No matter what kind of an entrepreneur you are, travelling will be a part of your life. You might need to travel to meet your vendors, suppliers, to raise funds, attend events and forums, to get hold of your customer base or to just assess your competition. Depending on how your business is growing you may travel locally or might even be crossing borders and seas. But with the on-going stress of work, presentations and several other things, balancing a travel schedule can be really demanding when you are aiming towards maximum productivity and time management. In order to make this business travel a pleasing and productive experience, you can exercise below 6 tips.
Always have your Business Card
The gentleman sitting beside you on your flight might be a new partner or the lady sipping coffee next to you in the restaurant could be potential business to your company. You can never foresee who you will meet while traveling and so always carry a stack of business cards. Don’t forget that you represent your company everywhere you go and so make use of your travelling time to network and build relationships.
Plan ahead and be prepared
Every time you need to travel, make sure that you plan the entire week ahead of time. Make a to-do list and prioritize your tasks for each day and probably even by the hour if that is possible. This will save you a lot of time and will help you calm down while you travel as you would have taken care of all the loose ends. Even when you encounter unforeseen distraction, you know your priorities and can work accordingly. Also make sure that you make room for potential delays and so try to not schedule anything important right after your arrival.
Don’t forget your accessories
It can be a nightmare if you run out on charge in your cell phone or laptop especially when you are on the go and cannot find a plug point easily. So it is a good practice to carry portable chargers and an international adaptor for your electronics for some unlucky events. Even if you have your power backup, make sure to charge your electronics before you leave on your journey. Another small buddy that you don’t want to forget is earphones. Those come handy when you need to have quick calls in a busy place. Also, if you can then you should carry noise cancelling headphones which will help you to tune out all the noise while you get some shuteye.
Reduce Your Travel Expenses
Travelling is costly and especially if you doing it frequently, then it can surely make a hole in your pocket if you don’t do it wisely. One of the usual tricks is to plan in advance so that you get the best deal. Also, avoid travelling during holidays when the prices jump through the roof. If you know you need to make multiple trips in next few months then you can plan to do them together. It can get tiring but will help you on saving money in the long run. Avoid paying by cash and charge it on your credit cards that give you reward points and additional flying mileages when then you can trade in for airfare and hotel deals.
Know the city and its customs
No one likes to arrive late for a meeting and it can be really frustrating when the reason is traffic. It is good to know the city and the traffic conditions so that you can plan your day and travel well without losing out on time. Decide on your transportation options to and from the airport and between meetings. Google maps are a great which help you to check the route and traffic conditions for any specific date and time. Along with that, try to understand certain customs and behaviours of the society that will help you interact with people. Showing care and respect for their rules and customs is always appreciated especially when you are travelling to other countries.
Don’t make the Travel
A good entrepreneur knows when it is absolute need to travel and when you can sidestep it. Although meeting someone in person is always great but if you can achieve your goals without the travel then it is praiseworthy. With great tools like Skype and Google Hangouts you can connect with any person across the world without having to spend your time and money in travelling and thus avoiding unnecessary exertion. And again, not all meetings and events will turn out as productive as you might wish.
No matter how well you prepare yourself, business travels are hectic. It is important to stay calm, patient and well hydrated during the journey so that you can stay well focused on your priorities. Enjoy this confluence between travel and your business and get the best out of it.
Business Analyst by profession but truly a travel enthusiast, animal lover, dancer, and an avid reader that has brought me to writing. A reliable team player living in the present with utmost positive attitude who cannot live without friends and family. And I am one of the best persons you will ever meet unless you mess with me :)