Many people dream of the time when they will be able to travel for business purposes, thinking that this will be an exotic and enjoyable perk to being in business. There are several things to consider, however, about how travel can actually hurt your business and not offer you the advantages that you might have expected.
1. Cost investment - Travel can be an expensive proposition, especially if you are paying the full bill with the hope that your revenue will increase as a result. Whether it is air flights or travel by vehicle, there are a number of fixed costs. Add hotel rooms, meals and incidental expenses and you will soon realize that a business trip is a costly undertaking.
2. Time investment - When I travel I always add one extra day without clients for my return as frequently the flights delay me. Weather or mechanical difficulties can change your travel schedule. Sometimes you might need to leave home the day before an appointment because of the distance. Airport time can seem long and unless you are very organized, might not be very productive.
3. Loss of Income - When I go to a conference or workshop I have to calculate not just the expenses for attending but also the loss of income for the days that I will not be able to see clients.
4. Distance from Family - Business trips can take away from what you might otherwise be doing with loved ones. perhaps you will miss a concert or sporting event or birthday celebration.
If there is any opportunity for you to be able to replace an out of town trip with a telephone conference you will save both time and money. If you really must go, however, take your laptop computer and some projects that you can work on during the travel and evening hours. I usually stay in the hotel until the day after a conference so that I can review my notes and organize the materials that I was given. That reinforces my learning and allows me to just put the binder on the shelf when I come home knowing that I have done what needed to be done.
If you can add a couple of days to a business trip rather than booking holidays in a block, you will be able to not feel as rushed and also have an opportunity to enjoy the culture and geographic area.
You see, rather than treating travel as an exotic luxury or a "have to do", you can plan your travel so that you will have an enjoyable and productive time.