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Smart Business Travel: 4 Tips to Help You Reduce Expenses

By Rose Martin

As an entrepreneur, you’re certainly always looking for ways to maximize profits and increase revenue. And as cutting costs is equally important, you sure try to reduce expenses wherever possible.
But have you thought of cutting costs related to business travel? If you haven’t, you should know that you can save lots of money by doing a few things differently.
Read on for some tips on slashing your company’s business travel costs.

Consider If You Really Need to Travel

Ask yourself if you can get the work done without traveling. With the advancements in technology, you can easily reach your clients or business partners through conference calls. And if you need to be face to face with them, there’s video conferencing! Further, try a webinar instead of sending your employees halfway across the world to attend a seminar.
Technology not only helps you reduce travel-related costs, it also helps you get the job done effectively. So whether you need to send an employee on a business trip or need to travel yourself, consider if you can do without spending a load of money on flight and accommodation costs.
In addition to this, consider if you can do with sending just one person instead of two or more on a business trip. Cutting down on the duration of the trip will also help slash travel costs significantly.

Plan in Advance

If you or your employees need to travel, make sure that you plan the trip and book tickets and accommodation well in advance. Booking things at the last minute will mean shelling out a lot of extra money.
If you start early, you are bound to come across great deals and discounts. You might also be in a position to reschedule a meeting in case you see a great promotional offer and want to avail it.
You can save hundreds of dollars if you book flights, accommodation, and rental cars 15 to 20 days in advance, so don’t pass up the opportunity by not planning!

Get the Best Deals

You need to make sure you research well for the best prices when it comes to booking flights and accommodation. Don’t go with the flow; find out what’s best for your company and act accordingly, a popular option these days is the rental of corporate furnished apartments.
Make use of reward cards to earn discounts and use them as needed. Compare benefits offered by all companies before you choose your card and don’t forget to read terms and conditions beforehand.
Furthermore, join a travel club to avail benefits if you or your employees need to travel frequently. There will be a membership fee, but you’ll be able to recoup the cost over the course of a few trips.
When booking flights and accommodation, go ahead and ask for corporate deals. In most cases, you’ll get a good discount irrespective of the size of your company or the number of people traveling.
You might also want to get in touch with a travel agent to get all your bookings done. They will have the best deals for you and they may also offer discounts of their own!

Have a Travel Policy in Place

Developing and implementing a firm travel policy can help you cut travel-related costs significantly. Be sure to include expense allowances, travel budgets, and booking guidelines in the policy. Have the travel policy in writing and ensure that all employees are aware of it so that there are no disputes later on.
You can choose to provide credit cards to employees who are required to travel frequently. The practice of offering cash per diem for miscellaneous expenses is also popular with many companies.
Set a realistic travel budget and ensure that your company’s allowances are in line with reasonable expenses. Avoid reimbursing expenses not allowed as per your company’s travel policy or by exception. Set up a detailed expense reporting system that makes it easy for the management to track and evaluate expenses.
You can also have a rigorous approval process in place so that employees can ask for a greater allowance if need be. Remember that if the allowance is less, employees will let the management know but if the allowance exceeds needs, employees will get to pocket the difference. Over time, this can translate to huge losses for your company.
Additionally, make sure that frequent flyer miles are not bagged by your employees and applied to their personal travels.

When you think of cost cutting, slashing expenses related to business travel may not be the first thing that comes to your mind. However, you can save your company from a lot of extra expenses if you go about this the right way.
With the tips mentioned here, you know that it isn’t difficult to cut costs related to business travel. So what are you waiting for? Act fast and you and your company are sure to benefit!

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