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People have been traveling for business purposes, but things have really ramped in recent years. Thanks to economic legislation that makes it easier to conduct business across borders, plus the abundance of cheap flights available, more businesses than ever are choosing to travel overseas and see how they can improve their operations and profits.
However, business travel isn’t always a walk in the park. There are challenges, and it’s easy to make mistakes. Below, we take a look at the especially damaging ones that you should endeavour to avoid.
Timing is everything when it comes to business travel. You need to ensure that you’re giving yourself enough time to hold all of the meetings you want to hold and that you’re not too tired from a long flight.
When it comes to planning your trip, think realistically. How many meetings can you hold in one day? Will things quickly go wrong if one meeting goes on longer than planned? Are you able to land, refresh, and not to be too tired before you need to get down to work?
Essentially, you want to avoid overexerting yourself.
Not Researching the Culture
You might have common goals with the companies that you’re going to meet with when you’re traveling, but that might be where the similarities end. While some countries will feel like a slightly different version of your home country, others will feel like you’ve just visited another planet, one in which they do just about everything different!
As such, you’ll be well-served by researching the culture of the country you’re visiting before you hit the airport. It might just prevent you from accidentally insulting a potentially key business partner, or getting in trouble with the local law.
Relying on Good Faith
It’s easy to see how problems can arise when it comes to visiting a country that speaks a different language than your own. While you may be able to hold meetings in a common language (most likely English), there’s always the chance that something hasn’t been fully understood by both parties.
While this can be inconvenient when you’re talking in person, it can be outright damaging to your company if its written down into a contract. Before signing anything, make sure you’re working with a translation services company to ensure everyone can fully understand what is being agreed. You don’t want to end up with a bad deal, just because you couldn’t understand what you were agreeing to.
You’re there to work, and that should always be the priority, but it’s not the only thing you should be doing. You don’t work all the hours in the day when you’re at home, so why do it when you’re away?
Don’t feel guilty about taking some time to see the sights or taste the local dishes. You’ll be more relaxed, and thus in a better position to work well, if you’ve given yourself the opportunity to enjoy yourself while you’re away. Just don’t enjoy yourself too much!