Many of us live at least some of our business lives in a hotel room that Jack Nicholson may have smashed the door in, driving a car that Cheech & Chong probably owned or having to use a large number of Planes, Trains and Automobiles just to get there, using a suitcase that carries Marcellus Wylie’s soul.
Making sure our business travel goes right so that we can get excel at our business meetings or sales calls is a job onto itself. And not always an easy one.
How do we balance these potential nuisances so that they stay minor and don’t wreck our attitude and our trip? How do we turn up our game so we can give that little extra so that we can get over the top and give 11?
The travel answers
The easiest answer is to get someone else to do it for you perfectly every time. No easy task – as you try to move your business from a small shop to a healthy, midsized company or more.
There are several great travel apps that you can use along with the help of the alerts from hotels and airlines to help you as you take your journey. Some of us can rely on another person to sort out the issues when they arise, like Gotham City turning to Batman for solutions.
These are all good helpers along the way but it is looking at the entire trip that will give you the best chance to make a trip a good one even before you have that great business meeting that results in a sale or a new project.
What would make the trip better regardless of the result of the meeting?After you have decided, or been told, you are going on a business trip, figure out how long you need for the business part of the trip. While most reading this will say, well of course, this is not as simple as it appears. Time is the one thing that you cannot trade, buy or in some way get more of, unless you are Doc Brown.
You need to know how long the meeting is plus at least 30 minutes for when things go well, and they will go well! You need to add time for what other work you need to complete while on the road and finally how much time you think you will need for calls to other customers or to the office. (Whatever amount of time it is you think you need, double it!)
While this seems like enough, the best trips are the ones that aren’t all work. Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. Plan on seeing nor doing something you can’t at home. A new adventure within your trip will always make the work feel better. It doesn’t have to be an all day excursion like going to the Statue of Liberty with the Ghostbusters.
It can be as simple as going to a local coffee shop (something you were probably going to buy any way), having breakfast at Tiffany’s or going to either a small local restaurant for four fried chickens and a coke or a greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray (you needed to eat and they are a small business too and maybe a potential client) or just seeing a landmark or nature setting that is special like King Kong did when in New York (you need to decompress at some point).
A few minutes to an hour spent will make the trip feel like it wasn’t all work or worse yet, a waste of time if the client cancels at the last minute.
These parts of your trip may seem unnecessary to the boss who tells you he needs you to come in tomorrow so if you could be in around 9:00, that would be great, ok, who is only on any trip for business, but a side trip will give you something to talk about to build a relationship with your business partner. It will also give them the chance to be the expert on the local area by telling you what to do when you come back. While it won’t be the same as kissing up to Judge Smails to get a scholarship, there is nothing that makes a client feel better than knowing you value their expertise.
The icing on the cakeNow, to make this side excursion feel like it is special, do it before your scheduled appointments. Nothing makes you feel worse than when the work is done and all you want to do is go home, but are stuck because you can’t get on an earlier flight.
We know Roger Murdoch, the co-pilot is doing his best flying us over the rainbow to get you home fast so you can be relaxing. Most of us will change our flights when we get done early so why make it feel like we are extending ourselves by staying for that extra? It will make the site excursion a burden instead of a treasure.
Business trips can be painful and leave you worse for wear, looking like we just played against the Hansens. But if you plan a little diversion so that you can make it a little bit of play and a little bit of fun, we, the lovers, the dreamers and you and me will have a great trip!
What was your best (short) side excursion on a business trip? Let us know in the comments section below!