Organizations that rely on corporate traveling to secure clients and lucrative deals must plan strategically to reduce travel expenses. Travel costs can quickly eat away your monthly budget, especially if you’re a growing business. The costs add up at the speed of light, from airfare and commuting to hotel rooms and fancy dinners.
Businesses must connect with investors, clients, and business associates to grow, expand and succeed. And you cannot compel your employees to travel on a limited budget that denies them comfort, security, and life quality. After all, employees cannot deliver their best performance after sleeping on a dingy bed in a pest-infested hotel room.
So, how can your organization reduce its travel expenses without compromising on comfort and corporate networking opportunities? Keep reading to pick up some practical strategies.
1. Avoid Hotels & Inns
Hotel rooms and inns are one of the biggest budget drainers when we talk about corporate traveling. Unfortunately, they are also a significant reason business travelers end up in substandard accommodations chosen by their employers. Organizations try to cut costs by booking rooms in cheap hotels, hostels, and inns, without much consideration for employee comfort.
Did you know that you could significantly save a lot more by avoiding hotels and inns altogether? You see, hotels, BnBs, and hostels are located in competitive markets dominated by other rivals. As a result, they charge competitive rates, which increase during tourist seasons and the holidays. In recent years, corporate rentals and short-term housing solutions have emerged as a much more affordable and luxurious alternative to hotels.
Similarly, organizations in Texas can enjoy the affordability of relocating their employees in comfortable and luxurious accommodations. For instance, energy companies can relocate their employees in luxurious camping lodges in Texas, decked with modern amenities. For construction, energy, and other companies in the South Central region of the US, corporate rentals provide all the amenities needed to support life quality. It’s like a home away from home without draining an organization’s travel budget.
2. Invest in Virtual Communication Tools
In 2021, in-person meetings are a thing of the past, as organizations worldwide are transitioning to remote work models. Embracing virtual communication tools, such as teleconferencing and real-time project management solutions, allows businesses to save millions. You see, teleconferencing tools, such as Skype and Zoom, eliminate the need to travel overseas or even locally.
Industries and businesses have sustained and survived due to teleconferencing tools in the wake of pandemic-induced lockdowns. Today, companies can acquire talent, clients, and investors from the global market using virtual collaboration tools. These tools and software allow remote team workers to collaborate and communicate in real-time.
All one requires is a smartphone or a laptop to get connected and work from anywhere, anytime. These tools support data transfer, real-time coordination, group discussions, and other solutions. Virtual communication tools offer undeniable convenience, and they eliminate the need for corporate traveling for in-person meetings.
3. A Flexible Travel Reimbursement Policy
Does your company have a strict travel reimbursement policy? If not, then the enormous expenses your employees have accumulated on a foreign trip shouldn’t surprise you. A strict travel reimbursement policy is necessary to map out all the company’s costs on corporate trips. However, an unfair policy that denies sufficient funds for necessities and comfort will result in employee dissatisfaction.
A flexible and fair policy covers all potential expenses, including accommodations, commuting, and dining with clients/investors. Typically, travel costs are tax-deductible for businesses when they are recorded and reported accurately. The policy must map out all the travel costs and inform the employees about the reimbursement process.
The policy must map out all details regarding daily stipends, airfare and accommodations, and additional expenses. It should also clarify the costs that are not falling under the organization’s reimbursement policy.
4. Automated Bookings & Reimbursements
Automation tools are highly effective at controlling and reducing costs, alongside automating time-consuming processes. Making hotel and flight reservations is a complex process, especially when employers are focused on cutting costs. Using automated booking processes can help you save time and set limits on expenses.
You can set predetermined parameters for costs and schedules to ensure all bookings are affordable and timely. Most booking automation tools allow users to specify their preferences for budgets, accommodations, and airlines. Instead of relying on employees to hunt and find the lowest cost flights and hotel rooms, let bots handle the process. Automated tools will secure the most cost-efficient bookings that align with your specified preferences for comfort and convenience.
Businesses can also automate the reimbursement process to avoid paying any costs not directly linked with the company. It’s pertinent to note here that businesses incur considerable travel costs, aside from transportation, accommodation, and food. Companies also pay for the time and effort of their employees handling the administrative tasks of organizing corporate trips.
Investing in a tool that automates the travel cost reimbursement process can help save thousands of dollars. Employees can upload receipts while traveling and receive reimbursements without much delay. Such conveniences also allow accurate bookkeeping, allowing businesses to enjoy tax deductibles with precise recording. The added advantages of transparency and avoiding fraudulent expenses from employees splurging on luxury are hard to ignore.
5. Plan Ahead to Avoid Last-Minute Bookings
Corporations plan to reduce costs and maximize their advantages. The same equation applies to corporate traveling, especially while making bookings and lowering costs. Last-minute bookings are always costly, be it hotel rooms or airfare.
Organizations must encourage manager-employee coordination and collaboration on business trips to avoid last-minute planning. Making a flight reservation a month in advance is a common tactic that helps save hundreds of dollars. Planning and collaborating with corporate rentals, airlines, and rental car businesses can help your company secure discounts and reward programs.
All companies must keep an eye out for special offers, discount programs, and promotions that allow them to reduce costs. For instance, keeping track of air miles traveled by your employees can help secure bonus miles for roundtrips.
In recent years, the corporate traveling industry has grown dramatically, allowing businesses to enjoy affordability and convenience. Businesses relocate their employees temporarily for multiple purposes and goals. Some companies rely on relocation to secure high-profile clients and investors. In contrast, others move employees to work on remote oil rigs.
All industries have their own distinctive corporate needs, from the energy sector to construction, pharmaceuticals, and education. Using digital tools, automation solutions, and corporate collaborations can help save thousands of dollars. It’s wise to prioritize corporate traveling and use virtual communication tools to facilitate remote collaborations.
A flexible and fair travel reimbursement policy is also essential to discourage employees from fraudulent expenses and unnecessary costs.