Keeping Your Business on Track When You’re on the Road

If your business requires regular travel, you may occasionally need extra hands on deck to manage business functions while you’re on the road. Freelancers and independent contractors can be great options for this role. You can essentially call them into service as necessary and rest assured you’ll have access to expert services. Here are some additional suggestions from The Wonder Map to help take the stress and sting out of that next big corporate trip.

Business Planning Practices

Having a fully functional business plan in place can help ensure all of your key operational functions continue to run smoothly, even when you’re not physically available to oversee them. A detailed business and marketing agenda identifies and defines goals and objectives, fully outlines contractual elements with vendors and contractors, and essentially serves as a blueprint for how your operation functions. If you have partners or staff members on hand, they can likely enact your agenda while you’re on the road. Periodically checking in can give you peace of mind that things are running as anticipated.

track business while traveling

Prep Your Team

Anytime you’ll be out of the office for any period of time, it’s a smart idea to prep your team on what they should have on their radar during your absence. This might include meetings, deliveries, project timelines, or other key business functions that need personalized attention. Have a meeting in advance with your key staffers to provide an overview and rundown, as well as leave them with appropriate backup materials. Keep in mind, with the advent of video conferencing functions, if your schedule permits, you should be able to join meetings, participate in short huddles, and be available to troubleshoot and answer questions as necessary.

Also, especially when you’re on the road, expect to make frequent use of email — meaning you should keep in mind this free, easy PDF compressor tool so that you can send work documents without overloading anyone’s inbox.

Utilize Freelancers

If your team needs an extra set of hands while you’re out of the office, well-qualified freelancers or independent contractors can fit the bill. For example, if your team is in the process of putting together an advertising strategy pitch and you have to make an emergency cross-country business trip, bringing in a seasoned copywriter, editor, or graphic designer can help your project stay on track. You can utilize online job boards to find everyone from social media managers to video editing services and other professional services. Assess candidates by reading reviews, judging their experience, delivery time, and cost before hiring anyone.

Be Prepared

There can be a lot of moving parts involved with business travel. Make sure you pack appropriately and have everything you need for meetings. Likewise, remember to pack business attire, your laptop, and chargers, and files critical to your trip. If there’s a time difference, and you plan to check in, ensure you’re all on the same page time-wise. Don’t forget about keeping an eye on ever-changing COVID-19 travel restrictions and guidelines. You may need to test prior to entering a country, or leaving. You can find guidelines on the Centers for Disease Control website.  

Post-Trip Follow-Up

According to Rhythm Systems, once you are back in the office following a business trip, it’s smart to set aside time for a team meeting or individual one-on-one huddles with key staffers to make sure you’re brought up to speed on everything that happened in your absence. If there were decisions that were postponed or questions that only you can address, ensure you’re managing everything that needs to be managed so your business runs smoothly and without hiccups. This is also a good time to troubleshoot things that didn’t go so smoothly to avoid future bumps.

Business travel is a necessity for most small business owners, and being prepared before, during, and after a trip can help you have continuity in operations. If there are major events, deadlines, or meetings that will have to be handled in your absence, consider rescheduling, or giving clients or vendors a heads-up that a trusted colleague or representative will be handling matters in your stead.

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