Discover more from How to Lead Everybody (with their permission)
Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD
When you travel for business, your client or your firm often picks up the costs. I’ve met many professionals who use this as an opportunity to splurge.
I tend to have more of a comfort-is-better-than-fancy mindset. I’m “New England thrifty,” and I will brag about getting a great bargain (“Can you believe I got this for 40% off?”). I’d rather stay in the clean-but-basic hotel near the airport than the fancy one that will require an extra cab-ride to make my morning flight. I aim to come in under-budget with all of my clients, and they appreciate it.
They tell me how much they appreciate it, and then they hire me again. Win-win.
If you have the choice, keep under budget on a project. Best case, you’ll delight your clients. Next-best-case, the unexpected expense that might come up a few months later won’t break the budget. Always assume you’ll have a few more expenses than you anticipate.
Basically, get reimbursed for every reasonable travel expense and travel comfortably, but don’t waste the client’s money.
I’ve just started doing in-person travel for client work again, so I’ve been refreshing my own memory for the best processes this month. I use my phone for many of these—for example, I take pictures of the starting and ending mileage every time I drive for business. I also take photos of the receipts for tickets, food, gas, etc., which I then pop into a dedicated folder for the trip, so they are all in one place. I also take a photo of the rental car license plate before I start driving—that way, I can find the right car again, and I can write it down at the hotel check-in when the form asks for it.
Find ways to that work well for you, so that you can work well for your clients.