Whether this will be your first or your thousandth business trip, you should be conscious of conduct that is considered proper during your absence from the office. As a representative of your company, you need to know how to behave appropriately on a business trip :
- Step one
Pack all essential items in a carry-on bag to avoid being ill-prepared for business if the airline loses your luggage. Showing up for a trade show or a meeting with a client dressed in yesterday's clothes will not make a positive impression.
- Step two
Dress professionally during the entire trip. Your attire should reflect the fact that you are on a business trip, whether you are on a plane, on a golf course or in a conference room.
- Step three
Be prepared and be on time. You may normally arrive at the office at 8:10 every morning and not speak until after your first cup of coffee, but clients will not take kindly to your decision to be 10 minutes late for an important meeting and still needing to go over your notes.
- Step four
Use proper business language. Even though some business trips may include more casual situations, such as lunch, dinner or even golf, keep in mind that you are still representing your company, and like the old saying goes, "Loose lips sink ships."
- Step five
Brush up on table manners and the basics of business etiquette before you go. This may help you avoid an embarrassing gaffe while on your trip.
- Step six
Save all receipts from your trip so you can easily determine your expenses when you return.
- Step seven
Conduct yourself with grace and decorum at all times. If you are uncertain about these terms, consider buying a book on business etiquette for some light reading while on the plane.
Tips and warnings :
- Ask if you can smoke before lighting up. Smoking has become something of a social and business faux pas in recent years, and if your companion or client is not smoking, asking permission is essential.
- Use a personal phone card to make long-distance phone calls while you are away. This way, you won't have to reimburse the company for these charges on the hotel bill.
- Traveling in foreign countries can be tricky. Before you leave, make sure to buy a guidebook or consult someone who has recently traveled to your intended destination to learn about the culture and customs.
- Avoid planning leisure-time activities during your trip if they will detract from the amount of business you are able to conduct. If you stay out until 2 a.m. or get a sunburn at the pool, you won't be at the top of your game for business the next day.
- Stay away from pornography, alcohol and anything potentially inappropriate during your trip. This includes renting adult films in your hotel room, visiting bars and being in any situation that could result in your being arrested and, ultimately, fired.
- Keep in mind that your time is not your own on a business trip. You belong to your employer during this time; you're not being paid to goof off.