Bryan Miles, CEO & Co-founder, Miles Advisory Group
You’ve been there before: you’re at a trade show or important event and you’ve got to focus on networking, speaking, and attending important sessions, but your email and tasks just keep piling up. You know they are, and the idea of sorting through all these items when the event is over gnaws at the corners of your mind—distracting you from what you really want to do at the event.
For traveling executives with a virtual executive assistant (VA), however, this situation is worry-free. Instead of spending three hours each night holed up in a hotel room tending to emails, they can go to dinner with prospects, network with clients, and absorb new information from speaker events. How? Their VA is monitoring emails, responding and creating clear action items for after the event.
Here are three more crucial ways a VA can lift the stress of work travel burdens — even when you’re 30,000 feet in the air — so you can hit the ground running.
- Dynamically Adjust Travel Plans. You might be prepping for a presentation (or catching some much-needed sleep) on a plane when your connecting flight is delayed, and you can’t immediately reconfigure your itinerary. Your VA, on the other hand, is instantly alerted by an app like TripIt or TripCase, which holds all of your travel plans and scheduling notifications. Before you even know about a potential roadblock, your VA has rebooked you on a flight and handled all ticketing changes. All you receive is a quick message from your VA with the new gate number and mobile boarding pass.
- Make Sure You’re Getting What You Want. Shared docs like Evernote or Google Drive can help you share with your VA your preferred seat specifications, ideal departure times, frequent flier numbers, favorite type of rental car, and just about everything else that business travel entails. You don’t have to spend hours searching for the right flight times with your airline of choice or correspond with hotels to ensure proper upgrades are in place. Your VA will not only cover all of these important bases, but also pinpoint fitness facility services, create a list of well-rated nearby restaurants, and secure accommodations, such as the holy grail for traveling executives: free WiFi.
- Track Expenses in One Nice, Neat Little Package. Shoving receipts into your wallet during a client dinner or keeping track of every Uber ride around a city can be a messy business travel pain point. Instead of falling into transaction monitoring overwhelm, a VA will organize every purchase using apps like Expensify or document storage tools such as Dropbox while you’re busy networking or getting to your next destination. They’ll even complete any necessary expense report so you don’t have to spend valuable time on documentation once you’re back in the office.
As an executive on the road, you know where you’re going and what you’re doing. But that doesn’t mean that every detail of your travel will fall in line at every turn. Having a VA allows you to focus on what you do best, while alleviating the logistical burdens of travel plans and busy work, like email sifting. Business travel doesn’t have to be a time-intensive planning process or add strain to your regular workload. With a VA on your side, it can be what it’s truly meant to be: a time of productivity, reaching goals, and expanding business. In this fast-paced, constantly-connected world, the road warrior with a virtual executive assistant is going to make every road trip a winning one.
[Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net]
About the Author
Bryan Miles is the CEO and co-founder of Miles Advisory Group, the parent company of virtual staffing specialists eaHELP and MAG Bookkeeping. Bryan has an extensive background in the technology and construction industries, and lives in suburban Atlanta with his wife and co-founder Shannon and their two children.