The comeback of business travel creates opportunities for every company or startup to earn incremental revenue. However, small businesses, unlike large businesses, find it challenging to increase the number of domestic and business trips due to budget constraints.
Also, they can get higher returns on business travel investment only by improving work travel experiences and ensuring work traveler safety. That is why; it becomes essential for entrepreneurs or small business owners like you to adopt a slew of business travel management best practices.
9 Business Travel Management Best Practices for Small Businesses
Establish Business Travel Policies
You can make it easier for employees to plan and arrange business trips only by implementing an easy-to-understand travel policy. Employees can refer to the policy to avoid overspending by differentiating between reimbursable and non-reimbursable travel expenses. Also, the travel policy will help them manage unpredictable events like missed flights, meeting cancellations, and emergency medical situations.
Ensure Travel Policy Compliance
Along with defining business travel rules, you also need to ensure that no work travel violates the preset policies. You must share the travel policy with employees and encourage them to clear doubts. Also, your employees must understand which travel guidelines they must follow as concrete rules and which rules they can alter to remain productive or safe.
Provide Booking Options
Business travelers these days want to book their choice of business travel products. You can boost the work travel experience of employees by supporting self-booking. You must provide employees with travel booking tools that allow them to choose from many airlines, hotels, and car rental companies. At the same time, you need to ensure that each employee can get the required assistance while making business travel arrangements.
Avail of Lower Rates
The ongoing price inflation makes small businesses incur higher business travel costs. But your business can reduce work travel costs significantly when employees can book flights, accommodation, and other essential business travel inventory at lower rates. You can avail of various business travel options at lower rates by partnering with a travel management company or implementing the right travel management software.
Incentivize Employees to Reduce Costs
Employees can control work travel expenses by choosing low-cost options. For instance, a business traveler can curtail costs by choosing shared accommodations instead of hotels. Likewise, she can save money by preferring carpools to cabs. These low-cost options will affect employees’ work travel experiences. But you encourage and incentivize them to choose low-cost options.
Streamline Travel Expense Processing
Most small businesses simplify business travel expense management by opting for post-trip expense reimbursement. But you must remember that work travelers often experience stress when there is a delay in travel expense reimbursement. Your travel policy must streamline expense processing by identifying approvers, setting approval limits, and defining the approval process.
Meet Duty of Care Obligations
No business can make employees engage in business travel after the COVID-19 pandemic without meeting duty of care obligations. It must ensure the safety and security of work travelers by providing them with relevant information and required assistance at the right time. While making corporate travel policy, you must meet your organization’s duty of care obligations
Leverage Employee Travel Data
You cannot control costs without distinguishing essential travel expenses from unnecessary or irrelevant ones. That is why; it becomes essential to analyze the travel expense data submitted by work travelers. The analysis will help you detect important patterns as well as detect travel policy violations and travel expense fraud. You can easily analyze large volumes of employee travel data effortlessly using data analytics tools.
Support Open Communication
In the post-pandemic age, work travelers make several changes to their travel plans and travel itineraries. Your travel policy must be flexible enough to allow employees to make last-minute changes. However, it is also important to listen to the grievances of work travelers and refine the travel policies regularly to adopt the changes required to make work travelers comfortable and productive.
Your organization can save resources only by consolidating important business travel management activities, starting from travel booking to expense reimbursement. The consolidation will help you centralize the travel management process without deploying additional staff.
You can consolidate business travel management by implementing the right software. The software must come with features and tools to simplify both business travel management and travel expense management processes.
The right software will help your small businesses to speed up travel expense reimbursement while providing employees with choices, information, and assistance. However, you must customize the software according to your organization’s precise business travel needs.