Lessons Learned on the Road: Smart Tips and Tricks for Small Business Travelers
Traveling is a necessary part of growing a business, whether it’s attending conferences for learning and networking or meeting with investors and potential clients. Thanks to technology, today’s small business professionals can continue operations and communicating with clients and staff from airports, hotel rooms, and coffee shops around the world. Here are my smart tips and tricks for small business travelers.
I am blogging on behalf of Visa Business and received compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. Visit http://facebook.com/visasmallbiz to take a look at the reinvented Facebook Page: Well Sourced by Visa Business. The Page serves as a space where small business owners can access educational resources, read success stories from other business owners, engage with peers, and find tips to help businesses run more efficiently. Every month, the Page will introduce a new theme that will focus on a topic important to a small business owner’s success. For additional tips and advice, and information about Visa’s small business solutions, follow @VisaSmallBiz and visit http://visa.com/business.
Smart Tips and Tricks for Small Business Travelers
In the early years, many entrepreneurs (including myself!) learn a few things the hard way. By learning from their experiences, small business professionals can have more successful road trips, and network without missing out on crucial business processes. Here are a few things I’ve learned during my time on the road as a small business owner.
Invest in WiFi / MiFi Connectivity
Many professionals spend their time traveling from hotel room to coffee shop, desperately seeking to remain connected at all times. One of the best investments a traveler can make is in a WiFi hotspot to ensure internet connectivity from anywhere. This means no more paying airport WiFi subscriptions or trying to make a password work in a hotel room. Each of the mobile phone providers has MiFi solutions that can be added to your account for a reasonable monthly price.
Always Have Access to Files
Few things are more frustrating than arriving at your destination to find you’re missing crucial files. In previous years, professionals were forced to try to get someone back at the office to email those files. Thanks to the cloud, and solutions like Dropbox and box, a traveling employee can access everything from a virtual file cabinet.
One problem we all run into when traveling is the draining of the battery – whether on our smartphone, laptop or tablet – so it’s imperative that you have the ability to extend your battery life or charge on the go. Travel chargers like the Mophie Powerstation Duo allow you to charge two devices at the same time – so you can charge your device and offer an outlet to any newbie travelers that might be with you!
Technology has allowed us the ability to travel much lighter than ever – leaving bulky laptops and paper-loaded file folders back in the office. Today’s tablets, such as the Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab, allow you functionality and access almost equal to your laptop or PC. By creatively using the cloud and apps, like GoToMyPC, you can travel with a tablet only and stay just as productive and connected as if you were in the office.
Use Wireless Printing
Printing on the go can be a headache, but technology has made this easier, as well. Wireless printing allows professionals to send a document to a printer using a tablet, smartphone, or PC without requiring manual driver installation. In some cases, the document can be emailed to the printer, while in others, the device automatically recognizes nearby printers and installs necessary drivers. If no printer is available in the business center of your hotel, FedEx Office locations now offer Cloud Print, providing a variety of ways to print documents for pickup.
It’s easier than ever for professionals to continue business operations while traveling the globe. Using the technology available today, small business owners can stay in touch with team members and clients, and have the tools they need to conduct business successfully while traveling.