Optimize your business trip
Or how to turn an expense into a good investment
Nowadays, the best business development strategy necessarily implies that you have to travel, because if technology, specifically videoconferences, is a very good communication strategy, the impact of meeting directly with customers remains essential to create authentic bonds of trust, especially for StartUps and SMEs who need to make themselves better known. And why not take advantage of these business trips to understand the culture and context in which these business partners operate. To maximize these necessary trips, there are several tips, including:
- Make sure you get as many meetings as possible by contacting as many potential customers as you can before you leave;
- Make sure of a well filled agenda;
- Make sure to optimize the displacement according to the time difference;
- Make sure you are well prepared
- Make sure you have well-honed, clear and precise presentations;
- Ensure every minute is optimized: booking, time spent at the airport, flight and accommodation experience;
All of these factors play a crucial role in helping you achieve maximum results while traveling. Here is a list of what you must absolutely consider essential before you leave for a successful business trip.
Group your trips
With tight planning that reduces your expenses while maximizing your time, it’s possible to make two or three short trips rather than multiple trips over a long period of time. Indeed, several airlines offer multi-destination tickets that allow you to stop for more than a day and at very advantageous prices. In addition, this way of traveling offers a considerable advantage because it often allows you to minimize the effects of jet lag. You can ask you travel agent about those programs.
If you are one of those who often have to travel in the USA, joining NEXXUS will save you a lot of time. Designed to expedite border crossings, this card gives you access to automated control lines and stations for air, land and even maritime arrivals. It is therefore jointly that the Canadian and American border services have established this system to unclog customs posts. NEXXUS in Canada and GLOBAL ENTRY in the United States, these cards are accessible to low-risk individuals. To know all about these services: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/prog/nexus/menu-fra.html.
Minimize your luggage
Something that more and more business travelers have adopted is to travel light. By avoiding having to wait in line to register your luggage, you will save a lot of time that you can use at a better profit. Same thing for the time saved during tight connections and arrival at destination. In addition, if you are willing to travel several times in short periods of time, or if you have to leave but do not know when, it is strongly suggested to have a suitcase ready at all times. This one will contain all your essentials (underwear-chargers-medicines-etc …) and therefore, the day before your departure, you will only have to add the clothes which you will need (suits, shirts and ties and comfortable and versatile travel kits that fit together-etc).
The right seat
Of course, if your budget allows it, the business class is the best choice, especially for long-haul couriers, because the seats are transformed into beds, which guarantees a restful sleep, an attentive service and more. It also ensure priority boarding and disembarking. In addition, business class space is perfect for work and concentration. However, if your budget is more limited, you can opt for a business class only towards your destination. For example, if you have to travel to Europe, a night business class flight will allow you to arrive fresh and available at your destination while a return to economy class by day will be easier. Another alternative is the premium economy class now offered by many airlines. The advantages of this class of service are that all the seats are located at the front of the cabin, so you get a quick landing, and you have more legroom, the meal service is faster and you can sometimes have extra snacks. Finally, if you have to constrain yourself to the economy class, know that the location of your seat can make a difference, for example, if the flight is short, go for the aisle seat, near the front section, it will allow you to descend quickly. For more legs space, the seats of the first rows, behind the partitions, are privileged and moreover, these places are often the more tranquil ones. However, there is only the luggage rack located above the seat to allow you to store your belongings. The seats near the emergency exits also offer more room for the legs, but these places are much noisier. Now, window or aisle, what are the best seats? If you want to take advantage of your flight time to make a nap, you will opt for a window seat because in addition to being conducive to sleep, it will ensure you do not be disturbed by your neighbor who must get up. On the other hand, the aisle seats offer greater freedom to move, stretch your legs and ensure you get out of the plane faster.
Subscribe to loyalty programs
And while traveling, why not take advantage of every trip with loyalty cards. On the air side, the programs entitle you to significant bonus for transportation, overnight stays at the hotel, car rental in addition to gifts. It is also strongly suggested to consolidate your travel with a carrier or its affiliates, which gives you quick access to a status of frequent traveler and therefore, more benefits like priority boarding and disembarking, access to lounges, additional baggage and even a priority status on waiting lists. Same story for the loyalty programs of car rental companies and those of hotel chains. And of course, pay all your purchases with the same credit card to ensure you accumulate points redeemable for travel rewards. And did you know that having the status of frequent traveler with certain cards gives you other advantages? You will be able to access some lounges where you can work, thanks to WIFI access, or simply to have a drink, eat or rest and in some cases, you will even be able to shower there. If you need to enjoy your time at the airport for a meeting, be aware that for a nominal fee, you can even invite colleagues, business partners and even family members that are traveling with you.
Stay at the same hotel
Becoming a “regular” in an hotel will ensure you a more personalized service, over-classifications, extras like a room with a view for example, and sometimes even a free breakfast. You should also know that if you come regularly to the same hotel, the staff will be happy to keep a bag, for a little fee, containing your toiletry, running shoes or anything else that you think is useful but you do not want not clutter each trip. And most importantly, you will feel welcomed as a friend every time you return to an establishment you visit regularly.
To survive the jet lag
The best way to counter jet lag is certainly to operate at the local time of your destination upon your departure. Resisting a nap to go to sleep at the usual time in the new time zone helps the internal clock to adapt. Take a long walk in natural light, which has the advantage of influencing the circadian cycles by keeping the body awake, have a good lunch or have a meeting on an outdoor terrace to enjoy the fresh air, do a good workout session at the hotel gym or pool to benefit from endorphin production and its energizing effect, these are all great ways to set the record straight.
Connected everywhere and at all times
The business world requires a connection at all times, no matter which country you go to. It is therefore prudent to always have at least two and even three universal adapters with you because hotels do not always provide them. One will definitely be in your suitcase, the second in your carry-on or briefcase and, if necessary, the third one in the car. For cellular, it is more profitable to travel with an unlocked phone, with a SIM card prepaid plan of your destination. As for the documents that you will need, books, videos or others, it is better to download everything before your departure, you will thus save the surcharges.
A word invented by the Americans, this term is a contraction between the words business and leisure. Now that you’ve learned to save time, how can you use it wisely? Well, the best thing would be to give yourself a few hours of freedom, or even a day or a weekend, to familiarize yourself with the culture of people you meet, to discover new products and services and give you new ideas. You will realize that this exercise is worth much more than research and development work. Another trend observed in recent years is how business travelers find to better balance work and family: they plan a few days off at the end of their trip and bring their family to enjoy a precious moments together before returning home.