December 15, 2021
By Jamie O'Dwyer
If not properly managed, business travel expenses can rack up quickly. If you’re a business owner or people manager, it’s important to strike a balance between 1) spending the right amount on business travel and 2) keeping your employees safe, healthy and happy.
Controlling your company’s business travel spend goes beyond budget cuts and slashing items off a list. Research shows that companies experience a $12.30 return in terms of revenue for every dollar invested in corporate travel. But it is not just revenue that your business travel spend is intrinsically linked to – it also can impact employee well-being and satisfaction.
For employees, flexibility is important and it can be demotivating to have tight constraints on their business trips. In an article by Business Travel News, one finance executive talked about how incentivising employees to take cheaper, indirect flights led to bad experiences and jet lag. Meanwhile, a travel manager shared the importance of smart cost savings and a close understanding between finance and travel teams in promoting positive travel culture.
Without a good travel management solution, you are likely spending 30% or more than you should be on business travel. There are smart and modern ways to stay on top of your business travel expenses- by finding areas where spending can be trimmed or allocate new budgets to areas with positive business results.
In this article, we'll take a look at:
If you have negotiated hotel rates for your employee’s business trips, you may not always be getting the best value and prices. This article covers the value you can get from both negotiated rates and the open market. Especially for last-minute bookings, the open market may give business travellers the opportunity to book at heavily discounted rates.
Consider adding more accommodation and flight options to your business travel programme. The easy way to do this is by opting for a business travel management that combines inventory from a myriad of sites such as Agoda, Skyscanner, Sabre and more. You get a larger array of travel options to choose from to suit your business needs and employees’ preferences – all within your budget.
Your company travel policy is key in communicating duty of care and travel expense limits. If your company has a travel policy in the form of a lengthy document, chances are employees will find it difficult to follow the rules set out for them. Combing through travel policy and being mindful of it every business trip can be difficult – employees are likely to slip despite their best intentions.
Automating your travel policy makes it clearer to employees and much easier to adhere to when booking travel. Any booking made that is beyond the policy will be flagged for approval to managers. It frees up valuable time for your employees to focus on important work instead of worrying about your travel policy.
Ideally, changing or cancelling travel arrangements at the last minute should be easy and affordable. Now, with the unpredictability of the pandemic, there are more flexible travel options available. However, not all flexible options are money-saving. It is important to assess what your business needs are and choose flexible options accordingly. For instance, many hotels and airlines allow full refunds for last-minute cancellations if you pay a higher price. To get the most value for money, it’s important to look at the nature of your business trip changes and how frequently it occurs.
Flexible travel options like TruFlex are great for business travellers that want to protect themselves when a cancellation occurs. Employees can cancel their trip for any reason with TruFlex and get at least 80% refunded instantly in cash. It is a great way to stay on top of your business travel spend, save up to 50% and not lose out when cancellations happen – whether an employee takes ill, there’s a schedule change or any other reasons.
Keeping a paper trail of all expenses during business trips and making claims after doesn’t have to be tedious. Think of the value-add you get from using a travel management platform in this instance. All expenses and claims made are tracked on a single platform for easy reporting and future planning.
It also allows you to have better control over your business travel spend and stay on top of trends in costs over time. If there are items in your budget that are increasing at a rate faster than others, you get to ask employees for feedback or source alternative solutions proactively.
When it comes to travel management, it pays to be thoughtful. With traveller-first solutions to suit your business needs, TruTrip makes business trips easier for you and your team from start to finish. Book a demo or sign up for a free trial to see how we can upgrade your business travel programme.
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