The Suite 4 team has been traveling quite a bit lately for various conferences around the country. Along the way, we’ve picked up some tips and tricks to help make traveling for your small business as easy and productive as possible.
Audrey’s Favorite Hack
One thing that we at Suite 4 enjoy doing when we travel for business is to extend the trip for a day or two at the end. By planning for extra time in the place you’re visiting, you have an opportunity for great business practices as well as some relaxation. Here are a few ideas for what to do with your extra day:
- If you’re traveling with co-workers, take this time to debrief after your meetings, conferences, etc. While all the information is still fresh, get your ideas flowing and have a productive brainstorm session.
- An extra day also gives you the opportunity to follow up on any newly established leads. Schedule meetings with new connections or local colleagues. Drop off a thank you note or gift to whoever hosted the event you attended.
- Take some time for yourself to explore the city or just relax. Traveling can be stressful if you’re rushing from one place to another. So take a little time to enjoy your experience in a new place. At Suite 4, we value family, freedom and fun, so taking a day to do just that helps reduce the stress of work and traveling.
Chase’s Favorite App
Business travel can be fun, but at the same time, sitting on a plane without WiFi can seem a bit debilitating. Here are some great apps that can help you stay productive at 30,000 feet:
We all know blogs are a great way to provide useful content and increase your website’s SEO, but how can you write blogs while you’re stuck on a plane? Well, if your website is created with WordPress, you can use their mobile app to draft your blog posts, even without an Internet connection. Then, when you land and are reconnected with civilization, you can publish your newly written masterpiece.
No matter what your industry is, there is almost guaranteed to be a podcast that would be beneficial to listen to. So what I like to do is download a handful of my favorite podcasts before getting on a plane. That way, they are available to listen to while I’m writing my blog posts on the WordPress app. There are plenty of podcast applications to choose from so just do a search and pick the one that looks the best to you. Personally, I use Podkicker, which is available for Android.
Miles’ Favorite Blog
When traveling on business, I try to be as efficient as possible. These are the three things I always do to make sure I don’t overpack, get through airport security quickly, and maintain my sanity when visiting a new city:
- Luggage Compression Sacks – These are my saving grace. They force me to pack only what I need for the trip and they save space in the suitcase. When Chase and I went to Florida, the compression sacks made room for all the conference materials I wanted to bring back. I use the medium size for trips around three days and the large for longer trips. I even use them when I go on backpacking trips over the summer.
- Fly in (Functional) Style – Flying in slightly fancier clothes is pretty rare these days. However, I’ve noticed if I fly in business casual attire, I get through security with relative ease. It also prevents you from having to go check into the hotel and change if you need to get to a meeting directly from the airport. I wear slip on dress shoes and try to pack as much in my bag as I can so I’m carrying only the essentials.
- Walk Around – I always bring running gear on any trip I go on, especially if it’s to a place I’ve never been. If you can make the time, go for a run or a long walk and explore. It helps take your focus off of work and, more often than not, you’ll learn something – or at least meet some interesting folks.
Devon’s Favorite Inspiration
I’ve spent this week in the sun at ICON in Phoenix, AZ. It’s a big conference geared towards small business marketing and success, hosted by Infusionsoft and a multitude of sponsors and partners. There’s something really special about hearing someone explain a concept you not only know, but apply to your own work every day in a new, succinct way. I walk out of each breakout session excited to take everything back to the office.
There are so many different ways people market and so many different ways to present similar information. My phone is now full of pictures of displays and slides, my bag is overflowing with handouts to inspire fresh ideas.