Business travel is back on the agenda. After countless Zoom meetings and phone calls, executives are once again hopping on planes and trains to attend in-person conferences, meetings, and company retreats.
If this is the first business trip you’ve taken in a while, it’s worth taking the time to think carefully about what you want to achieve while you’re away. Setting clear goals before you travel can help you get the most out of your business excursion.
Here’s a look at some of the key things to consider before your business trip.
1. Set objectives
What do you want to get out of your trip? Knowing why you’re travelling can help you get the most out of your time there.
To help, set yourself clear objectives that you want to achieve. Are you hoping to build your business network, gain more clients or make some sales? Having the ‘why’ behind your trip at the forefront of your mind will help you to get the most out of it.
2. Be cost-effective
Businesses are spending on global business travel. From more UK businesses heading further afield to a resurgence in the States, confidence is growing in the corporate travel sector. While it can be tempting to blow the business budget, especially if you’re heading out of the UK for the first time in a while, it’s important that you’re savvy about what you spend.
Being cost-effective can mean that you’re bagging a bargain when it counts without losing out on quality. You need to be a the top of your game if you’re to perform well on the trip, so you’ll need to stay somewhere comfortable and not have to worry about how you’ll get to the business meeting or venue.
So, you’ll need to balance your budget by setting realistic discretionary spending limits so that you can book that serviced apartment in Singapore or cover any other unexpected costs. Serviced apartments offer an easy way to stay away as everything is already sorted for you.
3. Plan your journey
On the subject of transport, it’s worth booking in advance where possible. Think about every part of the business trip so that you know the moments where you’ll be travelling.
There are two main reasons for doing this. First, it gives you the chance to get discounted seats on your flight, train, or taxi. Keeping the travel budget in mind will ensure you can splurge on important things like accommodation and entertaining clients.
Second, booking travel ahead of your business trip gives you the chance to schedule meetings. Doing as much scheduling as you can before you set off will help to maximise your time while you’re there.
As you plan your business trip, remember that learning the local language, even just the basics, can make a significant difference. For instance, if you’re from Washington and heading to a Portuguese-speaking country, like Brazil, consider finding a Portuguese tutor in Washington DC for a few lessons. It’s not about fluency but showing respect for the local culture and making your interactions smoother. A simple “obrigado” (thank you) can go a long way in creating a positive impression and enhancing your overall trip experience.
4. Make a schedule
As well as scheduling transport, you’ll need to plan your business trip from start to finish. This doesn’t have to be set in stone as plans can change once you get to your destination but arranging to meet people and loosely booking in some networking opportunities can give your trip some shape.
Likewise, if you’re attending a conference, take a look at the different speakers and seminars to see what could be beneficial to your business. Remember to set aside some downtime, however as business trip can be busy.
5. Be prepared
Finally, be prepared. Research the people you’re meeting beforehand so that you know what you’ll discuss and have everything you need to hand, from business cards to pen and pad. Also, double-check your website is up and running so that you’re directing people to the right place.
Are you taking a business trip soon? What are your tips for a smooth journey?