Anyone who travel’s for business knows it can be expensive. You travel all over the world to meet important clients that could be potential investors or new business partners. Whoever it is, you need to meet with them and sometimes you need to travel to finalize those agreements. Business travel takes up a large portion of many company budgets. Owners have to be more efficient and reduce cost for traveling.
1. Find a travel agency
Your business doesn’t have to be a huge conglomerate to work with a travel agency. Many small businesses develop partnerships with agencies that help them maintain costs when employees need to travel. Several mainstream agencies are excited to pick up new clients and assist with their needs. The discounts on travel might not be as big if you were a multi-million dollar franchise, but you will experience some cost relief. This could include savings on hotels, rental cars and tickets. You can customize a package that could work for your budget regarding all of your travel concerns. Over time, you’ll realize how much money you’ve saved by using an independent travel agency. This is helpful because it gives you more chances to funnel your money into other areas of your business. Ask your account representative what suggestions they have to help you ease your business expenses. Most agencies are good at creating customized travel packages for many companies. Share with them the dollar amount you are looking at for your annual spending. This information will be helpful to them when looking around for hotels, car rentals and specific airline costs. you might get the best airport transfer cost for your transfer.
2. Develop a policy
It’s a good idea to develop a travel policy within your business. This gives all employees who often travel something to go by and can stop any abuse of travel expenses. The policy must have specific guidelines everyone can understand so there is no confusion. Many businesses can find itself overwhelmed with travel expenses that either weren’t approved or where inappropriately charged to the company expense account. A good policy in place can stop this hemorrhaging of your business cash. Make sure it informs all employees on what can be deemed as a travel expense and what isn’t. Management needs to enforce the policy to make sure there are no abuses that cost the business more than expected. Any travel costs that are outrageous can often be tracked back to an expense that wasn’t allowed in the first place. The policy needs to be written up and given to all employees. There should also be a follow up meeting to answer questions and any concerns about the new policy on business travel. This allows everyone to get on the same page. With a policy in place, you will learn fast on who is abusing their travel expenses and costing the business a lot of money.
3. Calendar planning
One great way to get a hold of all travel costs is to plan trips by a calendar. Every department head should know who is traveling and who isn’t. This is the best way to streamline all costs associated with corporate travel that must happen. When employees set off to meet investors or work with a new team, all tickets and hotel costs need to be planned out beforehand. There should be a set budget for all hotels and airlines to use. It’s a smart idea to pick the best brand hotel or airline for all travel needs. Try to create a customized package that has one overall cost for rental cars, hotel and airlines. This way all management department heads know exactly how much is coming out of their budget. The owner will be please to see travel costs under controlled and managed well. Planning ahead can also save money. Most managers know when they have regular scheduled travel. These should be logged into the calendar so all upcoming costs are accounted for. The agency you work with should have all upcoming travel itineraries scheduled. Never do last minute travel because this can be more expensive. Though travel can happen in a moment’s notice, you still should be prepared for this kind of unexpected need. Calendar planning helps with organization and being efficient when dealing with business trips. Your selected agency could receive a simple email that starts the process and everything is done from there. They should be given all dates when employees are expected to leave and return. All they have to do on their end is apply your custom package and the trip is set.
4. New Alternatives
Seek out new alternatives when dealing with business trips. Try regional airports that cost less instead of having employees flight into bigger airports in particular states. They also won’t have to stand in line forever and the nearby hotels can be cheaper. Consider using ride-share businesses that can cut the cost of a rental in half if not lower. This is especially important when anyone is traveling less than ten miles. It makes no sense to have a full rental car with gas expenses and possible repair if anyone gets into a wreck. An accident can be costly to any company, but it hurts the smaller ones the most. Examine all costs when arriving to a big airport versus a smaller one if it works with the travel intentions. Make it a point to always find a different path when traveling. No one says you have to stay at the overprice fancy hotel when there is a trendy one down the street just as good. Your business will save a lot when refusing to go with the norm of other business travelers. It’s not saying you are being cheap, but your company is being smarter about saving money on business trips that can take a big chunk from profits.
Business travel is always a headache for big or small businesses. Owners have to be clever with expenses that often can get out of control. It’s important to align your company with a travel agency that can help in eliminating high ticket or rental car expenses. Use them to create packages for your company that can be applied to any travel an employee must take on. You’ll find there are discounts and more savings by doing this. Create a strict policy on stipends and what employees can spend during all trips. Make sure the policy is clear to understand. A policy can set boundaries when employees travel.
You can also benefit from 17 Cost Saving Ideas for Small Businesses. A policy that’s easy to follow will stop anyone from adding unapproved charges to your business expense sheets that were never allowed to begin with. Question every expense that when employees return. A good policy helps you see a reduction in all expense when business travel occurs from any employee. Place all upcoming travel on a calendar so you can track expenses. This gives you a spot on view of how much travel is costing monthly or annually. Be creative in finding new alternatives for business trips. Consider losing the rental car for some transportation needs and use ride share companies. You should see a significant drop in cost by doing this.