Part of my job gives me one of the best things I can ask for, and that’s actually getting out into the field and interacting with our customers. My division is made up of 20 different Profit Centers, PC for short, spanning from Presque Isle, ME down to Manchester, NH and over to Saranac Lake, NY. This week, I’m making a short trip visiting a few of our PC’s in Maine, then spending some time in our Manchester and Concord PC’s visiting with the teams down there, and meeting a few of our key customers. However, I end up with the same problem, sometimes big and others small, of knowing what to do or how to prepare for work travel. Here’s a list of a few things that I have put together that help me accomplish my goals for the week ahead.
1. Determine where I’m traveling. This may sound like a no-brainer, but it can make all the difference. I usually have one main PC where I have set up a meeting, and I plan my other visits accordingly. I have a list of all 20 PC’s and the amount of visits I have made so far that year (I have a goal to see each of them at least twice this year) so this allows me the opportunity to stop into places that I haven’t been to yet.
2. Create my goals for the trip. Since I’m visiting 4 different PC’s, I really have 4 separate businesses to see. Setting clear and concise goals for each of these PC’s is the next important part.
3. Discuss with the managers the reason for the visit, and my goals. Determine the best way to accomplish these goals, and make sure we both have a clear understanding of why the visit is taking place and our goals. If we need to contact a customer to set up a meeting, we determine who will contact them, when will be the best times, and where we should have the meeting.
4. Preparing for the visit. This includes updating all of my laptop files, getting any further information from customer files, and go over any items from my team that may need to be addressed while visiting.
5. Pack appropriately for the travel. Since I will spend 2 nights in a hotel, it is important to pack appropriately for the remainder of the week. I usually pack a few extra items, such as an extra shirt in case I spill anything, socks and underwear. I fall back on that old Boyscout motto, “Be Prepared.”
Question: What do you do to prepare for work travel?