When I flew to Bali, as I stood in line at the security gate, I decided to do a quick mental sum of how many flights I’d caught in the past few years, including business and persona travel. As I added up the destinations—America, Europe, India, New Zealand not to mention airports across Australia’s cities—I wondered if I was crazy for travelling so much whilst expanding a global magazine and, more recently, pivoting my business in a brave new direction.
I could have saved money and energy by staying locally—two resources that entrepreneurs have in short supply. However, after 16 years in business, there is one truth I’ve discovered—to expand, up-skill, network and really become the fullest version of yourself, sometimes it’s necessary to step outside your comfort zone—and your country.
The good news? Airlines like Cathay Pacific, who launched their Business Plus program last year, are making it easier than ever to find the time—and the budget—to expand your boundaries. Tempted to dust off your passport? Here are the benefits:
Go to the source
Whether you produce a tangible product or you offer a service, there’s probably one element of your business that not based in your country. Collective Hub’s print magazine was sold in 37 different countries and there was nothing I loved more than walking into a shop in America, spotting our magazine and quizzing the shop owner about our regular readers—who, when and why they buy it! I’ve learnt incredibly valuable insights this way. It pays to physically visit any part of your production line.
Travel with purpose
Whilst I love jet-setting ‘just’ for fun, in some ways I actually prefer travelling for work. My purpose—to be an entrepreneur for entrepreneurs—makes me feel alive, so why wouldn’t I incorporate it into my holiday? Also, there are financial bonuses to blending work and wanderlust. Companies who sign up to Cathay Pacific’s Business Plus program get more value out of their collective business spend, by unlocking extra benefits like fare discounts, cabin upgrades and even cash vouchers.
Expand your acquaintances
How we network has changed since the days of stuffy conference rooms with uncomfortable chairs and fluorescent lighting. I’ve met life-changing business contacts in unexpected situations whilst travelling overseas, from ashrams in India, to co-working spaces in Los Angeles and the time I toured Facebook HQ in Silicon Valley (an activity which led to incredible opportunities). Sometimes your ‘holiday self’ is more willing to put themselves out there.
Chase the unicorns
Instead of breaking America, many entrepreneurs are turning their sights to Asia—with good reason. According to research by Startup Genome, the number of tech unicorns in China has risen from 14 percent to 35 percent since 2014, whilst America’s unicorn numbers have fallen. Want to crack the Chinese market? Search out local accelerator programs like Chinaccelerator—who are based in Shanghai—which helped to globally expand the Australian startup Chozun.
Attract top talent
According to studies, Gen Y employees can be attracted by workplace perks rather than salary, and this includes the potential for business travel. Want to retain millennial masterminds? Programs like Business Plus allow business owners to easily book flights for employees, simplifying and streamlining travel management in one portal. You don’t need to send staffers on a three-week beach holiday! According to research, millennials favour short, unique trips and they’re happy to mix business and pleasure.
Business Plus is a programme that rewards companies for flying on Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon for business travel. It helps your company better manage business travel bookings while rewarding both the company and its employees. There are 5 tiers in this program – as each tier is reached, your company can unlock rewards. For more information on Cathay Pacific’s Business Plus programme, click here.