Being at the right place at the right time is a crucial matter in life and in business. Travel is subject to that very same rules, and the fact of being or not at the right place and time can make the difference.
In early 2014, Tencent was interested in buying the messaging service WhatsApp, an acquisition that would have provided the Chinese corporation with immediate global reach. But as they neared the final stages of an agreement, Ma Huateng, founder and President of Tencent, who took an interest in the deal, had to undergo back surgery, which delayed his visit to Silicon Valley to negotiate with founder Jan Koum. Mark Zuckerberg took one’s chance and acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion, more than twice what Tencent had considered paying.
How many opportunities and businesses may have been lost due to the fact that we where not at the right place at the right time? Life is certainly full with similar stories both in personal and professional context.
Business often confronts us with akin situations as we must take special care of customers or prospects if we don’t want to make the way easier to our competitors always eager to take a larger part of the cake. In terms of business travel, this is a matter to be considered by travel policies, for corporations need to set the adequate rules and provide the necessary flexibility to ensure that travelers and road warriors do their job when it’s relevant.
Most companies clearly understand that business travel is an investment, 45% according to a recent research from American Express GBT in Europe, but another 55% may still believe that it is just a cost that can be cut.
Travel management wont certainly provide us with the answer whether we should be at a specific place or at what time we are expected to be there, that’s a matter of intuition and fortune, but it may give us some valid rules and perspective to set priorities and avoid unnecessary expenses, so that we can use our travel budget more efficiently and maximize our ROI, trying to to seize all possible opportunities to be at the right place and at the right time … and as Ray Kroc says «doing something about it».
Marcel Forns (c) GEBTA 2017