There is a glorified world where business travelers explore the world with business class upgrades and first tier hotels. Unfortunately, the real world has a non-glorified road warrior who puts in a lot of windshield time to get the job done. Traveling location to location in an automobile is the only way to get to most of America. From suburbs to rural communities there is a lot of business to be done that an airplane and a cab ride will not get to. Those who find they are traveling for business in a car quite a bit, here is some advice.Use Car SpaceUnlike a frequent flier, a frequent driver will not be limited to one carry-on. The true road warrior can fill trunk space with additional luggage to make travel more comfortable. This can include a DVD player, cooler, golf clubs (or other sports equipment), extra clothes, etc. Consider carrying anything that will make your travel easier on yourself.Satellite RadioEntertaining oneself while on the road is easier than ever. Some popular options are music players like iPods or books on tape. Keeping a radio station tuned in as you travel is difficult when you are clocking miles. Plus, there is no guarantee that what you want to hear will be on when need it to be on. The best option is satellite radio as the options are numerous not just for music, but many talk options also are available. So, as you travel you can find something to listen to that will fit your mood. Satellite radio does not negate listening to a music player or books on tape, it simply completes well rounded listening options.Keep The Car CleanA business professional on the road your vehicle is as much of your business persona as your attire. Just as you would keep your clothes clean and in good condition, so you should keep your car clean and in good condition. Not just so it looks good for clients, but that it will make you feel good. If you feel good it will show in your business performance. As you spend a lot of time in the car it will help your well-being all day long. It is amazing what clean windows will do as you travel the countryside. Also, a clean car will be an organized car, need to find something in a hurry? With a clean car you will know where it is and not be hidden under fast food bags or newspapers.Keeping a good attitude will help in traveling and keep aware of what could make the trip easier for yourself. No reason to deny yourself when you have the room to carry what you need.
There is a distinction to be made between the Jet Lagged and the Jet Stressed. It is the same difference between the chronic and the acute. One is acute and the other is chronic. Jet stress is in fact chronically acute. The value of this distinction alone is what separates those who fly well and those who don’t. A second valuable observation to our cause is that any time Man has conquered or thrived in an environment he has done so by taking his own environment with him. To beat jet lag in all it’s forms you and I must do the same, frequent fliers more so than others. The current conversation on the subject of flying well repeat the buzz words like body clock and melatonin too often without a change in results or progress. The conversation is long in the tooth with the same tired advice – get plenty of sleep, drink plenty of water and keep your mind active. Old wives tales and a pastiche of personal remedies exist alongside rigid scientific data. The masses of frequent fliers and business travellers are confounded and struggle to make sense of disjointed and often confusing information. Productivity, personal health, relationships and global business’s bottom line suffers.The Most Intensive Frequent Fliers Hold The KeyI once read some good business advice which preached the value of catering to the extremes of a target audience. The notion was that if they were catered for all other demographics within that target market would be well taken care of. Frequent business fliers are representative of this extreme. An article in Wired magazine* charted the travel paths of business fliers over a year demonstrating the intensity of travel schedules of frequent fliers. The goals of business travellers to maximise productivity on the road, make the right impressions, close the deal and stay healthy bring home the urgency of the conversation at hand.Unhealthy Flying Doesn’t Pay, What Are The CostsThe price we pay for not dealing with frequent flying challenges and it’s associated woes outweighs the benefits. The costs are measured on a personal and global business scale. You can measure it on the personal scale with the tendency towards weight gain, insomnia, tiredness, fatigue, adrenal stress, hormone irregularities, trouble conceiving and the list goes on and on. The cost to global business is measured in millions of dollars in lost productivity. A 2003 New York Times survey* estimated that heavy-duty business travellers lost about 20 per cent productivity due to trans-meridian travel. A recent AirPlus Traveller Productivity White Paper* also highlights the link between business travel and productivity.Solutions Need An UpgradeOver the short ascent of global business travel and globalisation many advances and efficiencies have been made in the area of civil aviation. The hardware of the trade, the planes have seen many modifications including fly by wire technology and a new generation of fuel-efficient planes to take us into the 21st century. Contrast that with the plight of the frequent business flier, healthy flying advice has remained static. There has been no respite in terms of the pressure and demands in the workplace. Global mobile working is on the increase see the Worldwide ERC website* for confirmation.Look to Hollywood as an example of what I mean by this. A script is produced, a film is cast, locations are scouted out and the cast goes on location to shoot. Travelling to locations are incidental to the outcomes sought be it a film or a business meeting. Yet the quality of the end product can depend so much on the well-being of the participants. As globalisation makes the world smaller and calls for collaborative groups to come together in the name of a common goal over a short period of time, the need to be fully functional and productive is a conditional necessity for success.Pharmaceutical Interventions The Only Show in Town, Really?Until now the loudest voice heard in this conversation has been that of the pharmaceutical industry. Representative of this was Cephalon’s failed bid* to get the FDA to permit the sale of Nuvigil as cure for jet lag. It speaks to the default mode of operation, a pill for every ill and re-classifies jet lag from a costly inconvenience into an illness. This brings me to the point I want to make – better living through chemistry does have its limits. The entire idea that you can continually drug yourself out of jet lag over the span of your career of flying and come out ahead is moot. Workforce mobility and globalisation on the horizon should make this obviously clear by now. Any conversation about a cure to the problems of jet lag has to have an element of sustainability about it, and this is where current approaches fall down.Let’s Start with The First QuestionThe required change in tone of conversation is not complete without looking at the definition we give jet lag. Up until now it is characterised as being all about the body clock to the exclusion of anything else. As useful as this is it is limiting in the creativity we can bring to finding a sustainable solution. The discussion has to include a Jet Lag 101 course which asks questions like what is jet lag in its entirety? How does it affects you differently from me? How can you take charge of your solution? What guiding principles and methodologies we can all relate to and use? Without this first step we are doomed to looking at the same information but expecting a different answer. Scientific data is useful in dissecting the mechanisms of jet lag but we need to look beyond that to find a workable solution. Just to be clear any sustainable methodology has to be able to stand up to scientific examination to gain acceptance and credibility. However it starts with an inclusive discussion rather than graphing an old understanding onto an environment and condition which is current, dynamic and changing.ReferencesWired Magazine – New Age Traveller Infoporn#14 October 2010The New York Times
– Business Travel section November 2003
– Regulators reject Cephalon’s bid http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/30/business/30drug.htmlAirPlus International Traveller Productivity White PaperWorldwide ERC – The Workforce Mobility Association
– The Revival of Value – A Closer Look at Trends in Business Travel
These 7 steps to create a marketing plan for your contracting business in the construction industry is vital to surviving in this competitive marketplace. A marketing plan is your own customized “roadmap” to advance your career and/or business throughout the year. It is an internal planning mechanism to keep you focused and to help you reach your goals as a contractor / business owner. There are seven important steps to devise a well-developed marketing plan.Step 1: Develop an overview. You need to answer questions such as why you are in the construction business, and your marketing goals and priorities either to find a job and/or to gain new clientele. What kind of services do you provide such as commercial, residential, new construction only, or do you accept tenant improvement jobs on existing buildings?Step 2: Create your brand. What type of image do you want to create for your customers? How do you convey this image to the public? Think about how your past employers and/or customers would describe your abilities. Do you provide a specialty service, or are you known for intangibles such as having integrity and transparency?Step 3: Define your differential advantage. What sets you apart from your others? Why do your customers come to you over other companies? Do you go that extra mile and do things above and beyond what is expected? Maybe you only use the highest grade of materials. For example, why would a person building their own home choose you to build it over another company? This is your differential advantage.Step 4: Determine your target markets. Who are your clients? Write in detail a profile of who does business with you. Their ages, location, position, and so forth, and of who you want to do business with, and whether you do residential or commercial work.Step 5: Determine your online presence. Do you have a website? Should you? Think about the potential benefits from online marketing and the amount of potential clients you could reach.Step 6: Decide your strategic action plans. Design a marketing campaign and specific techniques to put your plan in motion. Is it realistic and does it fit into your budget? Do you stand to profit from your ideas? Do your ideas represent your company well?Step 7: Put your plan in motion. Implement your marketing plan and campaigns. Remember, your plans are not written in stone. You can throw out ideas that aren’t working and implement new strategies where necessary. Don’t be afraid to try new ideas and keep tabs on your competition and learn what works for them.Developing a successful marketing plan is overwhelming to some business owners, and understandably. It is an involved process, but absolutely vital to your company’s success. You will need to take advantage of everything your company can benefit from in today’s competitive market. It will be your key to achieving your goals and becoming successful contractor in the construction industry.