different clocks

How to Handle Time Zones Differences in Business: 8 Ways to Satisfy Your Clients

by Olubunmi Jesulanke

Working independently in Nigeria and managing your time effectively is one aspect of life you should take seriously. In this digital age, businessmen with foreign clients need to understand the time zone differences and how to manage them.

Oftentimes, having several clients with different time zones could be exhausting. You might have questions like, “How can I meet up with the deadline? How can I ensure my clients are satisfied?” However, don’t worry. With the few tips in this guide, you’ll learn how to manage time zone differences, and how to satisfy your clients by keeping to the time frame. In the long run, all these will make your global business journey hectic-free.

8 Tips for Handling Time Zones in Business

  1. Have a basic understanding of the time zones

A time zone refers to various standards of time of distinct regions of the earth. For example, Nigeria is six hours ahead of Washington DC in the USA. This means that when the time is 1 PM in Nigeria, it will be 7 AM in Washington DC. 

Moreover, it is important to understand the time zones of your clients or customers. Tools like Time Zone Converter, World Time Buddy, Boomerang, Time Temperature.com, iOS World Clock, etc, can be used to check different time zones. These tools come in handy for easier communication, scheduling meetings and meeting deadlines. 

  1. Maintain a transparent understanding

Differences in time zones call for mutual transparency and understanding. Just the same way you make known your availability, it is important to discuss time zone differences with clients. This is to ascertain availability and fix a convenient time that will be favourable to both parties.

When you’re transparent about your location, as well as your work hours with your clients, you will be able to manage the differences in their respective time zones. 

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  1. Organizing and prioritizing tasks

Ensure that you are skilled in organizing tasks and managing time so you don’t mess up client’s orders and meetings. For instance, Fred got a business deal from two individual companies, China and Australia. China is 7 hours ahead of Nigeria, while Australia is 10 hours ahead of Nigeria. Thus, it is necessary to plan and schedule tasks so any parties will not be inconvenienced.  

However, determining clear timelines will enable freelancers to make judicious use of their working hours as well as ensure their client’s schedules are respected.

  1. Familiarize yourself with time zone tools

To get the best out of your business journey, you need to get familiar with time zone tools. Moreover, you must consider tools that can allow you to set appointments, and save a reminder about events as well as schedules in both your and your client’s time zones.

  1. Be ready to adapt to changes

When managing time zone differences, it is crucial to be prepared for unplanned circumstances where you have to accommodate and adjust to your clients’ timing due to their needs. For example, if a client in the USA had an emergency and had to call for rescheduling, it is necessary to adjust to accommodate their request. 

However, sometimes, adjusting to these unpredicted circumstances could endanger your other planned activities. Hence, you can outsource to businessmen around you to better salvage situations.

  1. Ensure to create time for relaxation

To encourage a sharp cognitive response, there is a need to maintain some hours of rest and not work always. Rest aids muscle relaxation and repair, manages stress, maintains a healthy immune system, reduces inflammation and contributes immensely to a healthy heart. If you aim to have more clients, you need to maintain the clients you already have.

  1. Note the local holidays and your clients’ rest days

When managing time zones, you must understand and consider the rest days and holidays of their clients, though this might be regarded as being professional it is more than that. 

It shows you regard your client beyond the contractual business binding you both and this could endear your client to you and probably result in recommendations from them. With this, you can properly maintain a smooth schedule and productive work environment across all the time zones.

  1. Take advantage of overlapping

There are occasions when the time zones of different countries change. These changes can cause some countries which were initially different to be close or become the same in time zone. You can leverage this to organize your tasks and schedule important meetings.

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Wrapping Up

Effective management of time zones can make your business journey productive and hassle-free. By following the tips in this guide, you will emerge more professional and ideal for your customers.

Understanding a time zone with the use of the right tools gives you a heads-up to managing its differences. Being transparent with your location and ensuring you understand your client’s availability for scheduled meetings helps to maintain cordiality in the working relationship. 

Flexibility and adaptability map you out as a considerate business owner and make clients build trust in you. 

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Edited by Priscilla Ajayi.

About Author

Olubunmi Jesulanke
Olubunmi Jesulanke
I am a digital creator, content writer/creator, social media management and advertising specialist, social media evaluator and voice over artist.

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