Don’t Let Winter Conditions Ruin Your Business Travel Plans
Unless you travel from one warm climate to another, you can be sure that business trips during the dog days of winter will run into weather problems. The biggest storm of the year always seem to fall on the very day you finally get the meeting you’ve been trying to schedule for three months.
No matter how well you try to plan around weather reports, there is no way to completely block out the effect of winter. The only thing you can do is prepare for the possibility that meetings and visits will have to be rescheduled.
That doesn’t mean that winter travel is a bad idea. There are many good reasons to send staff members abroad to solve a problem, install a service, or complete an agreement. Waiting until spring could be risky in those cases. You just need to be prepared for alternatives when Stormy skies or snowy roads prevent you from reaching your destination.
Fortunately, technology is here to help. When winter strikes, don’t let your business trip go down the drain with the melting snow.
1. Snowed out of a meeting? Use Zoom.
Use Zoom for virtual meetings so everyone can participate even if they can’t be physically present. The software makes it easy to arrange meetings and is well-designed to allow people to hear one another and always know who is speaking. When a person speaks, he takes the central position on the screen and all of the other participants are muted, eliminating background noise. The video is always crystal clear, and the sound is as good as your speakers can produce.
The service does require some degree of pre-planning. In order to participate, people need to have it installed on their phones or computers. That means someone needs to coordinate the downloads to ensure everyone is ready for the meeting. It is also a good idea to run a test meeting so that everyone can find the settings her or she needs when the meeting begins.
2. Need to communicate quickly and directly? Use Skype.
It’s not a new technology and it’s been duplicated many times, but Skype proves you never really improve on a classic. The original Internet-based teleconference program still delivers top level signals and it keeps communication alive between all the various parts of your team. Since it relies on the Internet, you don’t have to worry about foreign phone rates, plans, and sim cards. You just need to ensure that your data plan is sufficient to ensure that calls can be placed, at least in the event of an emergency.
Skype is a reliable service that has widespread adoption. Every member of your team should have an account on his or her phone, and the chances are relatively good that others outside the team will also have the capability. Like all useful technologies, the more people use them, the more useful they are to everyone.
3. Need to Keep track of spending? Use Way2Vat.
When it comes to Winter travel, there is usually a need for improvisations. Roads close, hotels become unavailable, restaurants you might not have chosen under different circumstances become convenient options. All of that makes it harder to keep track of where all of the money is going. Relying on receipts could leave you in an accounting crisis where the numbers do not add up. Chances are, some of those receipts were misplace or never received in the first place.
The best way to stay on top of spending in a chaotic environment is a phone-based program like Way2Vat, which lets you scan all the receipts immediately and keeps track of all the spending for you. You always have a birds-eye view of expenses, which can help you make better decisions.
Best of all, you also have your VAT return system in place automatically. With one click, you can claim the VAT that you are eligible to receive back from the various European governments. VAT regulation changes from country to country, so pay attention to the specific terms in each country.
Make sure your company gets all of the VAT returns it deserves. For the complete story on recovering VAT in EU countries, download our eBook.