How businesses can save on travel
If you’re running a small to medium size business, you’re going to want to save as many dollars as possible in the first years of trading, while not harming the products and services that you’re offering. One big expenditure, if you have clients scattered all over the country and abroad, is business trips. It can be expensive for your organization, draining dollars which you’d rather be putting into other resources, to travel the globe meeting prospective clients. However, below are four ways to ensure the essential business trips for your employees is a little cheaper.
Befriend a travel agency
If your company is sending staff away on a fairly frequent basis, then you should think about entering a commercial relationship with a travel company or agency. Instead of relying on members of your in-house team to book flights and accommodation, having a dedicated provider might help you to save some money in the long-run. They can also take away all the stress of compiling itineraries. You also get peace of mind that they know what they’re doing and are licensed to do so. You may also want to talk to the provider about travel insurance for your workers, asking if you can get preferential rates.
Business travel is very expensive if it’s booked just a few days in advance. Therefore, you should be aiming (wherever possible) to get flights and accommodation reserved many weeks or even months in advance. Doing so could help save you a lot of cash. Easier said than done, yes, as circumstances can be very fluid, but, if you can, do it!
Business or economy?
If you’re sending employees off on a plane to work, think about what class you’re booked for them on the flight. Do they truly need to be sat in an expensive business class seat if the flight is just a few hours long? Maybe if they’re going transatlantic (or further afield), it’s worth considering, especially if they have to their head down in meetings almost straight away. However, for the stuff closer to home, maybe economy class will do. It could save you hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars per ticket, and that has to be good for your budget.
When you have staff away on business, you’re going to want to keep in close contact to check on how things are going, whether they have managed to seal a deal for example. There is a vast variety of opinions out there now for keeping connected. Your staff should have a cell phone, but there are alternatives to making a traditional call. Encourage workers to use free apps such as Messenger and WhatsApp and Skype. Viber can also help cut your bills.
If you send employees to regular locations, try and arrange some preferential rates with hotels and other accommodation providers. If you give them repeat business frequently, they should be open to negotiation. You also then know you have places to stay you can trust, as they have been tried and tested on multiple occasions. If you have a travel agency contract, this may well be part of your commercial relationship.