It used to be the case that travelling on the business was associated with stunning hotels, first class lounges and luxury spending accounts. But what if you aren’t a multi-million pound corporation just yet?
Many smaller businesses need to reduce their business travel budgets and encourage their employees to spend cautiously when it comes to their travel expenses.
We’ve identified four main areas that you can easily save your pennies when your employees are travelling abroad. These include where your employees travel to, their mode of transport, accommodation and meals.
Many business travellers have to go to multiple destinations for work purposes, depending on where clients are based. But this can all be easily reduced if you and your employees have a little more time to research before setting off.
If you are travelling to an expensive city, look for accommodation that is near but just on the outskirts and within travelling distance.
Cities such as Paris and New York have more than efficient subway systems that are quick and cheap compared to staying in the centre.
Before you book your next visit, search the web to see if any providers will negotiate prices for frequent passengers.
Next is to decide what standard of travel you are using. Many companies will define when it is acceptable to fly first class, business economy or economy class in their travel policies, so make sure you read them before you book.
How you travel can depend on how long the journey is. Sometimes a long haul flight in economy class might not be the right decision if you want to turn up for a conference or meeting feeling refreshed.
But just remember upgrades can be costly for a company so it is essential to monitor the amount of upgrades each of your employees is taking.
Negotiate for accommodation
The most obvious way to save money when searching for accommodation is to avoid 5 star hotels.
Ask hotel chains if they will negotiate business rates for your frequently visiting workers. Most are more than willing to do so and will provide a loyalty scheme to join.
Sometimes hotels offer free Wi-Fi, breakfasts, parking and a concierge service so it’s best to remind your employees, so that they can make the most of their stay at the hotel.
Spending limits for food & drink
Many organisations undoubtedly think that the best way to do business is face-to-face and sometimes it is necessary for your employee to wine and dine your clients in order to create or maintain a strong relationship.
However, you need to put a limit on the amount spent so that slap up meals, don’t become lavish nights out on the company credit card.
These expenses may get out of hand from time-to-time, but strict guidelines of what is acceptable and what is not can reduce your company’s expenditure.
Many organisations are taking steps to improve their travel budgets and the efficiency of managing their employee’s expenses abroad.
Nowadays businesses are more conscious of their spending budgets however, studies into business travel show that 60% of employees complain about reduced travel budgets having a negative impact on their trips.
Choosing appropriate software for expense management can help you to monitor and reduce your company’s travel spending, by analysing where cut backs can be made.
If you would like to see how much you could save, trial our travel expense management software.