Though we live in an age in which there are more and more virtual meetings taking place, business trips and travel is still going to have their part to play in the modern world.
In fact, when you meet face to face, this can prove to be one of the best ways of making the type of instant connection that leads to real results in terms of winning the contract that you were looking for of building a lasting business partnership between two different organizations.
At the same time, when you are traveling for business, you certainly want to avoid any mistakes that you otherwise could have sidestepped.
With this in mind, the following blog post is all about the common errors that get committed time and time again on business trips. Here are a few of them and some solutions that you are able to utilize as well.
1. Not Picking the Right Length of Trip
The perfect business trip should be neither too long nor too short. If you feel like you are on holiday all the time and only have one or two meetings, it has probably gone too far one way.
On the other hand, if you are rushing around all the time and you are close to burnout, it has almost certainly gone awry. A lot of this can all be ironed out in the initial planning stages. During this time, it is going to be much easier to work out exactly how long you need to be in a place.
If you can group the meetings together in an effective manner, this is certainly going to help out in a big way. Sometimes, it is all a matter of experience that can help out when it comes to working out the ideal length of a business trip but try to think in practical terms as best you can.
2. Not Planning the Business Trip Effectively
So much of the potential issues that you may encounter along the way can be sorted out in the planning phase, so it is certainly going to be worth planning the business trip as best you can.
This means doing your research about where you are going to stay. It also means that you should have all your presentations and marketing materials ready for delivery. Not only will this help to avoid any last-minute disasters, but it will also play a big role in ensuring that you feel comfortable in your own mind that this will be a fruitful and successful trip that you are about to embark upon.
While you may have a main admin person who is in charge of sorting out the finer details of the trip, it is still going to be worth going through the details with everybody involved.
You may have somebody there who has made a similar type of trip before and is, therefore, able to provide you with some invaluable advice that will help you out in a significant way when you arrive there. You can use travel management solutions as a way of helping yourself out and ensuring that all of your bases are covered.
3. Failing to Set a Company Spending Policy
Next up on the list, if you fail to set a company spending policy, this can easily mean that you are asking for trouble. This is largely down to the fact that you will not be setting out some clear rules and guidelines which everybody can follow.
When you are setting out this initial policy, you should aim to make it as comprehensive as you possibly can, covering everything from whether or not it is advised to take public transportation where you can go to any budgets and restrictions that you are going to be set for meals out.
If you are an employee who is following the company spending policy, you need to ensure that you know what you can and cannot buy. This way, you are not going to risk falling foul of the law and finding yourself in a position in which you have to pay everything back once again.
4. Forgetting Why You Are There
Sometimes, the sheer excitement of traveling for work can get the better of you, and you will start to forget why you are there in the first place.
In this situation, it is better to have other members of the company there who are going to keep you on track. Ultimately, it can end up making such a big difference to how successful you are on the trip.
At the other end of the scale, you are unlikely to be effective if you are suffering from burnout, which certainly means that you need to build in some time for rest and relaxation. Ultimately, there is a balance to be achieved and a sweet spot that will help you out in a big way.
5. Not Packing Effectively
There are a couple of main issues that can end up occurring with the packing situation – overpacking and underpacking. Both of them can prove to be annoying and potentially damaging to a business trip.
The first one involves you stuffing more suitcases than you need and having to lug them around from place to place. As for the latter one, you may end up in a situation in which you have forgotten some vital components of the trip.
Thankfully, we live in a world where it is much easier to get your hands on anything you may need. At the same time, there are also cloud-based solutions to think about as well. If you forget any essential work documents and they are backed up to the cloud, there should be no problems here. For this reason, it is so important that you make sure that everything is properly stored.
When you are packing your suitcase, it is also worth writing out a checklist. While you may never have been the type of person to do this before, it can actually make such a big difference when it comes to ensuring that you have every single item that you need.
6. Failing to Pick the Right Accommodation
There are a number of different factors to consider when it comes to picking the right accommodation.
First of all, there is the budget. You do not automatically want to go for the cheapest one on the market. While this may feel like an easy way of saving money, you can often spend a lot going backward and forward from the hotel and to your meetings.
Also, you may be sacrificing comfort. In this situation, you may not have some vital components you need for your business trip, such as good Wi-Fi. Also, the beds may not be as comfortable as you like, which can easily result in a situation in which you do not get enough sleep when you are on a business trip.
As we discussed earlier in the blog post, burnout can be a real and potentially damaging part of a business trip, and sleep is bound to be one of the best lines of defense against it.
Ultimately, this cannot be overstated when it comes to ensuring that you are feeling at your best and freshest when you are presenting your case to another company that you would like to get on board with what you are doing, as well as you expecting them to take what you have to offer seriously.
7. Not Looking at Your Itinerary
The first potential issue that you could have regarding an itinerary is not having one in the first place. There is no doubt that this can prove to be a problem as you could end up rushing around from area to area.
Worse still, you could find yourself in a situation in which you miss a vital business meeting, which will obviously have a negative impact on the overall success of the trip. However, when you create an itinerary document, this is not something that you should be simply looking over once and never glancing at again.
Instead, you should make sure that you know it inside and out. This way, you will have a good idea of what you can expect to come next, which certainly helps out when framing the ideas in your mind and giving yourself a sense of preparedness for what is coming next.
These are just some of the main problems you can encounter when you are on a business trip. Ultimately, avoiding all of the common errors can make such a big difference in the success or failure of your business trip.
While you cannot know every single thing that may happen along the way, you can put the best plan of action in place to avoid any issues occurring that could have otherwise been sidestepped. The rest is in the lap of the gods and your own business acumen when it comes to landing the deals that you wanted to, but preparing well for your trip can help make business success more likely.
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I am Adeyemi Adetilewa, a media consultant, entrepreneur, husband, and father. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Ideas Plus Business Magazine, online business resources for entrepreneurs. I help brands share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising, and online marketing. My work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success, Hackernoon, The Good Men Project, and other publications.