Business travel is usually necessary, but it is also where businesses spend the most money. A recent US study reports that businesses spend over $100 billion annually on travel. Regardless of their size, companies must be fiscally prudent to ensure that the trip is a good investment and done cost-effectively. Fortunately, you can do a few things to economize business travel. Below are a few straightforward ways to save money on corporate travel.
9 Ways To Save Money On Corporate Travel
- Have a corporate travel policy
There is a lot to consider when developing a business travel policy, including handling bills and food allowances and booking flights. And sometimes, certain details may unintentionally be omitted. Examine your current business travel policy and consider if it is comprehensive enough to cover all areas of travel expenses within your organization. Pay more attention to getting your basics right: a suitable approval procedure to cover bookings, reservations, and other expenses. Establish clear rules to assist your business travelers in making decisions that adhere to your policy and avoid unnecessary charges that harm your bottom line.
- Promote trip flexibility
Whether you have a staff visiting a client or filling a new office, event dates can change. The travel or office manager may have to make new bookings for the traveling employee. These changes happen more often than not. Therefore, it is prudent to leave room for changes when making appointments for your staff. This way, your employee can quickly adjust to any sudden changes. Other emergencies include illness, and rescheduled client meetings, and these happen to even the finest organizations. Fortunately, a few travel agencies offer a refund if you add a day or two to your bookings to account for any change. This means you won't have to worry about losing funds.
- Encourage alternate accommodations
Accommodation costs can easily add up. However, encouraging your staff to rent hotels, Airbnbs, or flats with kitchenettes can be a good option for longer stays. This can help reduce your food costs. Travelers can occasionally prepare or reheat pre-made food from a local grocery shop. While alternative accommodation, such as Airbnb, might help you save money in some places, your small business could benefit from booking with a huge hotel chain with negotiable rates. Think about how frequently you visit cities served by prominent hotel chains, then contact different hotels to learn what kinds of discounts they may provide.
- Invest in smart tech
Technology impacts various business areas and sectors, making the most time-consuming tasks or routines simple. If nothing at all, the pandemic showed how businesses could rely on technology to achieve exceptional results. So think of ways you can integrate tech into your corporate travel processes. Without tech, you may have to depend on individuals to prevent various challenges like mistakes and poor decision-making that may inflate travel costs. Today, simple tech innovations like small business gas cards allow you to save money by allowing businesses to lower fuel costs. With fuel cards, you don't have to use cash or pay for gas with your bank card. Also, you can limit employees from using the card for purchases other than gas.
- Provide realistic allowance for food and transport
Giving employees a choice over their meals and transportation costs may cut overspending. Meal expenditures can be established as a daily allowance, letting employees decide how much to spend on breakfast, lunch, and supper. There will always be exceptions, so save that five-star meal for your most important client appointments. For transportation, it would be best to urge employees to select the most cost-effective option, considering travel hours. This may entail driving their own cars from one point to another and reimbursing them.
- Consider a travel management service
Employing a corporate travel professional can significantly reduce your entire corporate travel expenditure. These professionals work with enterprises globally to offer bespoke travel management services to help their clients save money, time, and stress. Working with a travel management service provider can allow you to take advantage of exclusive discount offers on travel airlines and accommodations. Some travel management services may combine data on trip expenses like flights and non-flight expenses like business lunches. This way, you can have complete insight into your travel costs, allowing you to make informed decisions that will result in considerable cost savings.
- Encourage shared transportation
Shared transportation is an excellent approach for saving money if you have employees traveling to destinations around or within the same location. Shared transportation saves your business gas and reduces your business's carbon footprint. Educate your travel teams and budget heads about shared transportation when pre-planning longer trips. You can ask your finance team to audit transportation expenses for carpooling opportunities for their next corporate trip.
- Support employees to stay productive on the road
Employee productivity is good for every business. Corporate travelers will spend more time working if it doesn't take them so much time to organize their trip. Making their journey as smooth as possible at each point will allow them to stay productive throughout their journey. You can use many software and apps to plan and manage employee travel schedules and provide them with the necessary travel details. You can also share local info and discounts, so employees won't waste time searching for information. This will allow them to get more done while on the trip.
- Reward your employees
Your travelers save your business money when they make cost-effective decisions. These can add up quickly and help your bottom line. How about giving your staff an incentive to do even more? You can give them a percentage of their saved cash, time off, or a shopping voucher. Rewarding your staff for reducing travel costs is a great technique for showing your appreciation, and they will be willing to do more knowing they stand to gain too.
Ultimately, saving on corporate travel should be a team effort. So it is vital to think holistically and discover how your employees can help you save money while embarking on crucial business trips. The above tips can help you get started.