How companies can cut their corporate travel costs

  • January 4, 2019

Would you like to reduce company expenditures related to business travel? For you, and your company, are these outlays a limiting factor for growth? For example, you’d like to grow your business overseas but the thought of spiraling travel costs to service the new market hampers near-term entry. Well, we here at Hotailors have a few simple tips to help you and your company travel smarter — read on to find out more.

At Hotailors, we know this pain well. We’re committed to solving business travel for everyone involved. Reducing spending for corporate travel can be a complicated task for every CEO, CFO, executive or department responsible for planning and booking business trips in companies. There are several tactics that we, and our growing list of clients, find indispensable if your company is one which must travel frequently. Here’s a short runthrough to help you optimize business travel expenses.

1. Plan ahead — make sure to book flights and accommodation as early as possible

We realise that sometimes trips have to be made at the-drop-of-a-hat, this is part of business. But, typically, we advise companies to begin the reservation process as soon as a trip, and its purpose, is marked in the diary. Having a clear trip purpose helps companies to arrange reservations around the needs of their representative. It’s also more cost effective — early reservations can make a substantial difference to monthly financial statements. Avoid last minute bookings where possible, and request the same approach from your employees. This will enable you and your company to travel more with the same budget.

2. Harness the power of virtual meetings to service clients

Without a doubt, face-to-face meetings make a greater impact from a relationship-building standpoint. Typically, in-person meetings improve rapport, signify greater commitment, and afford people the opportunity to tackle problems in a more emotionally intelligent manner. And while it is true, that you likely won’t make a billion dollar deal using Skype for Business, Google Hangouts or other video conferencing solutions — it is a tried, tested, and very inexpensive tool. A tool which, when used well, can help a business maintain frequent contact with clients, troubleshoot issues and broker new deals. Why not investigate previous meetings which required travel, and assess whether a simple online call with the right people in your organisation would have sufficed?

3. Establish your corporate travel policy

While smaller companies tend not to have a formalised travel policy in place, we’d argue that this segment may be most affected by overspend relative to earnings. Regardless, companies big and small should codify procedures to control ballooning travel budgets. As well as booking early, and travelling when truly beneficial, furnish employees with specific guidelines regarding trips. Be clear about per diem payments, meal allowances, client expenses, preferred travel vendors and transportation rules. Budget is at your discretion, but often the implementation of a policy can control costs and deliver more value for all stakeholders. Unambiguous rules will save you hassle, and employees can plan accordingly safe in the knowledge that they’re acting in accordance with company wishes.

4. Consider a (better) travel management software

There are plenty of tools open to your company to manage business travel. While shopping around on different websites may seem like a savvy, cost-cutting approach for booking — the tradeoffs on time-spent comparing may actually negate any real savings. When we talk about effective, efficient business travel, we like to see end-to-end solutions that eliminate these time dead-zones. Getting a good deal on travel is important, but is it paramount? Can the person perusing the best deals be better deployed?

Searching for flights, then searching for the best hotel — corporate and comparison sites bring a wealth of information but the individual sifting through them is often the limiting factor. Choose a tool to streamline this process: Simply let your employee select their trip needs within the confines of a budget you control. With a tool like Hotailors’, flight options and the best hotel offers are generated in seconds by out AI-powered solutions. Hotailors aggregates 2,000,000+ hotels and over 700 airlines; this ensures we can deliver the best value to our customers. Travel the future by saving 95% of booking time and an average of 30% on booking price.

5. Renegotiate for better corporate rates with flight vendors or hotel chains

Your company travels to the same destinations frequently, and is choosing the same hotels and airlines. Or maybe you’ve gone through a period of growth, and a new market has opened up increasing recent traffic from employees to the region. In the case of the former, see if you can approach your regular providers and, having proven to be steady business, negotiate for a better position on the back of this. In the case of the latter, discuss projections for travel with providers and broker a deal that scales as you do. If this isn’t your first market expansion, point to similar travel growth in markets you enter.

If your company is too small to get a better deal, try to partner with a company that already negotiated a better rate for their travel in the region. Cooperating with other smaller companies can help improve your collective value to hotels and travel providers. Such a solution is well-suited to small companies and even individuals who travel frequently to certain destinations.

Optimize your planning, booking and expensing of corporate travel for increased efficiency and comfort by using smart-travel technologies from Hotailors.com. Leave your email and we’ll reach out to tell you how our product can help your company manage all of its corporate travel like never before.

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