Considering the latest global circumstances and the ongoing pandemic, it seems that businesses have had to postpone all of their travel ventures indefinitely. This has allowed many brands and business leaders to realize just how much they can save up by cutting down on their travel expenses, or in this case, eliminating them entirely. However, we all hope that in a few months, businesses will be able to resume their activities at least to a certain degree, and that meeting clients, vendors, partners, and investors in person will once again be on the table.
This is the perfect moment for you to prepare for those future travel plans. Here, we’ll break down a few key expense-cutting tips for your business trips that will help you preserve your budget and grow your business as a whole.
Ensure employee productivity on the go
Chances are that your employees will head to a conference, seminar, workshop, or client meetings smack in the middle of a workweek. While that makes perfect sense, you also need to factor in that your traveling employees aren’t exactly on vacation.
The best way to handle this issue is to help your employees to maintain their productivity during business trips and to delegate portions of their work to others at the office so that the work gets done. Make sure to strike the right balance and allocate the appropriate number of work hours for your traveling team, because you don’t want them to experience burnout or provide subpar work results.
Look for low-cost opportunities
Although you want your employees to travel in style, you don’t want to exceed your annual travel budget because of a single airplane ticket. Luckily, since the competition in the travel industry is fierce, there’s always a more affordable travel opportunity, whether it’s a low-cost flight with an extra layover (worth the price), or cheaper accommodation with great access to your event.
Plus, booking well in advance gives you more options and allows you to pay lower prices for events later in the year. The early-bird approach is a vital asset for any business with regular business travelers on staff.
Spend smart to save more
Travel budgets aren’t limited to accommodation and plane tickets. They also need to include the spending allowance your employees will use on the go. For that, they need a trusted credit card, which will in turn reward your business for your spending.
Frequent business travelers can, for instance, benefit from choosing a credit card with free luggage, as it allows you to save up on checked bags, or even earn an actual, snazzy bag for your future trips. The type of credit card perks you choose, be it accumulated miles or spending discounts for specific brands will depend on the needs of your business.
Insurance policies to protect your plans
Health insurance is certainly one of the most vital investments you need to make as a business owner, to protect yourself and your employees throughout the year. As for your travel needs, you should consider investing in a travel insurance policy to cover your entire business. Why? Because it’s a small investment to make compared to the potential losses you can suffer in case of flight or accommodation cancelations, delays, and postponed events.
Not to mention lost luggage or stolen bags with your most vital business equipment such as your laptop or phone. Then there are the potential medical expenses in case of an emergency. Factor in your travel insurance policy into your travel budget, and you’ll be able to save so much more down the road.
Consider virtual meetings
No travel at all can be a great policy for smaller businesses looking to recuperate from the negative impact of this health crisis. Your presence at international conferences and global events will have its own consequences, but you can pick and choose which events you will benefit from the most, and which ones you can skip.
That way, you’ll be able to retain your reputation in your industry while at the same time switching to a more budget-friendly model: one where you can replace face-to-face meetings with virtual ones via various software tools such as Zoom or Skype.
Use the upcoming weeks and perhaps months to refine your approach to corporate travel. As a result, you’ll be able to go back to your travel plans prepared to spend less and preserve your budget for restoring your business and recover from the impact of the pandemic. After all, investing in travel makes for a great opportunity for your business, but only when you know how to manage your budget properly and protect your revenue from needless spending.
About the author: Mike Johnston is an avid blogging enthusiast and experienced freelance writer with a focus on business, technology, entrepreneurship, and real estate.