Business Travel Essentials
As a small business owner who works from home, business travel can be a part of the job you feel unprepared for. When you take your act on the road, you'll need the proper tools and social know-how to make a positive impression on potential clients and customers. While social skills will doubtlessly come with time and experience, there are some helpful travel essentials that will make your business trip much more manageable. Here are a few items you shouldn't leave behind.
When you're at a convention, business meeting, or job fair, business cards are indispensable. It may seem like a no-brainer, but business cards with your name, number, email, and any social media handles you have allow potential future employees, clients, and customers to remember you and your business. While many professionals clutter their business cards with stylish graphics, it’s worthwhile to leave an ample amount of blank space on your card for note taking, especially at conventions where each attendee collects so many cards.
Clean Hands, Healthy Trip
When you're on the road and around large numbers of people, the likelihood of getting sick drastically increases. As a precaution, bring along an antibacterial gel and be sure to use it regularly. Illnesses can spread through convention centers, airports, and even hotels with incredible ease. It also might be a good idea to include immune system boosters like Emergen-C or Airborne in your luggage. The last thing you want is a nasty bug jeopardizing your chance at making a good first impression and substantially expanding your market.
If you expect to drive a lot on your business trip, a pair of polarized sunglasses are worth their weight in gold. Even on cloudy days, glare can cause you to squint and strain your eyes, which can lead to headaches or even lasting eye damage. Furthermore, a stylish pair of sunglasses livens up your outfit and overall presentation. You should always take into account that different lenses cut down glare better in certain light conditions. Assess your trip and weather conditions ahead of time and plan your eyewear accordingly.
A pair of nice pants and a jacket are a given on a business trip, but never underestimate how many shirts you may go through while on the road. If you're lucky, you'll have enough time to go to a laundromat, but oftentimes business travel means a schedule jammed with meetings. Several undershirts let you vary your style without packing your whole wardrobe. For greater variety, men can pack an extra pair of pants, while women can include extra pants or a skirt.
Every traveling professional has a smartphone or mobile device these days, which is an indispensable tool for myriad reasons. It allows you to connect with colleagues and customers through social media, keep track of finances and spending, and even keep your whole itinerary easily accessible. The TripIt app is free for download and, though its function is simple, it’s a life saver. The app aggregates all itinerary-related emails and organizes them by categories such as lodging, flights, etc. TripIt ensures that you’ll never lose track of your reservation number again. It also keeps your trips separate in case you have multiple planned.