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Business Travel Tips for Summer’s End

Whether your business is a start-up or long-established, you need the most from your traveling time.

 

Like you, I am an experienced traveler. FBusiness Travel blogor business, and for our Marketing Automation Group Live Events, I travel routinely all over the United States. I enjoy travel, especially when I can build in value—wherever I am.

 

On the road: Tips for busy entrepreneurs

 

At the end of summer, and as the back-to-business vibe kicks in, it is worth revisiting whether you can get a little more time for you—or your business—on days you are traveling. Consider these ideas when you want to get where you are going, a little easier:

 

Expedited screening: When traveling by air, you spend a lot of time waiting. Reduce the delay by registering for programs like TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, and other fast-lane programs. Choose the service that suits your travel habits or geographical location.

 

  • Transportation Security Administration (TSA) PreCheck: TSA Pre gives you a faster way to move through security screening at most airports across the United States. With a shorter line through screening, you need not remove shoes, liquids, or laptops from your carry-on luggage. The cost of TSAPreCheck is $85 for three years. You can apply online.

 

  • Global Entry: At $100 for five years, Global Entry is more expensive than TSAPre, but there are more perks. As the name implies, the service applies to passport and customs entry points at the United States border, not just within the country. Once registered, and returning to the U.S., you need only present your passport or identification at a Global Entry kiosk, scan your fingertips to verify identity and complete the standard customs declaration. Global Entry includes other services like Nexus, and Sentri, which offer similar expedited service to travelers to Canada and Mexico.

 

No expedited screening service guarantees that you may not occasionally be asked to step out of line and move through the usual security process. That said, you can save real time by taking advantage of programs that move you through security lines faster. Otherwise, try to wear shoes without laces.

 

Loyalty or not: Frequent flyer and other rewards cards just ain’t what they used to be. Because small business owners depend on affordable air travel, paying attention to these shifting, and sometimes shifty, programs is essential.

 

Delta Airlines recently changed the base of its popular SkyMiles reward system from miles traveled to dollars spent on airfare. Obviously, if you get a less expensive seat, correspondingly, your benefit goes down.

 

For any airline rewards, check the fine print. Because reward programs are changing, consider redeeming miles, and know the credit card cash-back benefits tied into airline points before applying. Remember that loyalty programs have nothing to do with loyalty. Manage frequent flyer miles with AwardWallet, TripIt, or other apps.

 

The devices: Make sure you charge all devices before you go, keep chargers with you, and carry small back-up charging devices. That said, the big risk for entrepreneurs traveling abroad is compatibility and security. If you travel often, you already know what your carrier provides. If you don’t already know—it is time to find out.

 

Information security, when traveling, is paramount. Some clients I know take temporary or blank devices when they travel. Many companies issue travel devices that are secure and wiped clean of proprietary and sensitive information. When traveling, consider these tips for devices that carry highly-sensitive business and personal data:

 

  • When not in use, turn the device completely off.
  • Before departing, make sure your device has all patches and appropriate security software installed. Create a temporary, or travel only, email account.
  • Assume encrypted data can be captured, and do not expose sensitive information over free wifi networks. Do not use shared devices.
  • Reset passwords before traveling, and upon return.
  • Do not use your travel devices upon return until they are reformatted and software reinstalled to ensure ongoing security.
  • Consider taping over laptop or other device cameras, and disconnect microphones.
  • Disable any file sharing capabilities or network protocols before traveling
  • Be sure to back up data.
  • When abroad, register for security alerts.

 

Quality work time while traveling: When flying, pay attention to layovers. Sometimes less is not more. Airlines are boarding 45 minutes before flights now, making it a tighter squeeze if you face a one-hour layover. Layovers offer focused work time if you packed what you need, and prioritized the work you can do ahead of time.

 

Best for last—traveling can get you business: While you already have a business agenda, and a client to meet on your trip, consider business opportunities along the way. In coach, or business class, be friendly, engage seatmates, inquire about their business, and talk about yours—if they are interested. While waiting in line at restaurants, events, or conferences, any time is a good time to strike up a conversation with another business traveler. Endless stories are told of serendipitous meetings on planes, during delays, and in long lines that result in ongoing business, and even partnerships.

 

Most small business owners travel at one time or another. Plan ahead to make your trip as easy—and productive—as possible. The goal is enjoy the road, and achieve your business goals.

When at home, or while traveling, time means money. When you want to get more value for your time and more money in your pocket, I hope you will call me at 585-633-7563.

Yours in profit,

Bob Britton

About the Author Bob Britton

Bob Britton is an accomplished entrepreneur with ​25 year’s experience ​starting, building and growing both brick-and-mortar companies as well as online businesses. ​He's personally built 3 companies from one man shows to the million dollar mark. Marketing Automation Group and the Automated Entrepreneur Method​® are his latest brainchild. After working with hundreds of business owners in every walk of business, he realized there was a HUGE gap in the support and training that was available, and set out to fill that void with his no-nonsense, hype free approach to business growth.

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