A business trip is a series of interconnected components. You depend on the airline to take you from your starting point to the destination on time. Next, you depend on the hotel to check you in as expected.
Finally, ground transportation takes you from your hotel to your meeting promptly.
As you travel, people are going about their lives locally. Thus, construction, the daily commute, and the flow of people continue. It’s up to you to navigate through it efficiently.
Common things that go wrong during a corporate trip include:
- Late flight
- Forgetting official documents at home
- Lost luggage
- Falling ill
Sometimes you have control over them. Other times you need to invoke Plan B.
The following is a brief guide on how to handle a business trip gone wrong.
1. Keep Your Cool
When you’re in the middle of a chaotic situation, it’s easier to go with the chaos than to see the forest for the trees.
Nonetheless, as a business professional, you must maintain your cool. First, you represent your employer. Second, you represent your brand. Few situations exist where it’s best to employ an unprofessional demeanor.
Those who have watched cable network television have seen the bombastic business characters that explode at people and get what they want. However, real life is a little different.
By remaining calm you can think more clearly. It allows you to gauge your options. Plus, airline representatives, rental car staff, and hotel front desk workers are more likely to help you.
2. Problem Solve
With a calm demeanor, you’re ready to problem solve after things go wrong during business travel.
If you miss your flight or the airline cancels it, speak with their representatives. Your goal is to find out when the next one leaves. With this information, you must decide if it gives you enough time to arrive at your destination.
When the next flight does not get you to your destination on time, figure out if train or travel by car is an option.
Forgetting travel essentials at home, in the cab, or on the airplane happens to many people. How you recover from the mishap is the real test. Since it’s possible to forget your luggage, that’s why it’s best to travel light.
3. Plan for the Next One
It’s normal for business travel novices to learn as they go. Guidance from veteran travelers at your company helps. But sometimes you need to experience it.
Veteran travelers know that it’s best to:
- Carry-on luggage, not check it in.
- Keep their travel documents in their carry-on bag or purse.
- Leave time to arrive at the airport and enjoy the business class amenities.
- Avoid eating at low-rated restaurants or too much fast food.
The more the novice travels, the more they will catch on too.
Sometimes people fall for too-good-to-be-true offers. For example, if you have the freedom to book your hotel or flight, you can take a look at the discount travel websites. However, it’s best to stick to the ones that have a solid reputation. Otherwise, it’s easy to end up in a scam.
Hotel Engine provides an outline to help you avoid scams while traveling for business.
4. Contact Your Office
While you’re on the road, it’s important to remain in touch with your office. When they send you on a trip, the trip has a purpose. The purpose ranges from acquiring new skills at a training seminar to closing a deal with a new business partner.
When the goal is to close an important deal and it goes wrong, your office needs to know promptly. Sometimes your backup staff can provide you with documents, information, or tools that help you turn things around.
Even though they’re not on the ground with you, the office staff is your backup team.
In other situations, they need to document incidents. For example, if you fall ill, they need to put the information in their records.
When a business trip goes wrong, learn from it. In many cases, people only learn when something goes sideways. If everything always works out on the first try, you don’t know that alternate ways to accomplish the same feat exist. Companies want to see that employees have the ability to recover from failure.