For many business owners, business travel is unavoidable. In the last year, it’s likely that you’ve spent time out of the office, visiting clients, closing deals and/or attending conferences.
In the UK alone, there were over 7 million business trips abroad in 2016. Look across the pond to the US and the total number of business trips was over 488 million.
However, making business travel smooth, enjoyable and (importantly) successful isn’t always easy. It takes time to research, book and prep for each trip; it’s something else to add to our already packed schedule.
So what can we do to make our business trips successful, without sacrificing other priorities?
Here are three strategies we can all adopt to make each trip go to plan.
Delegate responsibilities to others in your team
Lots of business owners struggle with the concept delegation. Fast Company identifies three common fear about delegating and how to overcome them:
Fear One – The urge to do it all
Start by recognising there are some tasks you will never delegate, either because you actually have to do them or because you enjoy them too much. Look at your to-do list and categorise the tasks into three columns – things you personally need to do, things that you love to do and everything else.
Everything in the third column is your delegation quick-wins.
If, after finishing the exercise, you have nothing in the third column, review you need to-dos and your like to-dos. Be honest with yourself, do you really have to be involved in all those tasks? Or, with some training, could another person in your team take them on?
Fear Two – A shortage of resource
Modern businesses are lean. As much as you’d like to delegate, it can feel like there’s nobody with any available capacity. But there are other options available, including outsourcing, hiring temporary employees and getting new tools or software that streamlines processes.
Fear Three – Uncertainty about how to delegate
This feeling often comes from bad experiences in the past. For busy business owners, it can be hard to set aside the time to explain a tasks – especially when it’s something the can do in their sleep. But investing time now to explain the goal and process behind a task will free up a lot of time later on.
You know there are times your need to delegate. Sometimes it feels impossible, even when, according to HBR, ‘chronic problems with delegation can cripple your team’s productivity and create a major impediment to your own success.’ But by overcoming your personal fears or challenges with delegation, you can free up the time you need to plan ahead and make you next business trip a success.
Stay at the heart of the action
Staying near where you need to do business make sense. Less travel time = less risk of things going wrong. So how can you make it happen and make sure you always stay at the heart of the action?
Say you’re meeting a client for a breakfast meeting central London. You want to stay as close as possible, to minimise your travel first thing in the morning. But if you’re not familiar with London, how do you know which accommodation is nearby and which will leave you with a 20 minute tube ride? Search for your accommodation using the full address of where you’re going and then filter the results to find the nearest available accommodation.
Using this strategy means that instead of fighting the public transport system, you can stay somewhere that’s only a short walk away from where you need to be. And, instead of a stressful and time-consuming start to your day, you can find your way at your own pace.
The advance version of this strategy is to save the locations of your favourite accommodation in your travel booking tool, meaning you can save even more time.
End your business trip on a high
Nearly half of all business travellers have extended their business trip in the last 12 months.
But, even if you can’t extend your trip for a few days to explore a new city, use your last evening to go out for a nice meal or spent a couple of hours before your flight sightseeing
Ending your trip with a positive experiences means you’re more likely to have a favourable view of the overall trip.
The logic is based on the Peak-End rule, developed by Nobel prize winning psychologist, Daniel Kahneman. This rule explains how people judge and remember an experience based on how it was at its most intense period (the peak) and how it was at the end.
Kahneman’s TED talk on this topic is well worth watching when you have a bit of down time
For a business trip, this means that your perception of the experience will be based on the most intense moment and the last moment. By ending a business trip on a high means you’re more likely to have a positive memory of the overall trip.
Now that we’ve shared the tricks you need to ensure business travel provides business value, it’s time to get started. Using Booking.com for Business opens your business to the world. Specialising in help you and your colleagues an easy way to manage your travel, Booking.com for Business provides a simple and free solution to suit any company.