In the world of small businesses, every expense matters, and that includes business travel. Managing travel bookings effectively can optimise your operations, maximise your budget, and streamline your travel policies.
In this guide, we’ll explore the dos and don’ts of travel booking for small businesses, helping you make the most of your business journeys.
Do Consider More Sustainable Travel
Sustainability is no longer a buzzword; it’s a business imperative. When booking travel for your small business, think about the environmental impact:
Is there a way to combine multiple meetings within one trip?
Frequent short trips can be costly and disruptive. Instead, consider consolidating travel into longer, more purposeful trips. This reduces travel-related expenses and minimises disruptions to your business operations.
Can travellers reach their destination via train instead of flying?
Whilst the industry is making positive steps towards using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), train travel is still the number one choice for eco-friendly transport. It’s often the more comfortable and convenient choice too, so do consider train travel when booking national and short-haul trips.
What sustainability policies does the hotel uphold?
The accommodation your business travellers stay at is just as important as the transport you use to get them there. These days, most hotels will have clearly defined sustainability policies and best practices to help reduce their carbon footprint, so be sure to ask for these ahead of booking.
Don’t Assume Your Staff Understand Your Travel Policies
Clear communication is key. Your travel policies may be well-documented, but don’t assume your staff knows them inside out. Ensure your employees are aware of your travel policies and understand their importance. Hold training sessions if needed and provide easily accessible policy documents.
Don’t Neglect Business Travel Compliance
Compliance with regulations and business travel policies is essential in mitigating risk, optimising costs and operations, and also for ensuring proper management of your business’ reputation. Non-compliance can lead to hefty fines and other legal issues, which can pose significant challenges, especially for small businesses.
To ensure compliance, be sure to research the latest rules and requirements for travel in the destination country, make your business travel policy easy to access for all travellers and get comprehensive coverage for business travel insurance. Travel always comes with its share of uncertainties. As such, it’s vital to have good business travel insurance in place to safeguard your business from unexpected disruptions and ensure your operations continue smoothly even when things go awry.
Do Create Clear Guidelines Around Bleisure Travel
Bleisure travel, combining business and leisure, is a growing trend. To manage it effectively, set clear guidelines. Define what is and isn’t permissible during bleisure trips to maintain professionalism while allowing employees to enjoy some downtime.
Don’t Forget About Traveller Well-being and Safety
Your employees’ well-being and safety should always be a top priority, especially as duty of care is a legal and moral obligation for all businesses. Incorporating safety measures into your travel policies ensures your staff are well-prepared for their journeys, keeping them safe but also protecting your business. Make sure to also provide resources to support your employees in case of emergencies.
Do Consider Partnering with a TMC (Travel Management Company)
Small businesses can benefit greatly from partnering with a reputable TMC that can offer expertise, cost-saving strategies, and technology solutions that simplify travel management and reduce expenses.
From travel booking systems to traveller dashboards, the digital tools that TMCs can provide are particularly effective at optimising travel booking for small businesses. These solutions help track expenses, ensure policy compliance, and provide insights that empower travel bookers to make informed decisions.
Travel with confidence
Efficient travel booking is crucial for small businesses looking to maximise budgets and streamline operations. By following the dos and don’ts outlined here, you can ensure your business travel is cost-effective, compliant, and safe.
If you’d like to understand how to manage your small business travel booking, speak to our team today. We’re here to help you make the most of your business journeys.