The world is now more interconnected than ever before. It is now easier for businesses to build relationships with customers, suppliers, investors, or any other stakeholders from across the globe.
While communication advancements have made it possible for virtual interactions, we can’t deny that face-to-face interactions help build stronger business relationships. Thus, business travel remains a crucial part of building a global brand.
However, the success of a business trip is largely dependent on how well you prepare for the same. Business trips can be messy and overwhelming. Thorough preparations reduce the pressure that comes with it, helping you stay focused on the purpose of the trip. You are able to have a relaxed trip and an easy time executing your mission.
Here are 5 considerations that are crucial when going on a business trip.
1. The company travel policy
Most companies have some set rules stating what is acceptable regarding company travels. Such rules are put in place for better control of business travel expenses. If your organization has one, it is good that you go through it before embarking on your trip.
Knowing what your company’s travel policy provides will help you understand which expenses the company caters for in business trips and the limit to those expenses. You will know whether to cost the expenses to the company’s credit card or you have to pay for them yourself and get reimbursement after you are back. Your company could also be having arrangements with hotels and airlines for special discounts and the like. Knowing this beforehand allows you to take advantage of such offers as well as be in the know of what service providers to work with.
2. Advance bookings
The last thing you want when traveling for business is pressure build-up in the days leading to your travel date. One way to ensure you don’t encounter this is by booking your travel and accommodation in advance. Put into consideration the time of travel, convenience and costs when deciding on the two.
It is good to think about your journey in detail when booking your travel means. Will you travel by air or rail? Will you need to hire a car from the airport to the hotel, or does the hotel offer transportation from and to the airport?
When deciding on accommodation, think of a convenient location especially if you have to hold meetings at different locations. You should think of a strategic place for all the meeting venues and the airport or railway station. For example, if you have meetings in Florida, you could consider Florida Rentals, a comfortable place to stay. This way you will be more relaxed and ready to do business.
Don’t forget to check on the amenities available. For instance, if you have to complete some work on the go, free Wi-Fi on the flight and hotel can be a good amenity to consider. Most importantly, compare your choices with the company’s travel policy to ensure that they align.
3. Required documents
It would be a waste of time if you prepare for a trip only to realize that you don’t have the necessary documents required for the trip. Besides your travel tickets, you would need a valid and current passport. You may also need an identification document if your trip is within the country. Depending on where you are going, you might also need a visa. It is good that you research whether you will need one for your trip.
It would be in your best interest to avoid public transport in a foreign country. The overcrowding in stations makes foreigners prone to pickpockets. Besides, it is best to keep away from them at this time when COVID-19 is rampant around the world. In this case, you are better off driving yourself around foreign cities. However, you will need to have an international driver license to be able to do this in foreign countries. Be sure to apply for one before leaving for your trip. You will basically need to have a valid driver’s license in your country, passport-sized photos, application forms, and about $20.
4. Travel insurance
Anything can go wrong when you are on a business trip. Your luggage can get lost or delayed needing you to find new clothing or electronic devices. You might be required to cancel your trip due to an emergency at home or sickness, prompting you to cancel your travel. You might also be caught up by terrorism or natural disasters like earthquakes in a foreign country requiring you to stay longer.
Your employer may not be liable for such expenses arising from unexpected situations during business trips. If that is your case, you might be needed to cater for such expenses from your pocket. That is why it is good to have travel insurance in place to shield yourself from such losses.
5. Researching your destination
First impressions are very crucial in business meetings. How you present yourself before the people you are meeting with can determine whether they continue working with you or not. It is very important that you be at your best when interacting with these people.
To do this, ensure that you research your destination. Seek to know the culture and common nuances that can easily offend your hosts. Learn how they behave in meetings so you know how to behave around them. If they prefer informal meetings, you will know well in advance not to pack suits and the like. In addition, research on the weather, political situation, the food, and the like.
There is a lot to prepare for when going on a business trip. The above 5 points give you a starting point. In addition to that, ensure that you carry along with your work devices and a hard copy of the business documents that you would need in case your laptop develops a mechanical problem or gets lost. It is also important to keep expenses down by comparing several service providers. Above all, let your company’s travel policy be your guide when paying for expenses.
Rachel Eleza, Growth Marketing Director at UpSuite and a part-time writer.