Small business owners usually consider travel a necessary expense for doing business. They attend trade shows, visit clients, attend meetings or seminars, and speak to groups. However, travelling doesn’t have to be an expense. It could be a way to bring in extra income or at least a way to reduce what you owe on taxes. Here are some tips on how to make money from your business travels.
Write for a Publication
Many online publications will let you write about your travels and pay you for the right to do that. For example, say your business trip takes place in New Orleans. You could write about a tour you take of mansions in a travel publication. The publication will publish the article and pay you for it. Some pay per word. Some have a flat fee. Some will give you a link back to your website, which will increase visitors to your site and land you new sales. Therefore, when you take a business trip, consider how you will write about it.
Create a Video
As you are taking time away from the conference or business meetings, you could create a video of what you see. It could be about scenery or about people you see doing interesting things during the seminar. Then, you can put the video on YouTube with links back to your website. If you have enough subscribers on YouTube, you could earn extra money for that video.
However, if your channel is not monetized, you will gain brand awareness and exposure. People will see your video and want to know more about you. They will visit your site and increase your sales. When creating a video about people, make sure you get permission to show them and identify them in the video. This is legally necessary and will entice their friends and family to watch your video too.
When you are in a new city, go to local restaurants. Write reviews for those restaurants in TripAdvisor and other sites. Some of those will pay you to write the reviews. Others will give you points that you could use as vouchers for things you might need, such as hotel stays or rental cars. Even if they do not pay for your review, you can build your online presence, which improves your reputation. People read those reviews and would link the review to the person. Reviews are important regardless of what your business industry is.
Add to Your Company Blog
While you won’t get any direct money from putting it on your blog, you could consider it advertising dollars. Blogs promote you as an expert in your field, give your customers the information they seek, bring people to your website and increase your rankings in Google. The higher you show up in Google search results, the more likely people will go to your site over your competitors. When your traffic increases, the number of people calling you for your service increases and you are more likely to close those sales. Therefore, it is advertising dollars well-spent.
Deduct From Your Taxes
Although most business owners do understand that they can deduct business travel from their taxes, they might not realize that they can deduct their vacation trips too. When you are on a long flight, bring your laptop and do something for the business. It could be brainstorming ideas about an upcoming project. You can do the same for a long drive if you are not the driver. You can work on your business during the travel portion of the vacation. Once there, you could spend time while everyone is sleeping for a short while.
You don’t want to do too much work while on vacation. The idea of vacation is to recharge your batteries and spark new ideas, but when you are relaxed and those ideas flow, write them somewhere to deduct that vacation. You won’t be able to deduct the whole time or the whole amount as in a business trip, but you could get some money back. And, don’t forget to deduct parking fees or tips to hotel staff from your business trip. Track your mileage even in a rental car while on your business trip.
Give Away Books
You can create a travel guide and format into an electronic book. You could give away this book to visitors to your website. You also could sell the book at events, such as trade shows. When you have giveaways on your website, you are more likely to attract visitors. People like getting things for free. They will value your services over competitors. The book will be the hook that draws people to your site and keeps them there. They will want what you are selling over others.
These are some of the ways you can get money from your business trips. There are others if you think creatively and encourage the imagination. Business owners do not have to spend money on trips without getting some return on their investment. Happy traveling.