When you’re trying to grow a business, it’s important to step outside of your comfort zone. Scouting out locations for a new branch or trying to find a new home for your current office takes time and lots of hard work. Depending on how far afield you are searching, it might also involve a great deal of travel.
Rather than seeing this as a chore, you need to maximise the potential of every trip. You never know when a chance conversation could turn into a major deal with an investor. You simply can’t tell if visiting a downtown co-working space is going to lead you to the perfect office. This is why every business trip is special and loaded with opportunity. Make them count.
This guide to getting the most out of national (or international) networking will help you understand why being a wanderer is a great asset.
Plenty of Virtual Offices
If you find it hard to maintain a solid, controlled schedule while working away, find a virtual office in the city or region that you are visiting. There are some superb providers in New York, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Orange County, LA, Philadelphia, and more. Visit www.servcorp.com/en/virtual-offices/ for a full list of locations. You can register and ‘drop in’ to use the broad range of corporate services and resources on offer.
Expedited Travel Plans
While investing in business programs and buying frequent traveller passes costs you more in the short term, it has been proved by many entrepreneurs that they offer value for money over longer periods. Expedited travel schemes like TSA Precheck, Nexus, Sentri, and Global Entry allow registered customers to get through security and broad within a much briefer window. Similarly, you can stop wasting time and avoid the lines for train and subway tickets if you pick up annual passes.
Prepare to Network
Business trips are rarely leisurely. There is usually a lot to do in a short space of time, so it’s important to utilise local information. Spending time at a co-working space is a good way to get to know fellow entrepreneurs and learn about what the city has to offer. You might hear news of other networking events, pitch nights, presentations, or workshops. You could end up connecting with somebody new and making plans to work together right then and there.
Always Stay In Touch
Even if you have full faith in your management team, you should still try to check in with the business back home. There are all kinds of great ways to stay connected and be involved with what is happening in the office, even if you’re halfway around the world. Video streaming and conferencing tools allow absentee business owners to chat with employees and even sit in on meetings. You can continue editing and approving documents with the use of collaborative sharing software like Google Drive and DropBox.
Take Care of Yourself
No matter how busy you get on your trip or how many appointments you’re committed to keeping, you must schedule some time for rest. Travel, particularly overseas, can be very tiring and it is easy to skip meals, stay up late, and put a strain on your body. Unfortunately, this can lead to burnout, so downtime is not a personal preference. It is a necessity. Try to stay away from fast food and convenience snacks. They may be great for ‘on the go’ satisfaction, but they won’t keep you as energised as you think.
Why Virtual Office Solutions Are Your Secret Weapon
So, you’ve got a comfy hotel for the duration of your stay. It won’t provide everything that you need. Virtual offices, however, are a ‘one stop shop’ for travelling business owners. Here, you can get hooked up to the internet, collect mail, take telephone calls, utilise secretaries and admin assistants, network with tenants, and even take advantage of kitchen and leisure areas.