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The UPS Store Small Business Blog
  • 16 September 2022
  • Tiffany Carey

Business Travel is Back and Worth the Expense

Business travel is coming back. According to a recent study by Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), business travel is projected to return to almost 60% of its pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year and reach 79% by the end of 2023. Overall, global business travel is expected to fully recover by the end of 2025.

businesswoman on plane with ipad

It’s clear business travel is on an upswing, but how do you know if it’s right for your company and if it’s worth the expense? While many people still believe that traveling for work is not worth the cost—especially with concerns about inflation and the availability and improvement to videoconferencing—there are important ways that business travel can benefit your small business's bottom line.

Think of the Key Benefits Small Business Travel Offers

Business travel provides networking opportunities. If you're looking to expand your professional network or find new clients, it makes sense to attend conferences or other events where meeting potential partners face-to-face, and not just via email or Zoom, can help your business progress. Working professionals unequivocally believe that face-to-face meetings are imperative to facilitating long-term business relationships. In-person connections can’t be replaced by computers.

In addition to meeting new clients and fostering relationships with current vendors, business travel allows you to get to know your coworkers. Getting to know your employees will make you a better leader which generates more productive and loyal team members.

Consider the Cost of Not Traveling

The cost of not traveling may be even higher than the expense of traveling. By not traveling to meet business connections in person, you’re missing out on undivided attention from your business connections when discussing your next big opportunity. Organizational behavior experts agree that cutting through the “multi-task tendency” is tough from behind a computer screen. If you don't see customers or suppliers, they won't see you. This means they might not understand your company's value or how it can help them—and, consequently, they'll be less likely to do business with you. The same goes for networking: by staying in one place too long, small businesses lose out on opportunities to build relationships that may result in new partnerships or clients down the road.

Look at the Big Picture

Ask yourself, “What's the big picture for my company?” Your answer will help determine whether or not business travel is worth it for your business specifically. As an example, let's say Company XYZ has been doing business as usual for years—it hasn't changed or improved much during that time because there wasn't really any need to. However, due to a new competitor entering their market space and providing better services at lower prices than they can offer, Company XYZ needs to make some drastic changes if they want consumers to continue trusting them and purchasing from them. A personal connection can do just that.

By re-evaluating where your business is right now versus a few months or even one year ago, strategies and objectives may have shifted that make business travel more of a game changer for you now than previously.

Ask Your Colleagues

Talk to colleagues and members of your personal advisory board. Solicit their insight and experience and carefully consider all the options before deciding whether business travel is worth it for your company. They might also advise you on how to reduce travel expenses.

Traveling for business has multiple benefits that can't be matched by staying behind your desk and can be worth the expense. Take a look at the big picture to clarify your objectives for the trip, and make an informed decision. Remember, you don’t have to get on a plane. It can be a simple day trip in your car that leads you to your next big opportunity.

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