January 25

Some Common Misconceptions About Business Travel

download (19)Whenever you come across a business traveler walking around the airport, there are many thoughts that cross your mind. Let me begin by warning you, a lot of these might be wrong.

Business travelers face plenty of challenges. Always racing against time, they are constantly going from one airport to another, catching one flight to another. Lack of sleep, longer than expected working hours and sometimes even skipping meals are what a lot of travelers can tell about their trips. Naturally, it is not easy to cope up with such a routine and only the toughest manage to survive.

Traveling faces a lot of misconceptions. Here are some of the top of these.

1. It’s Always about Pleasures

Typically, whenever you hear of business travelers a lot of people think this trip is all about pleasures. Of course, all they can think about at that time is a paid trip, free air travel and all the other expenses.

It’s true that most of the companies pay for the entire trip. However, it’s way more than free meals and a stay at luxurious hotels. A business travel person often have to sacrifice a lot of their leisure time in order to meet deadlines and fulfill tasks.

2. They Travel in Style

It’s true that business travelers mostly have a charismatic personality and no matter how many insomniac days they’ve lived, they’d always travel in style. But the definition of style for many is entirely a different one. When you think of business travelers, you are automatically inclined to think that they must be traveling through the luxurious classes of the airline and staying at the most royal hotels.

The truth is, not many companies are able to afford this. Many business travelers commonly fly through the economy class and stay at the budgeted hotels.

3. Formal Clothing

It’s always desired to arrive at a meeting looking your best. However, the luggage restrictions can often make it hard to carry your best suit to a foreign land for the business meetings. It’s a huge relief that the businessmen all around the globe understand this restriction.

So the next time you’re eager to spot a traveler, they don’t always have to be in a suit to qualify as one. A fine looking pair of trousers and dress shirt would do an equally good job. A suit is no longer a qualification criterion of being a businessman.

4. A Lot of Work is Done

Of course, the trip is planned to get certain projects fulfilled. However, this is not always the case. Business traveling may not be always as successful as what the company has planned.

At times, business trips mean no work actually gets done. However, that trip might open more pathways to future successes. The trip might keep you very busy, but the company might not get the desired results.

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January 23

How Taxi Businesses Are Advancing and Their Resulting Impact on Customers

download (23)Taxis are an inevitable part of today’s transport setup and it can be rightly said that most people are completely reliable on them for their transport needs. Given into the rising demand, many taxi services have blossomed that constantly compete with each other to provide the best services to their customers. All these taxi services try to incorporate that one differentiating feature that gives them an edge over the others in competition. That is where advanced taxi management systems come into picture. These taxi management systems are a one stop solution to launch and run a smooth and successful taxi business. Such management systems take care of everything from pointing out available taxis, bookings, payments and post use services. They are of mutual benefits to both the customers and service providers.

Here is a look at what makes these taxi business management systems exclusive in the existing scenario:

· Easy to install apps

The new to the world and easy to install apps bring in great ease of usage for the customers. In world where everyone is smitten by the use of smart phones, these apps come in really handy. They are mostly supported by all kinds of IOS and Android devices and hence are accessible to majority of mobile users. Just a click on the app, you have a taxi on board. Making a booking on these apps is as easy as child’s play.

· Easy payments

Now you can carry cash or simply may choose not to. The advanced taxi management systems come with easy taxi payment solutions where bills cab be paid through credit and debits cards. You can even make use of online payment wallets that are linked to your accounts to make payments within seconds. For the drivers also, it is easier to accept secured payments and take up customers even when they travel cashless.

· User Engagement

Most taxi business management systems are designed around attracting more customers towards the business concerned and maintaining them through effective services. The more advanced and user-friendly the service is, greater are its chances to find a place in the customer’s mind such that he is driven to opt for the same service even next time. Here simplicity is the key. Taxi management software solutions are one of the most convenient and simple systems available for businesses in the market today.

· Well knitted dispatch systems

A well monitored taxi dispatch system ensures to bring on board the nearest available taxi. This makes a taxi quickly available to the customer and saves a lot of time on the driver’s end as well. All in all, an economical affair for the taxi businesses!

So, we observe that a taxi business has a lot of scope of up-gradation through advanced taxi management systems all which can loop in a lot of customers. This eventually would speak in favor of the taxi business enterprises while bringing convenience to customers.

 

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January 23

Duty of Care Is a No Brainer, Right?

download (22)More and more, Travel Risk Management is finally being addressed as organizations have realized the world is changing rapidly and what was done before, likely does not apply now. Cases are being litigated and lawsuits won due to a lack of knowledge and preparation on the sending organizations part. Much of the neglect is due to knowledge gaps, although some is due to cost (as it always is).

Many organizations are under the impression that they need to write policy for Travel Risk separately from other occupational safety and risk policies. This is not the case and it would make the task less daunting if organizations understood this. Rolling Travel Risk into a current security/crisis response plan would be much easier that trying to implement an entirely separate plan, although travel expertise is needed to write relevant and accurate travel policies.

We are asked to justify why Travel Risk Management should be as important a task as physical security of a building or safety measures taken on a factory floor. The answer we offer is in the form of another question; why would it not be as important?

Travel Risk is important mostly because organizations fail to acknowledge it as a vulnerability, therefore allowing organization members to travel without addressing the vulnerabilities at all. By failing to acknowledge threats or vulnerabilities associated with travel, the organizations is increasing the vulnerability level of their organization and putting their own people at risk. Organizations that have identified risks associated with travel, yet still refuse to address it could be found guilty of neglect, should an incident take place. A secondary effect of refusal to acknowledge travel risk is a false sense of security among travelers that could easily lead to a catastrophic event.

An easy way of determining the importance level of Travel Risk Management within your organization might be to ask yourself this, would I allow an employee onto a factory floor without a proper safety brief, or would I allow an employee to drive a company vehicle without ensuring they have a license to operate that vehicle (as well as insurance should an unavoidable event take place). Of course you would not, so why allow an employee or member to travel to an unfamiliar location without proper training and the information necessary to avoid a crisis situation.

Organizations have also refused to provide the necessary mitigating services to their members because “nothing bad has happened so far”. This is an argument that has no validity in regards to mitigating risk in any area or on any topic. In finance, you would not say that “this customer has never defaulted on a loan before, so we should give them the money without a proper risk assessment”. The same goes for the physical security of a building. You would not leave the front door unlocked just because you are in an upscale neighborhood that has never experienced crime in the past.

There are many reasons that organizations could use to avoid implementing policies that address Travel Risk Management. Fortunately the safety of travelers is not one of them. Most organizations would agree that safety is paramount over cost and that their company would not operate very efficiently without good workers. Understand that Travel Risk is very much a threat to your organizations continuity and success. If you continue to ignore it, you will be blindsided by civil and possibly criminal litigation. Don’t put your head in the sand, take the lead in corporate responsibility. Protect your investment in human capital and implement the safety measures necessary to avoid crisis situations abroad.

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January 22

Lifehacks to Make Your Business Trip Relaxing

images (4)5 Lifehacks to Make Your Business Trip Relaxing

Whether this is your first time to travel or you’ve traveled for more times than you can count, relax. Business trips can be fun. Of course, you have meetings to attend, business to take care of and employees to follow up with. Work does not mean you cannot see new places and meet new people. If you’re visiting a new city, you should take time to walk around and have fun. Here are the things you need to do to make your trip relaxing.

#1 Plan Your Trip

The words sound like a no brainer but seriously plan your trip. If you want to have fun, check events, restaurants, and places you are interested to see online and how close they are to where you intend to stay. You don’t want to spend your trip worrying about missing a meeting and definitely not exploring the city’s transportation system. Take some time before you actually travel and plan exactly where you want go. For directions, you can download Tripomatic: Trip Planner. This application comes with maps needed, so download it to your phone and you’re good to good to go. Tripomatic works offline.

#2 Follow Up With Your Employees

You can’t fully relax when you think of the disasters you might encounter when you go back to your company. All the issues you should’ve taken care of when you were traveling suddenly pops up. A good work-fun balance is definitely needed but once you start running your own business, you know that you have to work 24/7 to keep everything running smoothly and there are tools to help you. Sign up for an online time tracking system and you can easily follow up with your employees and check who showed up for work and who did not. And also they can write shift reports daily so you can exactly see what they are working on. ClockIn Portal is a good online time tracking tool that your company can use.

#3 Read Your Postal Mail Online

One of the things that makes a lot of company owners or managers worried when they travel is postal mail. A simple lifehack is to get yourself a virtual mailbox. That way you can read your postal mail online. Virtual mail companies receive your mail and you can view what you received online. You can also decide what you need to do with your mail through an online applications. So if your business trip lasts for only a few days, you can ask mail facility to scan contents of your mail and read it like you would read an email. All through an easy-to-use online application. PostScan Mail offers this service for a very reasonable price. I forgot to mention they also do electronic check deposit.

#4 Make Sure You Are Connected to Internet

When it comes to internet connection, most hotels, if not all hotels, provide WiFi connection. It depends on when and how frequently you need internet access. In worst case scenarios, you can use data roaming. Make sure your hotel has an internet connection and also ask about data roaming expenses. Plus, it mainly depends on where you are going. Some countries have free WiFi almost anywhere. Just check before you go.

#5 Minimize Time You Spend Online

It sounds like a strange advice after listing all the applications you should use and online services you should download. If you want to relax and focus on what you traveled to get done at first place, you should not be distracted by Facebook or Twitter. You can focus on how your employees are doing and which mail items you received but that should not take more than an hour or two of your day. Decide on a time to take care of business at home and forget about it the rest of day. Being a businessman is an all-day-long career but schedule a time to take care of business, and remember to have fun. Look around and enjoy the city you are at.

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January 22

Top Tips To Stay Productive On Your Next Business Trip

download (20)While others might find business trips appealing because of free travel and accommodation, all business travelers worry about is getting the maximum productivity on their trip. This isn’t particularly easy. Because they are away from their comfort zone, it can often get very difficult to stay focused and keep a track of so much happening around them.

If you are a business traveler, here are some helpful tips for you to stay productive:

1. Become Tech-Savvy

If you are not, you have absolutely every reason to become one. Technology can solve a lot of your travel miseries. A lot of people complain that travel has become very complicated. The truth is, they haven’t made much use of technology to make their trip more convenient.

So where do you begin with? Firstly, you must pack all the gadgets you would possibly need. Now you may need a lot of things, but if you don’t intend to use them a lot there is no point in carrying all the weight.

Essentially, all business travelers need a laptop and a speedy internet connection. Because you will travel to different places, it is best to arrange for the internet before you leave on your journey. There would be a lot of important messages to respond to and it’s best to stay connected.

2. Do Your Homework

Before you set out on your journey, it is very important to do the destination search. Just knowing your flight times, address of the hotel and timings of the meetings is just not enough here.

Since it might be a new destination, it can be difficult to get around and keep a track of all the routes. For this reason, it is best to do a thorough destination search. Get to know the area you are staying in and the available transportation options.

If you have ambiguities of any sorts, it is best to connect with the locals and address them all your worries.

3. Make the Most of Layovers

Because flights with layovers are relatively cheaper, you may have to book them every now and then. A lot of businessmen hate the thought of layovers because it ends up wasting a lot of their precious time. Layovers can be a very productive part of your trip. Once you have settled with all the travel formalities, move to a quiet corner at the airport lounge and get all the pending work completed. This is the right time to plan for the upcoming meetings and make any other last minute arrangements that are needed.

4. Keep Hydrated and Stay Fit

If you are a business traveler, health has to be a priority. For this reason, it is best to stay hydrated at all times. Drink as much water as you can and leave no chance of getting up during the journey for a few stretches. This helps to keep your mind and body active and helps you to focus on important tasks ahead.

 

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January 11

Vietnam – A Brief Tourism Guide for Business Travelers

download (18)Vietnam is a booming center of global commerce, with a highly skilled workforce and strongly growing economy presenting great opportunities. However, if you visit this intriguing country on business but return home without spending a little time as a tourist then you’ll be missing out. Vietnam has a huge amount to offer, from stunning scenery to great food, and, of course, a strong sense of recent history.

Travel around Vietnam is somewhat complicated because of its geography. The two main cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) are at virtually opposite ends of this long, thin country which measures around 1000 miles from north to south, while being at times no more than 32 miles east to west. The distance between the cities is best traveled by plane, taking a little over two hours. Although a flight will mean missing out on experiencing the densely forested highlands of the country’s interior, Vietnamese trains are generally overcrowded, slow, and unreliable, and the journey will take up to a day and a half.

Vietnam’s capital Hanoi is situated in the north of the country, nestled in a bend of the Red River Delta. As befitting a city with a history spanning more than a thousand years, there is plenty to see and do. The Old Quarter offers all the noise, bustle and atmosphere you’d expect from this most South East Asian of cities, where adventurous eaters can enjoy some of the best street food in the world. The proud heritage of the city is expressed in countless ornate temples and ancient monuments, set alongside romantic 19th century architecture and ultra-modern commercial buildings.

A little further afield, Ha Long Bay, just over 100 miles from Hanoi, is a destination well worth a visit if you can find the time. Recognized as a World Heritage Site, this coastal idyll features dramatic limestone pillars and islets rising from emerald seas, and is a haven of peace and tranquility despite being the number one Vietnamese tourist attraction.

Hanoi offers a wealth of accommodation options, from 5 star hotels such as the Hilton Hanoi Opera to the venerable Sofitel Metropole which can claim Charlie Chaplin, Jane Fonda, and many more as celebrated guests.

Ho Chi Minh City, far in the south of the country on the Mekong Delta, is perhaps more famously known as Saigon even to its more than eight million inhabitants. Visitors can enjoy the French colonial atmosphere of the older parts of town, as well as the more modern districts of a city that in recent years has grown to rival near neighbors such as Singapore and Bangkok as a powerhouse of South East Asia.

As well as being the economic and commercial center of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City also has a rich and troubled history which the visitor is never far removed from. From the claustrophobic Cu Chi Tunnels to the War Remnants Museum, the city and surrounding areas are full of strong reminders of the trauma of the country’s recent past, but also of the remarkable transformation in fortunes since then.

As Vietnam’s largest city, Saigon is blessed with a wide choice of places to stay. Ma Maison is a little way out of the city center but makes up for that with its romantic, otherworldly French atmosphere, while the Cinnamon Hotel in District One offers modern comforts in the heart of the town.

Vietnam is a country rich in attractions for the visitor, so no matter how tight your schedule, exploring what the country has to offer beyond business possibilities is an opportunity not to be missed.

 

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January 2

Top Tips For Business Travel Safety

download (17)Do Your Research

If you’re going abroad, do some research on the country before you go. Make sure you have any vaccinations you may need and all the correct documents, and are familiar with the laws of the country. It’s also a good idea to keep up to date with any political disturbances to avoid dangerous situations.

Electronics

You can never be too careful when using electronics. If you’re working whilst travelling, ensure you have arranged a data plan before you leave so you don’t have to use open Wi-Fi connections – these are not always secure and could result in data loss for your company. It’s also not a great idea to use public computers as again these are usually pretty simple to hack.

Watch your Luggage

Throughout your journey, always keep an eye on your luggage. If you are taking a carry-on, choose a bag that fully zips up and if any of your luggage contains important documents be sure to use a coded padlock. When taking a laptop, avoid putting it in the overhead as it could be stolen or damaged; instead keep it on your lap or place it under the seat in front of you. As long as you’re careful with your items you should be fine.

At the Hotel

One of the first things you should do when you get to the hotel, is check that there is security available 24/7 – available by phone and there should also be a patrol. You should also always leave the “do not disturb” sign on your door to stop anyone from coming in, and only answer the door if you are expecting someone. If you have booked the hotel independently, make sure your company know where you’re staying.

Business Travel Security

Business travel security is available; this can be especially useful if you’re going to a high-risk area or carrying out important work that you could be targeted for. They can provide risk assessment and management, travel training and close protection amongst other things. If you work for a company, you could suggest they look into this for all staff to reduce the risk of any issues and make staff more comfortable with travelling for work.

Avoiding any threats to yourself and your work should be your biggest concern when travelling. By taking small precautions you’ll make your trip run smoothly and ensure your security, leaving you to focus on the work at hand and come home safely.

 

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