Keys to Successful Business Travel |

Once the business traveler lets his inner tourist out, the better the trip becomes for him. Here are a few tips to successfully navigate five cities in a week and still have that smile on your face.

First, embrace that which is in front of you. The 2 am red-eye in the middle seat to Hong Kong. Sure, sounds pretty miserable. But remember as you board your sleepy flight that there are thousands, if not millions that would love the opportunity to go to Hong Kong right now. And unless you have a crazy boss who scheduled a four hour in and out stay, you’ll have time to see at least some new sites and attractions during your stay. You have the opportunity to see a completely different world and on someone else’s dime. Embrace this. If it’s a particularly long stay, bring a friend or your whole family. The only added expense here is airline tickets, food (although your expense account may cover it) and land travel. And this is a great way to see the world with loved ones.

By looking forward to your flight, you are automatically creating positive vibes. Remember as you are stuck on that airplane, you are going somewhere. Take the time to reflect not only on business affairs, but on life itself. And if that’s not enough, heck think existential thoughts as you hurdle 500 mph through the sky 45,000 feet up in a 230′ tin can. You’ll be amazed at what thoughts enter your head. A good trick is to reserve a window seat. Sure, you might have to excuse yourself awkwardly passed some legs, but this is a fantastic way to truly take in your surroundings and reminds you of what you’re actually doing.

Too many business travelers reserve aisle seats, read the journal, and never once recognize a full moon or a distant thunderstorm just outside the plane’s windows. Learning to embrace travel is a lot like learning to embrace life itself. To become more aware. To drink things in rather than complain about them. Next time your flight is delayed five hours on the tarmac, make a social experiment in your head out of it. Calculate everyone else around you- record how long it takes certain individuals to ‘snap.’ See how other people wait it out, what devices they use to get by.

And, if you’re alone, offer to help a single mom out with her screaming toddler. Make yourself useful and you’ll not only feel a lot better about yourself, the time will move by quicker as well. In fact, if more business travelers stuck on planes with crying kids actually proactively helped out more, there would be less crying kids. All that ends up happening now is that there are screaming kids and the business travelers who complain about them. A representation of society, really.

Once you’re at your destination, get out of the hotel room. Use the hours you’re not working or planning the meeting to actually see the new city. And, if you come to the same city often, get to really know it, inside and out. Not only will this help fill your time, but you’ll find nooks and crannies to take clients to, to relate about, and to broaden your horizons on.

Once you learn you have impending business travel, look up new restaurants, new neighborhoods. Plan to visit tourist sites, learn about the local history and people. Not only will this make your business travel more appealing, it will be soup for your soul to boot.

Effective Strategies in Generating Leads Within Your Home Business Blueprint

When it comes to online business the most important thing is to get every visitor who comes to your site deliberately or accidentally to be interested enough to want to do business with you. This is, after all, the point of online marketing. Different businesses have different strategies to generate interest or leads. There are some who swear that the best leads are the ones who interact with you via social media so they advertise on Facebook, but there is no ultimate home business blueprint, no one way of getting it right. When developing your home business blueprint, there are things that are essential in generating leads for online business that you can follow. Here’s a list of the different methods that online marketers can follow to generate lead.

1. Create a Website

This is a no brainer. How else can you call your business an online business or talk about online marketing if you don’t have a destination website? Having a website is essential, all other methods should essentially bolster or direct people to this website. The website is your store, other methods like Facebook, Twitter, blogging or Instagrams should be regarded as the fliers that introduce people to your business or your product, your website is the place where all the information and ultimately, business transactions are supposed to take place. Your website is your core foundation of the home business blueprint. This means you need to work at the content in your website and present the content in such a way that it appeals to the readers.

2. Create Special Offers

People love free things but they appreciate free things that are useful to them. The easiest free gift you can give to a customer is a free download. Your home business blueprint can start moving along when you create a little bit of a buzz. By having people take advantage of free offers you create a chance for them to give you their contact details. The other advantage is that you are sure that the people you contact are interested in some way in what you have to offer. Create a form for visitors to your site to fill out, make it short and simple and make sure that you get their consent for you to send them any further information other than what they’ve just downloaded. Make sure that your free download ends up leading them somewhere else. Don’t reveal all your cards during the first round; create a platform for further communication between you and potential clients-this is a good start to your home business blueprint.

3. Use targeted ads to drive traffic to your site

There are various online services that offer opportunities to target specific audiences like Facebook or Google Ads. When people sign up for social media sites and create accounts with Google they are often asked to list their interests. You can use that to your advantage. Make sure you know and understand how to use these opportunities.

4. Create relevant content for your target audience

Tailor your content carefully to attract the audience that you want. Tailoring great content starts from how you write on your website to the free downloads you offer. You could also create newsletters to keep your leads informed. With any home business blueprint, make sure that you communicate your message clearly and that your passion comes through in your writing. Sometimes it takes a while to convert a sales lead into an actual customer because they might need information or they might require some kind of assurance that you know what you are talking about. Be the expert that can answer questions before they even formulate in your sales lead’s mind. If you come off sounding like an expert, your sales leads might turn to be your best advertisers if they quote you or refer people to your site for information.

5. Create multi-channel content

This step is where you really escalate your home business blueprint. Some people might not like reading all that much or they might like visual aids instead of endless paragraphs. Make sure that you cater for different needs. People access information in different ways on the Internet. Some rely on social media, which would require you to create short but engaging messages; some would like to get the in-depth information a newsletter would allow you to create, others blogs whilst others are best reached via video. It is better to create content that translates across all mediums. This means that you will have to create videos, use infographics or host webinars.

6. Use social media

I do not care who you are, but anyone that has developed and uses a home business blueprint, uses some sort of social media. If you don’t, you either have enough cash in the bank already, or you’re about to go broke because no one knows who you are. Social platforms have become the most effective means of getting information through and getting an immediate response. When you set up social media pages make sure that you keep them updated and that you engage with people who leave comments. This shows that you care about your business and it helps create relationships.

7. Participate in online chats

Getting online friend, or “followers” does not happen overnight. Just like a lot of the things within your home business blueprint, it takes hours, days and months of being online, connected to the right people on Twitter through whose following you might chance upon leads. Participate in Twitter chats that are relevant to your business. One you get those likes and followers work at building relationships and eventually wok at converting our Twitter friends to actual clients.

8. Join groups and forums

Again, social media platforms like Facebook enable people to create groups. Find groups that are relevant to your business and join. Make sure that the groups you join are active, that there are no dead silences that last for months; otherwise you might end up being the lone poster who annoys everybody else. It is easy to go unnoticed in groups but to make sure that people know you are there; you need to engage. Be personable… this is what makes your home business blueprint fun. Ask questions, wish someone a happy birthday, have conversations.

9. Form partnerships with others to cross promote

Find someone who has worked as hard as you have to build a network and find ways to collaborate. The best collaborations are with people whose business would enhance yours and vice versa. You might collaborate on a webinar to communicate what you are an expert in and they might do the same for you. The internet is a very big world, there is no home business blueprint for success. It is easy to get lost in the world wide web or to simply exist with no one ever seeing you, if it takes latching on to someone to be noticed, then latch on.

Be Prepared! Break-Down Kits for the Busy Traveler |

Regardless of how often you travel, there’s no such thing as being too prepared. After all, every Boy Scout knows that “being prepared” is not just a great motto, but a way to live each day. So when it comes to travel-especially road trips, being prepared is the one of the most important steps you can take. As part of the preparation, you need to have a break down kit. These kits can be purchased at most auto parts or hardware store, but it is quite easy to assemble one of your own. In most cases, all of these items can be stored in a small to medium sized duffel bag and can be kept in the trunk of your vehicle.

A basic break-down kit should be comprised of the following:
• A thermal blanket/sleeping bag
• At least one gallon of water (ideally one per person travelling)
• Duct tape
• A flashlight with batteries (these should be check at minimum twice a year)
• A set of jumper cables, a tire gauge, and work gloves
• Some hand towels (light colors are best as they can be used as signal flags)
• Toilet paper (store in a plastic or zip-top bag)
• Hand tools such as appliers, Allen wrenches, screwdrivers and perhaps a small hammer.
• Some rope and at least one bungee cord
• A small 12-volt tire inflator
• An empty, unused one gallon gas can
• A back up cell phone charger or prepaid calling card
• A disposable rain poncho/rain coat
• A complete change of clothes
• A pair of comfortable shoes
• Basic first aid kit. Be sure that it is restocked as necessary.

While this may seem somewhat extreme, being prepared with go a long way toward dealing with a travel emergency. Also, it is imperative that once you have the break-down bag packed, you should not remove it. Yes, you should update it, but do not take it out of your vehicle! Emergencies can happen at any time, so if you do your part to be prepared then when there is a problem it won’t seem near as stressful as it would without the items in your breakdown kit.

Of course, along with the break-down kit, you will want to be sure you not only know how to access your spare tire and jack, but that you know how to change a tire…yes, ladies- you too, should know this. If you don’t, call a trusted friend or reliable garage. And regardless of your gender, if you do a lot of traveling, then you may want to consider having towing insurance as a rider on your vehicle insurance policy. Having this added to your insurance policy can go a long way toward getting your vehicle towed quickly and will help offset the cost as well.

Being prepared is as important a part of travel as is paying attention to the road. As the old adage says, “It’s better to be safe, than sorry!” So pack a break-down kit and place it in your vehicle. Hopefully, you will never need it, but if you should at least you will be ready.