A recent family get-away had us traveling by air. And as we passed over different parts of the country, I marveled at the panorama that makes up our nation. I also thought a bit about business travel. (By the way, all businesses look “small” from up there.)
As a captive audience 30,000 feet in the clouds, I had the time to ponder about small business owners and how to best use your time during the travel part of business travel.
Even the tiniest small businesses may have a need to travel – to conventions, to associations that may be regional instead of around the corner, and to the infamous trade shows. In fact, annual vendor shows could take you very far from your establishment. Also, restaurateurs may find themselves exploring new locales to sample the latest culinary adventures. And a distributor may need to send regional employees to a conference.
How can you make the most of your travel time, whether on a short shuttle via your local transportation system or on a long-haul jetliner?
- Update Planners. Review your business agenda for your trip, so you know where you need to be and when. You may notice an opening in your schedule and fill it with a last-minute invitation. Remember, devices will likely adjust to the present time zone; so, make sure you really don’t have that meeting at 6:00 a.m.
- Cleanout Briefcase. This is the perfect time to peruse the briefcase/tote/computer bag in which you keep all your important business papers. While flight attendants won’t appreciate a dumpster-full, you can sort through your bag and discard outdated items securely once after you depart or deplane.
- Prepare Networking Skills. You never know who may be seated next to you. Business cards are frequently exchanged among passengers. And before arriving at your destination, consider whom you want to meet and topics to potentially discuss.
- Relax. If you’re flying, it’s just about impossible for your associates to contact you. They’re all in good hands (because you planned ahead). Travel is a great time to take a deep breath, close your eyes, and relax, if even for a few minutes.
Remember, small business travelers, stow your tray table, follow all posted signs, and use your time productively.