Your small business been approached by a much larger company and they’re interested in your services. They’re keen to set something up and propose a meet-and-greet. Unfortunately, they’re in Perth and you’re in Brisbane. You might be able to manage the travel expenses if you don’t mind a diet of instant ramen for the rest of the month. Of course, you can usually save money on flights and accommodation by using a travel booking service like Corporate Traveller . There are many other strategies for saving money that aren’t as obvious. Here are tips for taking lucrative out-of-town meetings without breaking budget.

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4. The Away Team

Decide right away who’s making the journey with you. Which of your employees will be of benefit in the meeting? Can you go it alone? Knowing how many people are going will allow you to budget for tickets, extra luggage, meals and accommodation. If money’s tight, then the fewer people coming with you the better.

3. Use your contacts

Always use your network. As an example, maybe your business has been doing graphic design work for a hotel in the city you’re going to be meeting in. Don’t be afraid to hit them up! Let them know that you’ll be in town and ask if they might be able to hook you up with a discounted rate if you book rooms there? Remember, like a lot other facets of running a successful business, it’s not what you know but who.

2. Book early

Never, ever book last minute. The importance of booking early really can’t be overstated. Obviously, business trips can and will arise without a lot of early warning but on occasions where you have time on your side, it absolutely pays to book early. Not only is booking your flights and accommodation in advance far cheaper, it will also allow time to budget and save for any incidental expenses while you’re away.

1. Pregame via Skype

Before you start racing all over the country to meet with different companies, it can really pay to arrange a videoconference beforehand. Get an overview of what they want from you and manage expectations realistically. Be clear about what the outcomes of the meeting and related travel will be. Use this call to give them a little more information about you and your business, and ask them if they have any questions for you. You don’t want to spend a lot of money travelling to investigate partnerships or deals that are never actually going to get off the ground.

The truth is, you shouldn’t ever have to pass up amazing opportunities because you can’t afford the travel expenses. Thorough planning before a trip can save you money and time. Lock away your travel and accommodation arrangements early so you have more time to focus on the purpose of the trip.

What are your strategies for saving a bit of coin on travel expenses? Drop them in the comments below!