If your work requires you to go away for a business trip, it can feel like there is a lot to prepare. You will want the trip to go well as there is often the potential for new clients to be acquired, deals to be made, and promotions for you in the future if you come off well. While business trips can be great, you will want to be as prepared as possible and not leave it until the last minute. Here are some top tips for how to prepare for going away for business.
Read up on your company’s travel policy
If you are new to going away for your company, you might not have heard of the company’s travel policy. It is essential to brush up on this before you go to ensure you follow the correct procedures. The travel policy will outline how you should book and expense the travel on your trip, any preferred vendors, what expenses will be approved, and anything else you might need to know when away on behalf of the business. You will also want to know their reimbursement policy as you don’t want to be left out of pocket!
Plan your itinerary ahead of time
It is important that you carefully plan your trips itinerary before you go, to ensure that everything runs smoothly. If you are heading to a conference, be sure you allow enough time, and if you have a meeting planned, schedule in the time carefully. If you are having to fly, you won’t want to land and head straight to a meeting; you will want time to freshen up – particularly if it has been an early flight. You will also want to allow time for travel delays, no matter your means of travel, as inevitable hiccups can always occur when relying on public transport, busy roads, or flights.
Book in your accommodation as early as possible
If you are going to need accommodation for your business trip, you want to get this booked in as soon as you can. The last thing you want is to leave it until the last minute and not be able to stay in the area you want or have to fork out a lot to stay somewhere half decent. It is either that, or you are stuck in a not very nice Hotel when it could have been avoided had you been more organized. If your company has an approved list of partners to book with, find out if there is a company loyalty scheme or if there is a business rate available. It could be that your company have used them for years and they offer a reduced rate for employees.
Figure out your route there and how long it will take
It is important that you figure out how to get from A to Z ahead of time so that you can prepare for any inevitable delays on the day. If you are driving, map out a route and check you have all you need, such as fuel, and that your car is in good condition. You will also want to ensure you get good flight times, so you don’t arrive too late or leave too early, meaning you will be exhausted during and after your trip. You want to plan it so you can be as fresh as possible and ready to work hard for the duration of the business trip.
Work out your pitch ahead of time
If you are going away in order to pitch your business or product to potential clients, you want to get this organized well ahead of time. The last thing you want is to be standing in front of a room full of people and not be prepared. It could be that you are selling gas BBQs with a propane tank gauge and want to tell your future clients how knowledgeable you are about your brand or company. You will want to explain everything from what you can cook on the BBQ to how to read the gauge, such as when you click here. Or that you are a marketing firm looking to tell a business how they can improve, you will want to show you know exactly what you are talking about and would be much better than your competition. It is a good idea to practice in front of friends and family if you are nervous and get them to ask questions so you can get used to thinking on the spot.
Pack carefully and lightly
When it comes to packing for a business trip, you want to ensure you pack smart. One thing you don’t want is to be waiting around for the luggage carousel when your items could easily fit into your carry on. Instead, pack smartly and organize everything into your hand luggage, so you don’t need to worry about finding your suitcase once the plane lands. As most business trips are only a few nights, you shouldn’t have a problem doing this. Think about what you have on your itinerary and only pick one outfit for each, or that you can wear more than once. Don’t bring any “what if” or “Just in case” outfits as these waste unnecessary space. If you get there and find you’re missing something, you can always purchase it when you are away.
See if you can do the meeting virtually instead
In the current climate, it might be tricky to travel across the country or abroad. Be prepared for travel to change last minute and find out if you can do the meeting virtually instead. With Zoom being an ever increasingly popular method for meetings, you can conduct almost all the same objectives as a physical meeting without having to leave your home or office. Ensure you find somewhere quiet to conduct your meeting where you won’t be interrupted – particularly if you are working from home and your family members are about!
These are just a few of the ways to prepare for going away for business. Be sure to follow these, and you will be in the best stead possible.