Business travel may seem like a glamorous task that only people at huge Fortune 500 companies get to do. But, that’s not necessarily true. Even as a small business owner you may find yourself traveling more than you realized. Why might you be taking to the skies for the sake of business?
If you are self-employed, if you own a SaaS business, or if you own or work for some other type of small business, it is important to network, meet people and continue to develop add grow professionally. This is where conferences and workshops come in.
You may find some local conferences around, but being open to traveling somewhere further could allow you to attend some great workshops and meet people you otherwise wouldn’t have. Here are some of the best SaaS conferences to attend in 2018.
Meeting with clients:
With so much technology available to us it is easy to have clients/customers all over the country, or even the world. However, Skype, FaceTime, and text messages can only get you so far. Sometimes a real face-to-face meeting and an actual tactile handshake work best for keeping and gaining new customers.
In fact, a study done by Oxford Economics states, “Both executives and business travelers estimate that roughly 40% of their prospective customers are converted to new customers with an in-person meeting compared to 16% without such a meeting.”
A 24% increase in sales conversion? That seems like a pretty good reason to hop on a plane!
Now that we’ve determined that business travel is not just for big companies and that it is an expense worth paying for, let’s talk about how to do it.
Business travel and jet setting is not the dazzling thing it may appear to be. The hassle of traveling by air can be exhausting, and as an entrepreneur, most likely travel expenses are coming out of your own pocket. Here are a few tips for making business travel a little bit less painful.
There are numerous benefits to flying carry on. First of all, many airlines charge for checking a bag, and if you are footing your own travel expense bill, you may want to cut some costs.
Secondly, flying carry on saves you time before and after the flight. No waiting in line to check the bag and no waiting at the luggage carousel for your bag to show up!
It also takes away the risk that your baggage may get lost. Since many business trips are fairly quick, if you lose your baggage it may not get found and returned to you before you have to leave to go back home.
Invest in a good carry-on suitcase
You want a good quality carry-on suitcase that will keep your clothing nicely organized. If you are a frequent traveler, using the same suitcase makes packing easier because you know exactly how it works—which pockets will hold underwear, is it better to roll clothes or fold them, etc…. Furthermore, a high quality suitcase helps to ensure that you don’t have to worry about the suitcase breaking at the airport or during your trip.
I personally recommend carry on suitcases ‘spinner’ style with 4 wheels. They are much easier to bring through small spaces like long security lines.
Choose a seat at the front of the plane
You, or your company, may not be swinging for a first class ticket, but you can still try sit as close to the front of the plane as possible. When booking a ticket many airlines will show you a diagram of the plane and let you pick which seat you would like. Not only are front seats usually further away from the bathrooms and the lines that form outside of them, but you will be able to disembark from the plane much faster, which can save quite a bit of time.
Dress to get undressed
Now, we aren’t trying to be inappropriate here. But, unless you are part of TSA Pre-Check, most likely you will be stripping off jackets, belts, shoes and even some watches or jewelry at the security check point. When choosing what to wear on the airplane, keep that in mind and choose clothing and accessories that are easy to remove and put back on.
Do your research and be prepared
TSA has some strict guidelines when it comes to what can fly carryon and what can’t. Familiarize yourself with them, and have all of your travel liquids already separated into a plastic bag that is easy to access at the security checkpoint.
Most airlines have apps that can be downloaded onto your smartphone or tablet. Using that app you can check in for your flight, download your boarding pass (no worries about getting it lost!), and also receive updates about possible flight delays.
When it comes to mobile boarding passes, make sure to take a screen shot or save it your phone’s passbook. A few years ago I had an unfortunate incident when, due to construction at the LAX airport, the security checkpoint was in area that didn’t have cell service. I was unable to open up my airline’s app and show my boarding pass. I had to walk back outside, open the app, take a screen shot, and then walk back to security and wait in line again.
Sign up for frequent flyer programs
If travelling frequently, sign up for a frequent flyer program to earn miles. Eventually you can earn miles that can lead to seat upgrades and earlier boarding times, and you can also use the miles to purchase additional flights. Comfort, convenience, and saving money…check!
As a small business owner, business travel may never consist of cocktails in first class and 5 star hotels, but it doesn’t have to be a huge hassle. In fact, it can be very beneficial to your and your company. For more advice about helping your business succeed financially, contact us at Lucid Advisory and Finance!