Is Travel the Secret to Your Business Success?
Business travel has been huge in the last few years, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
Business travel is an explosive market. The Concur State of Business Travel Report recently showed that the busiest 1 percent of business travelers in 2015 boarded an average of 146 flights annually. This means they were taking off every 2.5 days!
According to data from the Global Business Travel Association, business travel spending is expected to grow by 6.1 percent in 2018, which is an increase from the 5.1 percent in 2017. Growth prospects for the business travel industry look strong all the way into 2020. This renewed optimism is likely driven by an increase in global trade.
Jetting off to do business in a far-off location may be exciting, but is it good business? Does traveling for business improve your bottom line? Let’s take a look at the ways in which travel can actually benefit your business and become the secret to your success.
International Conferences & Events
Conference can offer a lot of benefits for your business. If there is a major event within your industry taking place this year, consider attending – no matter where in the world it may be!
Here are some of the main advantages to attending conferences and events worldwide:
- You will learn valuable insight from the industry’s most experienced leaders
- You’ll have the opportunity to meet many different people and potentially form new business partnerships
- You will be taking the time off work to “sharpen the saw”, which is a practice mentioned by Stephen Covey in his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- You’ll often see some of the new tools that are available within your industry and even get a hands-on demonstration
- You’ll be able to position yourself as an expert and develop a reputation among clients and peers
Not to mention, conferences can be fun! They mix social interaction with your career and allow you to strengthen your rapport amongst your peers.
Face-to-Face Time With Clients
Thanks to technology, we really don’t need to travel. Even if you run a business with clients and partners all over the world, you can meet with everyone virtually thanks to the power of video chat. Although technology allows us to communicate across distances, it will never replace the power of face-to-face meetings.
In-person meetings are a very effective way to connect with your clients. You can convey so much more than you can via text, email or even a Skype call. If you have a product to promote, you can actually place it in their hands and let them experience it with all of their senses – rather than just trying to describe it. Plus, you can see their true reaction to it in real time.
While it can be difficult to manage traveling to your client’s location, many of them will appreciate it enormously. It will allow you to make a lasting impression, which is important in business. It will also allow you to develop transparency and trust, something that is very difficult to do strictly over the internet.
Expanding Your Network
Expanding your network of connections is important – especially when you are a startup looking to grow. If you aren’t sure where to start, Business Insider recommends beginning your travel networking in a country that has a similar culture and economic infrastructure.
For example, if you are a business based in the USA you might have success expanding into Canada or Western Europe. These are both regions that are somewhat similar to the USA. As a result, you may have a good opportunity to sell your products or services there.
Of course, make sure that you do your research on where you plan to sell and ensure that you are marketing your products and services in the right way. Whenever you enter a new location, you will need to adjust your pitch to meet the local standards there. It’s also helpful to know a little bit about the country that you are expanding into, so that when your new clients ask you why you want to do business there you will have an answer.
Increasing Sales Revenue
Business travel can really pay off if it is done right. Companies who are struggling to improve their bottom line might be tempted to cut down their travel budget and rely on teleconferencing to cut costs. Traveling can, however, be one of the most effective ways to win new clients and strengthen relationships with existing ones.
A study by IHS Global Insight for the National Business Travel Association found that the average return on corporate travel investment was 15 to 1. So, for every dollar that the average company spends on travel they experience a $15 increase in profit due to improved sales. The study also found that businesses with larger business travel spending saw increased sales volumes. Something worth looking into, don’t you think?
The Bottom Line: Travel is Good for Business
With business travel offering so many benefits to companies, how will your business use travel to grow and thrive this year? Let us know where you are heading in 2018, we can help to make sure your corporate travel plans go as smoothly as possible.
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