In today’s global market, business travel is often unavoidable. Many consultants and websites will advise your business to go online. They’ll tell you to avoid travel entirely and conduct meetings through conference calls or Skype. They’ll tell you that the internet provides all the communications you need to secure deals. Call us old fashioned, but none of this can replace the face to face meeting. Nothing builds a relationship like talking shop over a coffee or a cocktail. For us, a conference call just doesn’t have the same effect. With that in mind, you’re going to have to pay for travel. But, how can you keep the costs down?
Make use of air miles
When you travel regularly, air miles are the best way to keep costs down. There is an art form to building and spending air miles. Any frequent fliers here will know what I’m talking about. Try to stick to airlines that build up the most useful points and miles. Sticking to one airline will help you build up a larger stash, rather than spreading across many airlines. When it comes to spending, you generally get the best value by using them for long haul flights. They’re also great value when used to pay for hotels and upgrades. Learn to maximise your money here!
Reassess your company car costs
Company cars are still an essential part of many businesses. They allow employees to get to meetings and clients in a professional manner. However, they can get expensive. If your fleet’s lease is coming to an end, look for a better deal. Opt for the models with a better fuel economy as they’ll save you a lot of money. Reassess your insurance premium too. Take a look at insure-fleet.co.uk and see if you can insure all the vehicles under one policy. These small cuts will make a big difference.
Cut expenses while traveling
It’s the small expenses associated with traveling that really add up and break the bank. Buying food three times a day, jumping in a taxi and paying for wifi all adds up. Often these costs are more than the flight and hotel themselves! Implementing a spending limit is one easy way to keep costs low. You can also encourage employees to pack a lunch and use public transport.
Be flexible with travel options
One thing that makes business travel so expensive is the inflexibility. Employees want a specific flight to a specific destination. Encourage a culture of flexibility where other flights can be considered. Take a cheaper flight to a nearby airport and jump on a bus from there instead.
Choose the right hotels
When it comes to having a place to lay your head, does it really need to be The Ritz? Always look for the good middle-ground hotels. They have wifi included and many other benefits. You can always meet clients at a neutral location if it’s not glamorous enough! Don’t waste money on an executive hotel you’ll only spend a few hours in.
When it comes to business relationships, we prefer to hop on a plan or a train. Modern technology is good, but it doesn’t beat a face to face meeting. The compromise for this tactic is cutting traveling costs. It’s all worth it in the end though. How could you cut your costs?