The world of corporate travel is seriously big business. Still growing, the industry is predicted to be worth £1.3 trillion by 2023, representing a 4.1% growth from 2017-2023. Particularly for multinational corporates then, travel expenses are a significant and considerable concern.
With the world of commerce and industry only becoming more globalised, businesses big and small are keen to keep their staff’s trip expenses under control. Whilst reducing the amount of travel itself is largely out of the question, there are a few ways companies can look to tighten up their spending.
Starting with the obvious, business or otherwise, planning ahead is one of the golden rules of saving money on travel bookings. Of course, the last-minute nature of various meetings and arrangements means businesses won’t be able to secure the best prices on every flight or train ticket, but, where possible, the sooner things can be done; the better.
Not only does a proper planning structure come with economic benefits, but it also offers a more logistical approach to managing travel.
Create a Tight & Defined Policy
In an industry where much of the administration is carried by the individual rather than the business itself, a watertight corporate travel policy is essential to regulating expenditure. Setting out in clear terms what is expected of staff when it comes to booking will help prevent any unnecessary or wasted spend.
A good corporate travel policy should come with a thorough approval process and clear guidelines on limits to bookings. For example, auxiliary charges such as accommodation and food and drink expenses should be accounted for but controlled to a realistic degree. Likewise, flexibility in travel, such as choosing times that are covered by off-peak tickets, should be encouraged when available.
Pick Your Battles
The phrase ‘appearances are everything’ can often spring to mind in business. When it comes to building client relations, the way a business presents itself can play a huge part in building the relationship.
Keeping up appearances does extend to business travel, whether that’s travelling in first class with a client or arriving in style to an important meeting. However, a business will do well to understand that not every single journey must come with a premium price tag.
For example, travel involving a key client should almost certainly dictate a luxury element. Meanwhile, sending junior staff to a work convention needn’t come attached with a first-class experience.
Therefore, knowing when to ‘pick your battles’ between economy and premium travel can make a big difference to annual spending. If that ethos can be extended into a business’s corporate travel policy, then they should stand to gain.
In the modern interconnected world, there’s no escaping the need for business travel. However, that doesn’t mean it should hamper a business financially. Through efficient travel management policy, encouraging the right attitudes amongst staff and being realistic with expectations, companies can tighten the belt on their travel spending without any drop off in network productivity.