Most business owners and managers are looking for ways to tighten their finances these days, and many look towards costs such as wages, inventory, and marketing in the first instances to do so.
Yet, there are many other areas where some savings can be found, such as corporate travel. If you have team members needing to travel throughout the year for various reasons, you’re sure to be able to reduce expenses and increase profitability in turn.
Here are some tips to help you do just that.
Set Up Clear Procedures for Staff to Follow
If you want to reduce the amount of money you spend on corporate trips each year, it’s vital to set up clear travel-related procedures for your staff to follow.
Your policy needs to cover all the areas of travel spending that may be relevant for your company but needs to particularly include details on the proper approvals process for trips, and guidelines on expense limits, on-site spending, bookings, and reservations.
Ensure it covers flights, meal allowances, other transportation, and business expenses such as internet access and printing.
Having detailed procedures in place will help traveling personnel make smart decisions that fall within the policy and avoid incurring additional costs for the firm. Outline what isn’t acceptable when team members travel, such as using the company card to purchase clothing for work events or souvenirs or charging mini-bar items to the room.
Be sure to educate all of your employees on your procedures and policies and send out notifications of updates to the documentation to everyone when changes occur. Employees can’t follow a travel policy if they don’t know and understand it.
Also Read: Essential Mobile Phone Apps to Help You Maximize Your Next Vacation
Plan in Advance as Much as Possible
It’s wise to get everyone in your organization to plan their trips in advance as much as possible. While some trips may crop up at the last minute, such as for unexpected meetings, most work-related events tend to be something that people have advance notice of.
The more everyone can plan for their travels, the less money should be spent on bookings. For instance, usually, it’s possible to cut costs on flights, train fares, hotel rooms, and other things if they’re reserved weeks or months before the travel time.
When you plan in advance, you can also better come up with a schedule that keeps trips as short as possible and requires as little travel between destinations as possible. This leads to less expense in total.
Look for Ways to Avoid Trips in the First Place
You should consider teaching your staff members to see if they can avoid trips in the first place. Sometimes people may be keen to go away for a change of scenery, but this doesn’t mean that attending a meeting, conference, trade show, or another event is actually necessary.
Often, it’s feasible to conduct conversations via Zoom or other online communication tools or to cut down the number of events that employees present at or attend.
When you look at the return on investment of past attendance or carefully consider if the outcomes of new opportunities will be worth the spending, it’s often clear that travel isn’t the best option for the bottom line.
Be Flexible with Timing Where Possible
Sometimes a significant amount of money can be saved if employees can be flexible with the timing of their trips. For example, traveling outside of peak seasons, school holidays, weekends, or times when destinations have several big events can mean much cheaper flights and accommodation bookings.
Train your teams to see if they can rearrange schedules where possible to be more flexible and, in turn, have the ability to travel at cheaper times of the year.
These days, we have the advantage of having many helpful tech tools at our disposal. Many programs can help us cut corporate travel costs when utilized effectively.
For example, it’s worthwhile considering investing in specialized business travel management software that makes the setup of preferred vendor bookings and discounts and expense report accounting, among other things, possible and easy.
Many handy vacation apps can also alert us to cheaper flights or other available deals. Plus, some applications make it a cinch to take advantage of flight, hotel, or hire car rewards programs, so employees can book cheaper or even free options upfront.
To cut costs on corporate travel, also focus on establishing preferred vendor relationships and get staff members to be on the lookout for hidden fees or other unnecessary charges that could be avoided or reversed.
You need to be proactive and organized, to begin with, to lessen the financial load of corporate travel for your organization, but your efforts will undoubtedly pay off soon.