Be as prepared as you can for your business trip

businesstripYou’re off to secure a big deal, see how a supplier works behind the scenes or visit a world renowned trade show. It’s therefore important that you are prepared and ready for your trip.

We’re not just talking packing enough underwear for your three night stay, although this is of course important. You need to ensure you have absolutely everything you could possibly need to ensure your trip is a worthwhile and successful one.

If you need to take along bulky or heavy items, but don’t fancy dragging it onto the train or plane then use a courier service, such as Courier Expert, to have your item delivered to your final destination for when you arrive. If it’s a last minute thing you can even have it delivered on the same day.

So whether it’s your first or fiftieth business trip, it’s important to take some time and make sure you have everything ready…

Checklist
It might seem simple, but just by writing a list you minimise the risk of forgetting something essential. Make sure you pick up everything you might need from the office, you don’t want to reach your destination and realise you’ve left important paperwork or even your business cards sitting on your desk.

Important documents
Keep travel documents, hotel bookings and passes close to your chest throughout your trip. The hassle to replace any of these things strongly outweighs carrying some extra pieces of paper in your bag.

Dress for the job
You might work in a smart casual office environment, but when you are away on business you are the face of the company. Make sure you pack smart clothing and comfortable shoes and ensure your hair is kept neat and clean. Those suit trousers or skirt will get creased though on the way so try to hang them up as soon as you get to your hotel room and if you’re lucky enough to have an iron then use it!

Stationery
Many people forget, but it’s important to always carry around a notepad and pen with you wherever you go on your business trip. It will prove helpful when you sit in on those business seminars or have a meeting with a client and need to take notes.

Eating out
Be careful with the cash whilst on your trip, you will usually be given a certain amount of money to last you over the few days or a company credit card, so the boss won’t appreciate if you blow this on expensive food on the first day. Also, don’t turn down free food or water. Many events will put on a buffet and hand out bottled water for visitors so eat something there – your boss will thank you in the long run when you don’t return with a mountain of receipts.

Keep receipts
Talking of receipts, your company will need a record of what you spent their money on whilst away, so be sure to only buy necessary items and hold onto every receipt to hand in when you return.

The main event
You’ve made it to your destination, you’ve got your important documents and stationery and you’re dressed like a true professional, now it’s time to actually do some work! You’ll be more than likely meeting with the top end representatives for your industry so you need to make a good impression, brush up on your small talk skills to avoid any awkward moments and be sure to look attentive and listen closely when someone is speaking to you.

If you’re new to your job or have never attended the event before do your research. Check who is going and brush up on what their speciality is, browse LinkedIn and put faces to names and make sure you’re up to date with the most current changes in your business area.

Alcohol can be a key factor of some business events and trips, make sure you keep your intake to a minimum. We’ve said it before but you are the face of your company on these trips so you want to maintain that status and act accordingly. Nurse a beer or glass of wine or two for the evening and stay pretty much sober. It sounds boring but you’ll thank yourself later when you awake refreshed and focused the next morning.

Have a good time
Most of all, have fun. You have been trusted to attend this business trip so your bosses must believe in you. It’s time to prove your worth but also enjoy the freedom of being away from the office, as well as a chance to network and brush shoulders with leading representatives for businesses in the industry. Simply put; be punctual, look smart, talk business and enjoy the experience.