With countries just starting to get over the economic downturn that affected the world in 2009, companies that have survived are always on the look out for ways to cut costs. Business travel is one of the areas that take up a large amount of company spending. It is true that travel is necessary for businesses whether it is within the country or abroad. However there are ways to reduce on the costs of business travel and thus save your company money.
1. Use of technology. With modern technology now available like web conference and video calling, it may no longer be necessary to travel thousands of miles and spend thousands of dollars in order to attend a conference or be in the same geographically location with the person or people you are doing business with.
2. Use of one credit card to buy company travel. One major benefit of doing this is that the company will accumulate frequent flyer miles from different airlines and even from hotels which will eventually translate into various awards, like upgrades on the class of travel by an airline, free air tickets, free hotel accommodation and even airport transfers which may be a saving for the company.
3. Negotiate with airlines and hotels for special rates. It is surprising how many companies do not do this and yet the amount of money saved in business travel can be enormous if a company negotiated preferential rates with airlines and hotels many of whom are very ready to provide this if it will mean the organisation patronising their services.
4. Have a company travel policy. Lack of a company policy on travel can lead to unnecessary travel abroad, including excessive spending on air travel and hotel accommodation. A company should have strict policies on when travel can be undertaken and by whom and staff members should be made aware of these policies. Also there should be accountability for any business travel done including reason for travel, class of travel, hotels stayed in and number of days spent on business travel.
5. If your company uses a travel management company to handle its travel and hotel bookings, it is important that they are aware of your company’s travel policy and its desire to minimise on travel costs. You should use a travel management company that is willing to work with you in minimising these costs. If possible compare the rates of several travel management companies to determine if you are getting the best rates available in the market. This comparison should be done on a regular basis. Also from time to time, you should ask your travel management company to issue you with reports of all the travel done by your company to help you monitor and know how much you are spending on travel.