Successful business professionals understand that they must bring something to the table every time. Corporate travel provides unique opportunities to shine.
When your company sends you to obtain training and development away from the office, they invest in you. The company representatives expect that you will apply the knowledge you gained.
Therefore, you can prove your value to the company by setting goals for travel and following through on them.
Moreover, setting objectives keeps career paths focused. By breaking down what you’ll need to reach a destination, you can complete milestones efficiently.
We explore seven business goals to follow through with during business travel.
1. Improve Time Management
Successful corporate trips begin with solid time management. Trips have several moving parts and travelers don’t have control over them. The most important component is the flight.
Airlines cancel 10% of their flights on average annually. Sometimes the reasons for the cancellations are out of the control of the airlines too. For example, snow storms, iced-over runways, and aggressive winds will ground airplanes.
Besides weather, other reasons why airlines cancel flights include:
- Security risks
- Equipment issues
- Lack of staff
Knowing that a flight might depart late, traffic might delay your ride to the hotel, or your lunch appointment might run long, business professionals must overcome the obstacles by managing their time wisely.
In addition to arriving at the airport with time to spare, have Plan B in your back pocket, just in case.
2. Plan for Growth
On a corporate trip, you represent your company – you also represent yourself.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that salaried professionals remain with the same company for just over four years on average. In the 1950s, salaried employees, management, and workers turned into lifers.
Given the high turnover, growing your professional brand is another goal to set.
Bleisure is a concept that’s picking up among young travelers. While achieving a work-life balance is important for self-care, it’s also worthwhile to productively invest in your future during corporate travel.
For example, learn from veteran executives and travelers. Obtain book recommendations and find out what skills the market is currently seeking. Then, adjust that advice and use it to grow your value to employers.
3. Streamline Efficiency
Technology has shown the business world that it’s possible to improve processes and streamline efficiency.
As a traveler, you gain a unique perspective of company processes and operations outside of the office.
For example, if you spot redundancies during your trips, have a conversation with your company’s corporate travel planner.
Corporate travel planners benefit from having a system in place that easily finds short- and long-term accommodations for team members, among other tools.
Another trait of successful business professionals is a lack of shyness. They say that a closed mouth does not get fed. Therefore, establishing beneficial relationships with peers, managers, and executives requires networking.
Some people fear networking the way others fear public speaking. However, it’s necessary to master a few degrees in each.
Recognizing this, many turn to a public speaking consultant to help sharpen their communication skills. Just like a coach in sports, a public speaking consultant offers strategies and feedback to improve interaction and engagement. This professional guidance can transform a hesitant networker into a confident connector.
If you don’t know anyone in a room, pick someone and greet them. Then, find something that you both have in common or comment on a current best-selling business book. Ideally, the small talk will spark a conversation.
5. Leverage Information
When the medical community in the United States switched from paper medical records to digital, the records created an endless supply of data. In 2022, other industries have also found that they have access to a lot of information too.
As you travel, find a way to leverage information. You can use it to close a deal, start a conversation, or find new business partners.
The point is to make the data useful.
6. Comply with the Company Travel Policy
Each company develops a travel policy that suits its budget and processes. To make expense reimbursements easier to process, follow the policy.
Corporations and enterprises spend millions on corporate travel annually. However, small and mid-size businesses must watch every dollar. Solopreneurs also have to find creative ways to maximize business trips on limited budgets.
Following the corporate travel policy demonstrates that you respect the company and its rules.
7. Maximize Loyalty Rewards
The hospitality industry faces uncertainty just like other sectors. Thanks to Deloitte, Amazon, and IBM, hospitality service providers know that business travel is a valuable market segment.
When you travel, aim to maximize all loyalty rewards available to you. By maximizing them, you’ll accrue valuable points that you can use toward sought-after amenities and freebies.
Goals help professionals focus. It’s possible to maximize every moment of a corporate trip. Before you leave, establish some goals and follow through on them. You can improve your time management skills and become better at networking. It’s OK to start small since you’ll establish building blocks for the future.