5 surprising ways to use your time on the road

by Rakhee Ghelani March 23, 2016

Time on the road is imperative for your business, but it can quickly go from profitable to unproductive if your train is delayed or you’re stuck in an airport on a long layover. While it’s frustrating, there’s no need to despair – we show you some ways to stay on task while travelling.

1. Reflect, strategise and plan

Without all the usual distractions around you, travelling might be the perfect time to step back and reflect on what you’ve achieved, where you want to go, and what you need to get there. Make sure you have your business plan handy when travelling so you can look at how you’ve gone in achieving your goals, or identify where things may need to change. For example, if a new broker has entered your region you may need to review how this may impact your business long term.

If you haven’t put together a business plan yet, or it was a long time ago, why not start brainstorming what your business goals are and how you plan on making them happen? Perhaps, for example, you’ve been considering adding asset finance to your services or are thinking about acquiring a competitor. You don’t need to rewrite your plan now – simply make some notes and perhaps spend the downtime thinking about what changes you could make to get your business back on track.

2. Build your knowledge and networks

This is a good time to do those marketing and networking activities you never feel like you have time for. Why not check your social media tools such as LinkedIn to see what your network has been up to? You could answer some questions about financing heavy vehicles for a group of small business owners, catch up on posts written by other brokers to see what’s impacting their business now, or connect with new accountants in your area who may be potential centres of influence.

Twitter is another good platform on which to spend some time. Whether you’re tweeting your own thoughts about the latest regulatory changes, or reading updates on the use of debtor financing, Twitter is a tool that can be used to catch up on industry news and maybe even connect with potential prospects.

The time you spend on social media is all about building your own knowledge, networks and branding, so why not allow yourself time to jump into the conversation and see what others are saying?

3. Manage the important but not urgent

It’s common to spend all your time working on the urgent or immediate issues and pushing aside the important things that don’t have looming deadlines attached. Travel downtime can give you the perfect chance to catch up on all those things you’ve been meaning to do, whether it’s catching up on all your industry reading, re-connecting with past clients who may be in the market again, or writing an article for your local business network that may help bring in some new leads.

There are also a lot internal activities that tend to get put in the ‘not urgent’ basket that may make a real difference to your business, such as setting targets and objectives for each member of your team or reviewing your commission plan. Now might be the time to tackle those head-on.

4. Maintain your business relationships

Your clients are the bedrock of your business, but how often do you take the time to actively thank them? Time on the road gives you a great opportunity to make quick calls to your top clients to thank them for their support – and may help ensure that it continues.

5. Refresh and rejuvenate

One of the most overlooked aspects of running a business is how important it is to keep your mind and body healthy. While sitting around an airport may not be the most relaxing experience, you can use this time to give your mind a break. Turn off your phone, walk around and stretch your legs, check out the massage chair, or shut your eyes, focus on your breathing and clear your mind for five minutes.

If your layover or delay is a long one, you may even be able to get out and catch some of the local sights, which will leave you feeling refreshed and ready for the next leg of your journey.

While long delays and travelling are never a breeze, with these handy tips you can arrive at your destination with a renewed sense of achievement.

Tell us below about how you spend your time on the road.

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Rakhee Ghelani is a freelance writer who also has nearly 20 years’ international experience developing and implementing strategic initiatives for some of Australia’s largest brands in banking, manufacturing and professional services. She has travelled to over 50 countries and has been published internationally.

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