Business travel are synonymous with business opportunities. The short or long-term future of a company can depend on such visits, so it makes sense to ensure that they run as smoothly as possible. From the departure to the return flight, along with everything in between, it all needs to be arranged flawlessly. But clearly, this perfection comes at quite a considerable cost. So how should you prepare for your business trip ? How can you have a successful stay where comfort and safety are guaranteed, without having to pay over the odds ? Read on for some key travel tips.
All you need to know for a successful business trip
To avoid unnecessary stress when on business travel, good organisation is a must. Basically, nothing should be left to chance.
Make a checklist for the trip
Departure time, arrival time, all of your appointments, complete with the locations, dates and times…all of these details should be added to your diary. This may be a bit time-consuming, but it will help prevent you missing your flight or arriving late for an important meeting.
Make a copy of all your travel documents
Better to be safe than sorry, as the saying goes. Finding yourself stuck in a foreign country with no documentation is a nightmare scenario for travellers. What’s more, completing all the formalities to get replacements at the embassy is time consuming, not to mention stressful.
Be clear about the reasons for your visit
No matter how well you prepare for a journey, the unexpected can always arise. That’s why caution should be your watchword. If you’re travelling abroad, bear in mind that officials in certain countries may be hostile to visitors. You should therefore have all of your paperwork at hand serving to explain your presence in the country. It’s also worth preparing documents about your company, as such precautions can help prevent administrative problems.
Do some homework on your destination country
To check it’s safe to travel there, visit the website of the country’s foreign office. At the same time, you can obtain full information on the country you’re visiting.
In addition, it’s worth studying local customs, as showing interest in their country will please not only the natives in general, but also your business contacts there. It could even help you to secure the deal you’re after. The importance of this can’t be overestimated, as the way we work in London or Glasgow is not the same as in Shanghai or even New York !
The key to success : outsourcing the preparation of your business travel
Whether it’s national or international, organising a business trip is never straightforward, particularly for a professional who’s constantly rushing between meetings. So to avoid unpleasant surprises, such as missing or expired travel documents, flight delays, or dodgy, overpriced hotels, the ideal solution is to leave everything to an expert. Platforms like Bird Office can prepare every aspect of your business trip, leaving you free from all logistical and financial concerns. This gives you all the time you need to prepare for your upcoming appointments and at last secure the contract you’ve been coveting for ages. Several companies from Alliance BizTravel also specialise in the field of business travel.
Here are the key benefits you get from entrusting your business trip’s organisation to an experienced professional :
Organisation at all levels
Flight, transport, hotel, booking an event space for a meeting or conference, meals for the participants…all of these details are important and should therefore not be last-minute rush jobs.
A trip that stays under budget
It goes without saying that preparing for a business trip requires a significant budget. And this is precisely where the professionals come into their own, as they’ll optimise your business travel by making sure the trip doesn’t exceed the budget you’ve set, while you stay safe in the knowledge that your business trip will be a success on all fronts.
Considerable time savings
What with business meetings, urgent projects and other day-to-day diversions, it’s not always easy to find the time to prepare for your trip. Yes, there’s the Internet, but with such a proliferation of offers, it’s hard to really know where to get the best airline and hotel deals.
Whether they’re booking your flight or your ground transport (such as the taxi firm that will take you to your hotel, if you’re not being met at the airport), a professional business travel organiser has the knowledge required to find the best option, without the price necessarily being any higher.
Apart from these obvious advantages, you can pick the expert’s brains on a whole host of subjects. After all, it’s not the first business trip they’ve organised (and definitely won’t be the last), so they know which key points need to be addressed (list of documents, vaccinations for foreign travel, etc.) and what you’ll need to take with you.
Tips for a successful business trip
So now you’re ready to meet with your future business partners. But for your trip to be a real success, you need to follow these key tips :
A business trip doesn’t last a month, so there’s no point taking an extra-large suitcase. Instead, opt for a wheeled case you can take onto the plane as hand luggage. What’s more, it means you won’t waste time checking in your baggage, or worse still, finding that it’s been lost after you arrive.
Only take what you need
Limit yourself to the very minimum, in terms of both clothing and work documents. Generally speaking, two formal, classic-looking outfits will suffice, along with a pair of matching shoes. You can add a second more comfortable pair if you’re going to have time for a spot of tourism.
Where business is concerned, a work laptop is all you need. For added security, you should save all your presentations and files on a USB stick. This will help prevent any major problems if your luggage is stolen.
Take as many notes as possible
Dictaphone, smartphone, notepad…they can all help you record your ideas as and when they come up. This way, when you arrive at your meeting, training course or seminar, there’s no risk of you being a mere spectator.
Write a summary at the end of each day
If you wait for your business trip to end before reviewing your stay (positive points vs negative points), you risk getting your dates and information mixed up.
Instead, spend a few minutes at the end of each day noting down what has and hasn’t been achieved.