3 Tips for Easier Business Travel | msgulfcoast-ymca.ga

I’ve been doing a ton of traveling lately. In and out of hotel rooms, rental cars, airplanes and unfamiliar offices. It’s one confined space after another-a whirlwind of Hilton and Hertz, American Airlines and Arby’s, Samsonite and sleepless nights. You know the drill. And that’s what it feels like…a repetitive mechanism driving a sharp, twisting point into my head.

But I think I have found a way to keep things fresh while traveling for business and at the same time maintain a sense of normalcy that allows me to shift more easily between being man of the house and king of the road.

Maybe these will work for you too:

1. Maintain routine

To ease the transition between home and the road, maintain your routine as much as possible. If you work out in the morning at home, do the same while traveling. Do you usually eat two eggs with a side of bacon for breakfast? Try to get that meal when you’re out of town. Like to shower before you hit the hay? Have at it. A routine makes new surroundings seem more familiar.

2. Talk to the locals

The people you meet on the road can be amazing. From the flight attendants to the hotel desk clerks to the local cab driver-they all have a story. There’s nothing that connects you to a place more than another person. Take the time to get to know these frequently faceless people around you, and you’ll find you’re breaking the monotony of day-to-day travel. Not to mention-these folks know where to go, what to do and everything in between in the city you’re visiting.

3. Soak in the details

When you’re traveling a lot for business, everything can start to look the same–airports, hotels, meeting spaces. But you’ll enjoy the nuances of a new city if you take time to notice what’s unique about the place. The summers are sweltering in New Orleans, but that’s part of the city’s charm (although a steamy, blanket-like charm). The beaches north of Tampa are some of the purest on the Gulf Coast. And the barbecue in Charlotte is second to none (I expect everyone from Texas to Tennessee to pipe in on this one). If you’re able to escape the business demands of the trip, even if just for an hour or two, do it. You’ll feel fresher, sharper and happier.

If you can check off each of these three items on your travel itinerary, the drone of the road will become a hum of relaxation in no time. And those confined spaces will start to feel like open invitations.

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.

3 Rules to Simplify Your Record Keeping For Business Travel | msgulfcoast-ymca.ga

Summer is here and for many of us that means summer business trips. I love traveling for business. It usually means I’m on my way to speak at a seminar in a great location. But, my least favorite part about business trips is keeping track of all of my receipts.

I use to come home from a business trip and find my receipts in various places over the next several days (or weeks!). Some I would find in my wallet, others in my briefcase, more in my coat pocket, some in my car and with all of these, I was still missing receipts!

That was until I came up with my system for easy business travel record keeping. This system is so simple to use and it maximizes my business travel deductions.

Here’s how my system for easy business travel record keeping works:

*Rule #1*

Use the Convenience and Leverage of Email

When my airfare is booked, the airline sends me an email automatically that has all the information I need for my receipt. I forward that email to my bookkeeper immediately upon receipt. That takes care of the airfare receipt.

When I check out from my hotel, I request to have a copy of my bill emailed to me. I forward that email to my bookkeeper immediately upon receipt. That takes care of my hotel receipt.

With my airfare and hotel receipt, I have the receipts for the majority of my actual expenses. But most of the receipts from my travel come from the other expenses, like meals, cab fare, cash tips. Here is how I tackle those receipts.

*Rule #2*

Pack 2 Envelopes

Part of my packing for a business trip includes packing 2 envelopes in my carry on bag. The first envelope I label with my destination, travel dates and “Meals.” The other envelope I label with my destination, travel dates and “Other.” Any time I get a receipt from a meal, it goes in the “Meal” envelope. Any time I get any other receipt, I put it in the “Other” envelope. After my trip, I give the envelopes to my bookkeeper to record my travel expenses.

It’s such a simple system, but it works!

You may be wondering why I separate my meal receipts. There are 2 reasons I do this.

First, with my meal expenses separated, it makes it easier for my bookkeeper to code the expenses properly. My meal expenses are only 50% deductible, but the rest of my business travel is 100% deductible. Separating the two helps ensure that the expenses get coded to separate accounts so only my meals are subject to the 50% limit.

The second reason is so I can maximize my deductions. This is explained in Rule #3.

*Rule #3*

Use Per Diem

To maximize my business travel deductions, I separate my meal receipts AND I use a personal credit card or my personal cash to pay for all of meals while traveling. I do this because it is the easiest way to make sure I maximize my business travel deductions.

Here’s how I maximize my deduction:

When traveling on business, meal receipts are not required in order to deduct a meal expense. The IRS issues per diem rates for meals and these rates can be used for a meal deduction instead of the actual expense.

This means I can use either my actual meal expenses or I can use the per diem rates. Of course, I always pick the one that gives me the biggest deduction!

I have trained my bookkeeper to compare the total of my actual meal receipts to the per diem allowed. My bookkeeper then determines which provides the greater deduction and records that in my bookkeeping.

For example, if my meal receipts total to $125 and the per diem totals to $200, then I can legitimately deduct $200 for meals. This is one of my favorite strategies because I have increased my business deductions without spending any additional cash!

Here’s how I simplify the record keeping:

I mentioned that I use a personal credit card or personal cash for my meal expenses while traveling. I do this to make sure my business claims the larger of my actual expenses or the per diem allowed.

Once the greater of my actual meal expenses and per diem has been determined, my bookkeeper then completes an expense report that claims the greater amount. My business then reimburses me based on the expense report.

Worst case is I get reimbursed the exact amount I spent, but often times, I’m able to get reimbursed more than what I actually spent because the per diem rates are greater. This means my business gets a bigger deduction and my entire reimbursement (even if I am reimbursed more than what I actually spent) is tax free to me!

This is my favorite kind of system – it’s simple and it maximizes my deductions!