4 Tips for a Small Business Owner Taking Their First Business Trip

Business trips are a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to expand their network and gain knowledge that they can apply to their company. These excursions aren’t just meant for large corporations; small business owners often have to attend conferences or meet with clients out of town.

If you have never traveled for your business, and you are about to embark on your first trip as an entrepreneur, here are 4 tips that you should look over.

  1. Trust Your Employees

You likely have a lot of sway over your employees. They trust you to lead them, and you trust them to perform at their best.

It can be difficult to maintain this trust while you’re away. Know that they are prepared to perform their roles even when you’re not in the office. Assign a trusted employee to be in charge and ask them to contact you in case an issue arises.

Brief your staff on your expectations of them before you leave. Review the following with them before the trip:

  • Escalation procedures.
  • Goals and objectives for the time period of your absence.
  • Expected milestones and outcomes.
  • Any concerns they may have.
  • Pack Accordingly

Packing for a business trip is a little different than packing for a Hawaiian vacation. With that in mind, it’s still important that you have everything you need. While this list is not exhaustive, make sure you have the following items:

  • Business cards. Along with your own information, bring the business cards of those you work with. You’ll want to have your referral partners’ contact information ready to hand out to clients or fellow conference attendees.
  • Hand sanitizer. As new and exciting as traveling is, it can be an invitation for unwelcome germs. You’ll be shaking a lot of hands and spending hours on crowded planes. Keep yourself in good health and fight off colds with a travel-sized bottle of antibacterial gel.
  • A phone charger. For a lot of small business owners, their phone is their primary connection to work. Make sure you never miss an email or call, even while you’re on the go. Consider investing in something like a Casely charging case that lets you charge your phone even when there’s not an outlet in sight.
  • Name tag. It’ll only take a few minutes for you to create a laminated name tag for yourself. Include your name, company, and title so others can know who you are. Make it generic so you can reuse it at future events.
  • Save Your Receipts

Be aware of how to deduct business expenses. You can deduct all of the following expenses that you incur while traveling for business:

  • Airfare.
  • MIleage (when you drive).
  • Tolls.
  • Parking fees.
  • Cab fare.
  • Luggage fees.
  • Dry cleaning.
  • Laundry.

Be mindful of limitations. For example, the IRS only lets you deduct 50% of meals.

Save the paper copies of your receipts and take pictures of them to have as a backup. This will keep you organized and prepared for when it comes time to file your taxes.

  • Plan Out Your Days

Try not to take a last-minute business trip. Little planning can cause unnecessary stress.

Once you know about a trip ahead of time, take initiative to plan each day out. Outline a schedule and allocate time for:

  • Travel
  • Business meetings.
  • Staff meetings (if you’re traveling with others).
  • Phone calls.
  • Independent work time.
  • Workouts/relaxation.
  • Meals.

Enjoy Your Trip as Much as Possible

As a small business owner, it can be difficult to take a real vacation. Make the most out of your trip away and eliminate unnecessary stress by following these 4 tips!

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