Companies of all sizes are becoming more mobile and more international than ever before, allowing them to seize business opportunities wherever they spring up.
Research indicates that six in 10 small businesses in the UK will look to do business internationally this year, but businesses must make sure that they maximise the potential of these trips.
In today’s fast-paced, ultra-competitive business landscape, SMEs cannot afford to miss out on the chance to interact with potential new customers whilst travelling. By planning ahead, leveraging the right mix of productivity apps and choosing data and roaming plans to suit their needs, SMEs can make sure they get the most out of trips abroad.
One of the most important things to do before a business trip is to plan ahead. By doing things such as downloading important documents in advance, writing down destinations and contact information and knowing what your goals of the trip are, employees can save themselves a lot of time and stress and be free to focus on the job at hand.
Downloading maps, for example, will mean you won’t have to frantically search for an internet connection if you get lost and can help avoid extra, unexpected charges.
Choose the right productivity apps
In today’s technology-driven world, mobile apps can be a great way to increase productivity. Apps now cover a vast range of business functions - from note-taking to sharing files and submitting expenses – to give businesses a helping hand and make travel a hassle-free experience.
As there is always a lot to think about on business trips, to-do list apps such as Evernote and Wunderlist can help take the strain. Dropbox and Google Drive can be used to quickly share documents with colleagues or clients and Expensify or Concur can take the hassle out of expenses, allowing you to submit receipts before you’ve even left the restaurant.
All of these apps can greatly reduce stress whilst travelling, but one factor to remember is that some functionality will rely on an internet connection, so having roaming and data options in place remains vital for businesses.
Share your data
An often overlooked aspect of roaming charges is how businesses share their content amongst their employees. Having flexible content plans gives employees access to a shared data pool that each employee on the plan can draw from, rather than separate packages that may go underutilised.
Business Connect from EE allows businesses to create their own customised plan and share minutes, texts and data across multiple devices, as well as offering a range of shared roaming add-ons. To assist with managing costs and to prevent against bill shock, it sends alerts when employees are about to hit their data allowance.
Digital marketing agency Digital Next is one company that has taken advantage of Business Connect to help with its expansion into Europe and US, allowing its employees to work smarter and keep costs under control. CEO Justin Blackhurst said: “Being able to call those countries at no extra cost is a great thing for the business.”
Get the right roaming plan
One of the simplest and most effective ways to embrace international business is to ensure that you have the right roaming plan in place. With EE, companies can choose from a variety of plans to suit their business destination and budget.
The Euro Pass plan, for example, provides unlimited minutes and texts, plus 500MB of data per day, which you’ll only be charged for on the days that you use it. If you’re going further afield, there are a wide range of international roaming add-ons available and applying them to your business couldn’t be simpler. What’s more, if you run out of roaming data you can just buy another add-on, letting you stay in control of your costs the entire time.
In the globalised world that we live in, businesses are faced with the opportunities and challenges of international markets. It is vitally important, therefore, that they are able to embrace international expansion without worrying about unpleasant financial surprises.
With EE’s roaming and sharing plans, SMEs gain visibility and control of roaming costs so that working abroad becomes hassle-free and, most importantly, affordable.
Image Credit: Dragon Images / Shutterstock