Business travel is on the up and up. It’s been a slow-growing area of business ever since the 2008 financial crisis, but it is set to rise by seven percent by 2022. In fact, in 2018 there were 8 million business trips taken from the UK and nearly half of British workers say they regularly travel for work.
While the daily commute may be a drag, business travel is far from burdensome for most employees. Indeed, 70 percent of business travellers enjoy their trips more than their everyday work life.
While your employees might be enjoying themselves, managing the cost and administration of business travel can be a headache for the small business owner. Never fear, though, we’re sharing five essential rules to help you manage your travel costs effectively.
1. Use prepaid business cards
Prepaid cards offer business owners control over expenses and, at the same time, delegate the freedom to book and pay to employees. They’re a great way to ensure that your team sticks to travel budgets and avoids overspending.
Pleo, for example, allows you to give a company card to each employee. You can then automate receipts with an app and give your accounts team a spending overview that integrates with your accounting tools.
2. Manage expenses online
Let’s face it, some employees are terrible at handing in expense claims on time. People get side-tracked, they lose receipts, and they’re not always mindful when it comes to spending business money.
Turbine allows managers to review and approve claims online and with one single click. It also enables employees to upload receipts on the go. With desktop, phone and tablet usability, it is a simple tool for your staff to use, a tool which helps you manage costs effectively.
3. Get employees to manage their bookings
Trying to accommodate the peculiarities and pickiness of individuals when it comes to travel arrangements is a challenge. One way of managing the logistics of booking travel for your employees is to have them book it themselves.
TravelBank lets you do just that. Business owners can apply one-tap approval to travel requests. Meanwhile, employees can book everything from flights, hotels and cars all in one app.
4. Bulk book and buy
Do you need to get 10 members of staff to a conference but you’d rather be the one who books the travel? Well, there are options.
Booking.com now enables business owners to track spending, take advantage of the best rates, and book travel on behalf of their teams. Paired with the concierge approach to group travel provided by TravelPerk, you can sit back and relax while a single point of contact takes care of your bulk bookings.
Stick to the policy
You can significantly reduce travel costs if you make sure that your team stick like glue to the policy.
Many business travellers don’t take account of their companies’ policy, which leads to managers feeling like they are herding cats. It also means that, as a manager with a tight budget, you can miss out on the savings that booking ahead guarantees.
When employees know and understand your business’s travel and expense policies like the back of their hand, they play their part in taking fiscal responsibility for your company. That means more accountability, which in turn means more responsibility when it comes to spending. This, dear readers, is only a good thing.