what you want is to build in what I call “exchange currency”. Little things you are prepared to forgo to get the bigger deal. There are many small little things that are part of negotiations and giving face to your (new) client.

First of all always be prepared to give some discount 5, 10, 15 even 20%. That is part and parcel of life here in Asia. More discount is not
really advisable as then your credibility and integrity in terms of the fees you proposed is severly undermined, unless you decrease the scope of work or responsibilities accordingly, which is what we do if a client has a specific budget. Further components for exchange currencies are; number of trips for meetings and site coordination, duration of the project, reimbursable expenses and so on. All little things but which can significantly add to the overall consultancy fee costs. May look like small currency individually but added together it can be good exchange money in your negotiations! (Don’t forget that in this part of the world it is always hard to get the last 10-20% of you fees!)

In Light Watch today one of the “to visit” places on the “Bucket” list. As I was negotiating a resort project in rural China my logical thought goes to Guilin, famed for its typical mountain landscapes, lakes and beautful sceneries so often captured on Chinese scrolls and paintings.

Light Watch 107: Guilin, China

09. June 2011 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light watch, lighting and culture, lighting design practice | Leave a comment

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