Some professionals welcome business trips. If it’s your first trip, it’s important to obtain the lay of the land. Even those who have been on a few trips benefit from double-checking company protocols.
Business travel has a purpose. Companies send representatives to meetings, conferences, and seminars to network, close deals, and obtain information. Some travelers don’t receive an opportunity to sightsee, relax, or deviate from their itinerary.
The following are seven questions to ask your company before going on a business trip.
1. What Is the Purpose of the Trip?
In business, an opportunity to make a great impression is always possible, including during company travel.
Before you head out, ensure that you understand the purpose of the trip. On the surface, your company scheduled you to meet with clients in person. If you need to convince a client to close a deal, renew their contract, or answer their questions, the task takes preparation.
You also need to read between the lines.
Sometimes your employer needs you to acquire another client too. Other times, they need you to make a connection with a new supplier.
2. Which Expenses Are Covered?
Your role, company size, and company’s stage determine the extent of your travel expense account. Professionals who climb up the corporate ladder receive a larger allowance. It covers first-class travel, five-star restaurants, and entertainment.
Before you head out to your destination, find out what travel expenses your employer covers. Also, find out the reimbursement process.
For example, if you drive to your destination in your vehicle, find out the company mileage policy.
3. Who Books My Travels?
Corporations have a staff that handles the company’s travel arrangements, reimbursements, and emergency calls. Mid-size companies often dedicate a staff member to these duties too.
With smaller companies, who books the travels varies – it might be you.
Find out who sets up the transportation arrangements, accommodations, and meals. High-level executives have assistants who handle these details. In addition, they travel with a corporate credit card.
Understand who books your travel promptly. The sooner you start looking up flights, rental cars, and hotels, the sooner you can see the availability and rates.
4. What Is My Itinerary?
Before you hit the road, find out your itinerary. It details the destination, schedule, and other important tidbits. It tells you when your flight leaves and when you return.
The itinerary details the hotel information, meeting locations, and where you will eat.
Once you have your itinerary, complete some due diligence on the destination, people you will meet with, and other pertinent details.
5. Is There a Dress Code?
It’s exciting to participate in a business trip. However, you remain a representative for your employer. Thus, if a company travel dress code exists, find out.
Next, adhere to it.
Remember that traveling to meet new colleagues, industry insiders, and professionals is an opportunity to make an impression and network. You might meet someone who can help you move up within the organization. Impress a potential mentor with your skills, knowledge, and appearance.
6. Who Do I Call In Case of an Emergency?
The world continues to turn even though you find yourself on a business trip. It’s possible to sustain an injury or become involved in an accident while traveling.
Business travel insurance continues to gain traction. It helps companies cover costs associated with injured employees while traveling.
Before you head out on the road, ask who you call if you sustain an injury or become involved in an accident. In 2015, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration ruled that road injuries require reporting.
Remember to seek medical treatment as necessary. To receive an official report, notify the local authorities too. Then call your company’s emergency contact to file a report.
7. Who Is My Contact at My Destination?
When you arrive at your destination, it’s important to know who to contact. At the least, you want to know where to check in for your meeting, training, or conference.
You don’t want to fly blind in these situations.
Representing your employer on a business trip is recognition of your work. They trust you enough to meet with clients, suppliers, and industry members. Make the most of the opportunity. Plus, ensure that you understand company protocols. Ask the important questions before you leave.