You're just getting your entrepreneurial dream venture off the ground and you're wondering, how do I make this work? Well, part of making your new venture work is having proficient work habits -- both inside of the office and on the road.
Traveling is one of the most time consuming undertakings, and balancing launching and running your new business AND meeting with people outside of the office is not an easy endeavor. This is a balancing act that takes practice, and if done properly will pay off big time in the long run. To make the best use of your time on the road as an entrepreneur, adopt these 10 travel habits:
- Have a goal for every meeting and do everything you can to meet it. How else will you continue to move forward?
- Keep meetings to the point and with limited distractions. The days of fancy lunches and afternoon cocktails are over. Why? Because they're inefficient. In some cases it's still appropriate to conduct business that way, but in most cases it's a wasteful way to spend your limited and closely watched capital. Impress people with your business acumen over coffee instead.
- Have an efficient schedule. You should live by this rule. Don't schedule too many meetings in one day, and don't schedule too few. Find a balance that works for you. Schedule time to answer emails, return missed calls and follow up on projects.
- Don't be afraid to take notes. By taking notes you're stimulating and engaging your brain, increasing your ability to process and retain information. Type your notes up when you return and save them in a place you can easily reference later. Go back to these notes when you return from your trip and double check that you didn't miss anything. When you reread the tiniest of details after your trip, you'll be thankful you didn't leave it to your brain to take on retaining this information.
- Be your own hype man. If you had a great meeting or signed a big contract, email potential partners, investors and clients to let them know. Get them excited about the work you're doing and the future of your business.
- Stay energized. If you're sitting in a meeting dozing off from exhaustion you're wasting your time and everyone else's. Be productive by eating foods that keep you energized and get a good night's rest.
- Don't multitask in meetings. Give your full attention to the person or group you're meeting. Don't make them feel as if they're unimportant and not worthy of your time. Put your mobile phone away with the ringer and notifications off.
- Make smart travel decisions. It's tempting to book a first class flight or stay in a 5 star hotel, especially if you traveled like this for a previous company. But now that the financial responsibility is all yours, is it worth it? Is the trade-off of not being able to afford the best web developer for a project worth that week-long stay at a swanky hotel?
- Use apps and gadgets to your advantage. Apps like TripIt store all of your travel information (including confirmation numbers) in one place -- flight, hotel, car rental, everything. Download the app to your smartphone or tablet and allow it to sync automatically to your email. Take advantage of other apps like Yelp, Taxi Magic and Google Keep.
- Recap the day's progress at the end of the day. Send your email follow ups, assign actionable items to team members, and do a general recap of what you were able to accomplish during the day. This not only helps to keep you organized, it moves tasks forward that may otherwise stand still until you return home.
Just by adopting a few simple habits you can quickly turn mediocre business trips into efficient and prosperous ones.
Author Bio: Breanna Wilson shares her business travel advice on CaffeineandWhiskey.com and has been published on FastCompany.com, SmarterTravel.com, WomenOnTheirWay.com and more. She offers unique insight on the subject of efficient business travel and welcomes anyone to reach out to her on Google+ or Twitter!
(Image: coward_lion via freedigitalphotos.net)