The cost of doing business continues to rise, thanks to a bump in corporate travel costs for 2019. For many businesses, business travel is important in securing their future. It helps in adding a personal touch to the brand, translating opportunities into partnerships, and building strong interpersonal relationships with suppliers, customers, and even competitors. It is generally always on the list when getting into business, even for small business owners. However, it is already seen as one of the more expensive aspects of a business, and as a result, businesses are always seeking ways to reduce their travel costs. However, with the clearly positive influence that travel can have for a business and the high costs attached to it, most businesses are left trying to find a balance between the two. While giving up or reducing business travel can potentially harm the business, there are other opportunities you can take advantage of in a bid to control the cost of corporate travel.
Map And Track Your Frequent Destinations
There will be some locations that may become common destinations for travel in the course of your business. Clever scheduling hacks such as grouping visits to minimize trips can help to keep your expenses down, and even reduce employee tiredness from work travel trips. Make use of a travel tracking tool, such as Yapta, that can save companies up to $369 per trip. This helps you to spot the best prices for flights and rooms, even when you have to rebook or claim a matched price. Don’t forget that the hospitality industry is quite competitive; hotels will be very willing to match competitor pricing.
Take it a step further by assigning travel booking duties to one specific person who has been trained in tracking and optimizing prices. This means less individual time wasted on booking work trips and a standardized procedure. Having a well-regulated corporate travel policy in place means you are able to better control costs, and control the travel costs reclaimed by employees. Finally, don’t forget to include incidental costs in the budget, such as transport from the airport and around the city, and a meals allowance.
Link Your Travel To Your Business Rewards
Finance companies and lenders are eager to gain customer loyalty, and as a result, most of them offer accounts or funding with a customer loyalty program or rewards attached. This is particularly applicable to credit cards. Many entrepreneurs, including small business owners, utilize business credit cards to fund their purchases. Most of them offer airline or hotel points that are accrued each month. This can then be applied to business travel to minimize the cost of flights or hotel stays. If your business credit card does not offer these rewards but you anticipate significant travel in the future, it is worthwhile looking into securing financing that offers these rewards. As a general rule, you should always aim to match your rewards scheme to your business needs. In this case, this means choosing the lenders and financing with frequent flyer programs, including hotel and flight points. This way you can be sure to gain rewards that are relevant and useful in your business.
Strike A Deal With Hotels For Frequent Destinations
Alternatively, or in addition to, if there are standard locations that your employees tend to travel to for business meetings, conferences or supplier meetings, why not negotiate a standalone contract with a chosen hotel? Most hotels will be quite happy to gain secure future routine guests and income, and are likely to be more prone to offering discounts for the company stays in exchange for being the sole hotel servicing company trips. This can apply to single cities, or even on a global scale if the hotel chain and travel plans permit.
Of course, your business could also consider alternatives to business meetings, such as the inclusion of virtual meetings, thanks to tools like Skype for Business. Implementing such tips in your corporate travel area can help you make the task much more cost-efficient, and shave off valuable money. Find ways to balance the costs of business travel against its benefits; this way you will be maximizing its use in your business and the impact of your employees when they do travel.