The Five Best Business Travel Strategies and Why They Work
Across a variety of industries, there’s no question that business travel plays an integral role in the success of today’s modern organizations. Some of the main reasons employees hit the road are to meet with customers and prospects, professional development, company meetings such as sales kick-offs or quarterly business reviews, to evaluate project sites, implementations, or simply to build rapport. Whatever the reason, it’s imperative for travel to be managed, both for employees and the business.
There’s no question that technology-enabled business travel management is the best way to enable employees to maximize their time on the road while also keeping company objectives and policies in check. Here’s a rundown of the best business travel strategies to maximize time on the road while also being mindful of travel policies and budgets.
#1. Efficient Travel Pays Dividends
It’s true when they say that time is money. In order to arrive early enough to park and shuttle to the terminal, have enough time to clear security, or even just grab a bite to eat before a flight, business travelers spend hours in airports. If the flight isn’t direct, then travelers should plan to add on a minimum of 60 to 90 minutes for a domestic flight and at least two hours for international travel. Before you know it, an entire day is spent traveling, leaving less time to focus on projects.
Short of teleporting, the hours spent traveling for business are often unavoidable. We suggest enabling your employees to book direct flights whenever possible. Sure, a direct flight isn’t always available, but when it is, make it an option. Your employees will appreciate it, and the time saved will pay dividends for your business.
Travel can be stressful, especially when you don’t have a large buffer built-in to your day prior to the start of an important meeting. Don’t make employees rush with an early morning flight or waste time on layovers to save a few bucks. Make sure your policy enables them to fly in the night before an early meeting or to take the most direct flight.
#2. Flexible Budgets as a Cornerstone
With TravelBank, budgets are at the center of every trip. Now, please understand that this focus is not intended to make travel policies overly rigid. Quite the opposite, TravelBank’s budgets are powered by an intelligent travel algorithm that accurately predicts trip costs based on real-time market prices. When employees search for a hotel, for example, a recommended daily budget is calculated and each search results displays the hotel’s nightly rate along with the recommended budget. This allows employees to easily select a policy-compliant hotel during the booking process instead of wasting time trying to deciphering a PDF outlining an out-of-touch policy that is difficult to apply.
Additionally, businesses could incentivize employees to pick a cost conscious hotel by offering rewards for beating the recommended budget. As we’ve stated previously, By letting employees own their budget, they adopt a “beat the budget” mentality. Saving money for the company becomes a common goal, which in turn will foster a positive culture around fiscal responsibility.
#3. Make Expense Reporting a Breeze
A major advantage of working with a travel management company that offers all-in-one travel and expense reporting is the centralized tools available to your employees. Creating, editing, and submitting business travel expenses are a breeze. Employees can take photos of receipts through a mobile app, email receipts from Uber or Lyft directly to an expense queue, and then pull everything into a report. Once expenses are compiled, TravelBank makes it easy to earmark appropriate billing codes, and add descriptions where applicable. Reports can then be submitted with the click of a button. Easy!
#4. Remember the Travel Factor—Support Your Workforce
A modern business travel policy is a great way to both attract and retain top talent. Employees that travel frequently place corporate travel policies as a top consideration when looking for new career opportunities.
Additionally, a stellar business travel policy is an employee retention factor. To support your workforce, we believe that it’s essential to provide employees with round-the-clock support via email, phone, and chat. With TravelBank, road warriors know that they have a resource to reach-out to for all of their travel needs, whether it’s a delayed flight, hotel issues, or simply to make a change to an itinerary.
#5. Take the Guesswork Out of Your Travel Policy
Unlike booking through sites like Expedia, HotWire, or Priceline, managed travel technology not only provides the best flight routes and rate options, but also considers traveler profiles and budgets. By guiding employees to itinerary options that are within policy for that employee, it increases compliance instantly. It also decreases the need for additional approvals by managers and streamlines expense reporting.
Managed Travel Supports Road Warriors
Regardless of why your employees are traveling, it’s important for them to feel enabled on the road while also implementing strategies that keep business goals in mind. Travel spend needs to be kept on track, policy compliance is essential, and reporting needs to be managed. The best way to accomplish business goals while supporting employees is through technology-supported managed travel. There’s no better time to get started. Reach out—we’d love to help.