Booking Travel For Small Business
Who's best placed to book business travel?
If there’s one thing small business owners need to avoid, now more than ever, it’s wasting time and money. The smaller the enterprise, the more precious these two commodities are. Booking and organising travel itineraries swallows time like a black hole swallows… well, time, so it’s very important to find ways to make this process as efficient as possible.
So, how should SMEs make travel arrangements?
One way (*self-plug alert*) is to make use of one of FCBT’s numerous Business Travel Experts, who specialise in getting small businesses the best bang for their buck. And as far as time goes, all it takes is a quick phone call or email from you to put it all in motion. We’ll also manage your travellers’ profiles, their preferences, maintain your travel policy, offer flexible payment options, among many, many other things.
And how should small businesses manage travel once it's booked?
Having a dedicated travel manager and a travel management company with 24/7 emergency assist (not just an answering service) is priceless. In emergencies they can be your most helpful resource. Should you ever get quarantined or denied entry to a country your FCBT Travel Expert can help with accommodation, flight changes, cancellations and alternative routing, as well as the day to day stuff like seat and meal requests. Stay up-to-date while on the run with travel alerts and changing conditions on your trips by downloading an itinerary app such as TripCase, or TripIt.
WHAT ARE SOME OTHER BUSINESS TRAVEL TIPS FOR SMALL ENTERPRISES?
Other than using FCBT to do absolutely everything for the best price possible and in the quickest time?
Well, we guess we could share some more advice (we’re nice like that).
HAVE A TRAVEL POLICY IN PLACE
Hoo boy, this is so important. Articulating (and getting your employees to take notice of) a travel policy might be in position 17,895 on your list of things to do as a small business owner, but honestly, please do consider moving it up in priority. It will save you so much time, money and general hassle further down the road. You can read more about writing a travel policy and tips on how to encourage travellers to stay in policy here.
BE ORGANISED. AND THEN BE EVEN MORE ORGANISED
As we’ve indicated above, if you use our services this won’t be something you even need to consider (bliss!) but if you do decide to go it alone in booking your business trips, fastidious organisation is your friend.
Have everyone’s passport details stored in the same place; make sure that employees can actually feasibly make the flights you book. If the traveller lives in Northern Beaches, and you want them on a 5am flight from Sydney airport, can they get there in time, or do you need to book a hotel the night before?
BE CRYSTAL CLEAR WITH YOUR OBJECTIVES
Okay, we’re straying slightly out of our logistical remit with this one, but we know from working with thousands and thousands of business clients that when travel needs to happen, employees can get so caught up in the excitement of going somewhere exotic for work, they forget why they’re doing it in the first place. This is particularly true of start-ups and other small businesses.
Making sure your employee knows exactly what their objectives are, and what your specific expectations of the outcome of their trip, will keep everyone happy in the long run, and ensure you see an actual ROI.
DO YOU DEFINITELY NEED THAT UPGRADE?
Sometimes the answer to this is genuinely: Yes. How much additional comfort you decide to invest in will depend on the purpose of the trip and who’s taking it, but it’s important to keep in mind there is a spectrum when it comes to any kind of travel, regarding the quality of the experience (think First Class on a 5 star international airline Vs Cattle Class on a budget airline).
HAVE A CLEAR AND EASY-TO-UNDERSTAND SYSTEM FOR FILING EXPENSES
As we said at the top, we understand that time and money is precious to you as a small business owner, so remove as much admin time as you can by making it super-easy to correctly file expenses. Consolidating all travel bookings through a single channel makes it much simpler to keep track of and file expenses, and a TMC such as FCBT can provide statements and reports to aid this.
NEED HELP WITH YOUR BUSINESS TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS?
If you are looking for a new travel management company then get in touch for more information about what we can do for you.