Scott Gardiner is national sales manager, SME solutions, at accounting software firm
. Here he shares his tips for successful business travel.
Make the most of technology: The first requirement of a business trip is having access to crucial business data. Whether you're making use of the cloud or company servers, the ability to get the information you need and to store work securely is key to maintaining productivity on the go. Smartphones and tablets are essential to staying connected.
Be smart about loyalty: Don't stay in hotels just so you can use your hotel points for air miles. If you're a frequent flyer, accumulating points is the way to go - but if you don't fly a lot then go with the cheapest price rather than the perks. You need to ask, is your loyalty scheme merely a perks scheme or can it actually save you money? It's also important to regularly read the small print on your loyalty schemes and make sure you aren't letting points go to waste.
Accounting on the go: Make sure you have access to your books wherever you are. If you have the right software, you can take important decisions without having to make a single phone call. Get the right app on your smartphone or tablet to enable you to manage all your accounts and other important files in real time - wherever you are.
Plan your work time: Don't be stuck in the hotel room on your laptop, or constantly distracted by your phone.
If you're mixing work with a leisure trip, set yourself some clear business times, as well as some periods where you're nowhere near your favourite device. Crossing time zones makes planning your 'at-work' periods all the more important to avoid the temptation to work all night.
Take some time out: Travelling for business can send you to some of the most exciting and beautiful places in the world.
When a trip like this comes around, and when itineraries and business schedules allow, don't forget to make some time to see the sights.