Business travel is inevitable for most people in the Nigerian workforce. Aside from the fact that it contributes a lot to the economy and GDP of the country, it opens doors for the individual businessman or woman, opportunity seeker, and small scale business person or business owner.
In Nigeria, however, many companies view business travel simply as an expense and do not see the benefits that come from it. They, therefore, budget very little for it, making the trip in itself extremely tedious for the employee who gets the assignment to embark on the journey. The truth is, no matter the budget or destination, any Nigerian can survive a business trip by following certain rules.
WE share five tips to aid Nigerians who regularly find themselves on the move for business.
- Ensure you draft a packing list, and use it at all times.
As a traveller, you already know what is essential to your trip and what is dispensable. However, before you set out on your journey, ensure you make a checklist where you include every item you will be travelling with, including personal documents and gadgets. This helps you remain organized and there is a very low risk of forgetting anything you need for the trip, or leaving it behind at your hotel. You really do not need to download an app or use software to do this; a pen and paper will suffice. Good thing is that once you make the list, you can always use it for every other business trip, only updating it where necessary.
2. Be punctual
Although some business trips might be impromptu, most are usually scheduled with ample time to make pre-arrangements. Do not leave your travel arrangements to the last minute and if the office is making the arrangements for you, ensure you follow up, making sure they keep you updated. Try and book your flight in advance. And on the day of the trip, get to the airport on time; check in on the way if you can, that way you limit every chance of missing your flight and dealing with the complications of a cancellation. Also ensure that you call ahead to notify the hotel and the car rental, and if you are being picked up by business partners at your destination, an early or scheduled arrival gives a good impression and hence a good start.
3. Make sure you keep your devices charging
When you are on the road, your devices should remain charged as they are what keeps you connected to your office and the contacts at your destination. Also, in this era of laptops and iPads, most of our information are stored as files on these gadgets. Charge these devices to full capacity before you set out on the trip, and even while on the trip, carry a travel charger and look out for ports where you can plug in and keep them charging. A great idea will be to pack a power bank which is very portable. Also, you can travel with extra batteries.
4. Stay on top of your expenses
When you are on business trip, usually your expenses are catered to by the office management. In most cases, there will be a budget while in other cases you would be asked to bring back a list of costs insured for reimbursement. Whatever the case, it is important to stay on top of your expenses. The office will not reimburse you for everything. Take a small jotter to record your expenses and ensure you write on the back of each receipt where you were or the reason for the expense. Keeping track of all your purchases and expenses will help you stick to your budget and will make writing a report easier.
5. Ignore the minibar and room service
The minibar poses a huge temptation for most business travellers as it is usually easy to just reach into the fridge and snack on something while working. But the thing about most minibars is that the price of the items in the minibar is highly inflated and never worth the convenience. Even the room service comes at an extra charge and also deprives you the chance to stretch your legs and drink in the ambiance of the hotel surroundings. The fact that you are on a business trip, does not mean you are confined to the hotel. Forget the minibar and room service, go out to local restaurants and stores far away from your hotel, mingle with others and explore in your free hours. Rather than spend more in the hotel, you will gain enriching experiences that you can share with your colleagues upon your return to the office.