The importance of business travel

How do you prepare your business trip well?

A successful business trip starts with a good preparation. This way you can keep the costs low and respond to possible incidents. In this article, you will find a number of tips for the business traveler.

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Packing up:

The preparation of a business trip is in part no different from that of a holiday. There are plenty of sites where you can find checklists to overlook the typical travel things (medicine, toilet bag, visa, passport, enough clothes, etc.)
If you only leave a few days, it is a good idea to bring only hand luggage: it saves time at the airport.

Create a program:

Yet a business trip is not called a business trip for anything. You do not go (alone) for pleasure, but you travel with a goal. Therefore prepare well. These points can help you:
1. Write down your expectations. What do you want to do, what do you want to achieve and how much time do you want to spend on it?
2. Make a budget. Be aware of the costs and set a limit. This can help you save money.
3. Create a program. Make a provisional program, possibly together with a business partner. This way you can get the most out of your time. Be open to adjustments.
4. Take care of the reservations. Print them out and take them with you, in case of misunderstandings you can check the facts and show them to third parties.

TIP: send yourself an e-mail with important information (booking number, flight number and times, important telephone numbers from home and from partners you visit etc.). If you lose everything, you have at least something to fall back on.

5. Make sure all papers are in order (passport, visa) and look at the health risks. Do you still need vaccinations or do you have to take other precautions?

Determine the purpose of your trip:

Your business trip can have different goals:
• Meet existing customers
• Expansion of clientele
• Get to know networks and culture

Meet existing customers:

When you meet existing customers, preparation is easy. You make clear agreements with the customer and you make a program together. As a result, you book the tickets and the hotel.

Take travel distances and strategic sensitivities into account when you meet multiple customers. Limit your travel time as much as possible and plan time free for working out your appointments and for socializing with your customer. You can also immerse yourself in the culture you visit: what is usual in business visits?

Expand customer base:

You will see more when expanding your customer base. Before you travel, you first want a clear picture of possible customers or partners abroad. You can realize this in various ways:
• You can, of course, inform yourself in your own network, with acquaintances or business contacts, whether they have information that you can use.
• In addition, a visit to the website of Agentschap NL, the agency of Economic Affairs that stimulates international business, is worthwhile.

The site is a good source of information for international business and cooperation.
• The Trade Information System (HIS) of the Chamber of Commerce can also provide information about foreign markets.

Get to know networks and culture:

Often an important motive is to go on a business trip to network and to get to know the other culture. Pure business interests are then subordinate. Business interests play a role in the second instance; First, you create a mutual benevolence by showing your interest in the culture and the people you want to do business with. It is good to find some information about the culture and maybe learn some words of the language.

Health and diplomacy:

A handy site for information about business travel and health is that of De Travel clinic

It is also useful to write down the address and telephone number of the Dutch embassy or consulate in the country of destination. One of the functions of a consulate is to represent the Netherlands, also in the business area. A consulate can therefore also provide information in the business area. More information about embassies and consulates can be found on the website of Foreign Affairs.

Your employees on a business trip:

A quarter of companies pay a general allowance of up to 50 percent of the salary for business travel, in addition to the reimbursement of the costs.
The differences in Dutch business are large in this. So consult with your employees about the reimbursements they receive when traveling abroad for the business.

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