When you run a business or you work within a business that operates internationally, chances are you’ll have to travel within your role every now and again. Whether this is to meet with clients, for networking opportunities or another reason, it can prove to be very beneficial to travel.
But there are downsides that come with business travel. Not only can it be a huge expense for the business, but it can have a direct effect on you or your employees. Therefore, it’s important that you weigh up the pros and cons that come with the prospect before taking the leap.
To get you on the right track, here are the top benefits and downsides of business travel:
Let’s start with the pros:
As aforementioned, networking opportunities are one of the biggest benefits that comes with international travel. Giving you and your employees the chance to attend a variety of trade shows and events, the business has a chance to expand.
Through these trade shows, you can connect with others within your industry as well as prospective clients and grow your brand. From meeting these people face to face, you’ll stand a higher likelihood of a strong connection – rather than trying to connect with them virtually.
Another prominent benefit that comes with business travel is the chance to meet with your clients physically. Getting to see their premises and meet them in person, you’ll get a better idea of what they need from your business.
You can also use the opportunity to sell what you have to offer – rather than meeting with them via Skype or another virtual method, it shows a level of professionalism that your competitors might not offer.
During a business trip, your employees could learn more about their job and come back from travelling with a new admiration for their role. Whether this is because they had the opportunity to meet with clients or others within the industry, or they attended a trade show/training, it’s a huge benefit that you can reap as a n employer.
Now, let’s explore the cons that come with business travel:
Unfortunately, business travel isn’t cheap. Costing the company thousands of pounds each year (or more depending on the number of employees that need to travel for work), it’s something that might not be in the budget for startups or smaller businesses.
Not only will you have to consider the price of the plane ticket, but the hotel room, amenities, food and drink, travelling around the area, etc.
If you’re concerned about spending more than necessary on a vehicle for business travel, it is worth reading this blog post on 6Forget Vw Transporter Kombi Lease: 10 Reasons Why You No Longer Need It, which helps to understand some of the advantages and disadvantages.
You might also find that certain employees require items, such as a work phone that works internationally or a business laptop that they can use when they are travelling.
Considering them to be ‘What The Business Traveler Really Needs’, without these seemingly essential items, they won’t be able to do their job as efficiently as possible.
From missed connections to traffic and other travel-related issues, you or your employees might find that travelling is very stressful. When you or they are feeling the stress, it can result in the trip feeling unproductive.
This demotivational emotion will reflect on the success of the trip and could damage your brand in the long term.
For example, if one of your employees arrives at a crucial business meeting flustered and angry at something that happened whilst they were travelling there, it could put a damper on the meeting.
Following on from the above, it can sometimes feel difficult to manage workload, along with regular meetings whilst travelling. Attempting to stay productive whilst you’re on the go, whether you’re travelling near or far is a struggle felt by everyone.
From trouble with the WiFi to devices running out of battery, it’s undeniable that at times you’ll see a decrease in productivity of those having to travel for business.
Another big downside that’s worth mentioning is the effect that frequent business travel has on an employees’ health and fitness.
Whether this is due to the stress caused by travelling, the fact that they/you have to catch late flights, the constant unhealthy food that’s consumed or the lack of exercise that travelling brings, it’s a negative that should not be forgotten.
With frequent business travel comes the prospect of you or your employees not being able to see friends and family. And while this might not be something that initially bothers you as a business owner, it’s something that will certainly affect your employees.
If you request that certain employees spend large portions of their time travelling for work, it could lead to them resenting the decision. To help prevent this from happening, it’s good to have a happy medium.
If your business must have employees travelling regularly, consider opting for virtual meetings half the time and switching up the employees that are travelling. For your business to be successful, you ultimately need to keep your employees on your side – so think about their needs alongside what the business requires.
So, there you go. Those are the top pros and cons that come with having to travel for business, whether it’s a private jet you’re after or economy class. As mentioned, if it’s something that can’t be avoided, consider other ways that you can ease the stress that comes with the process – this will help with any of the downsides associated with the decision.
However, the benefits that come with it are something that shouldn’t be ignored. A key way of growing your business in the long term and getting the word out about what you have to offer, it could be the competitive edge that you were looking for.
At the end of the day, it’s up to your business as to whether travelling for it is right for you. But by using the above, along with other resources, this decision will be made a lot easier.