Whether you’re an entrepreneur running your own business, or you own and manage a company counting dozens of employees, handling your budget with care is vital for your success. Splurging on unnecessary items is rarely on any business owner’s agenda, and if you need to visit your clients regularly or travel to handle negotiations, all the more reason to be careful with your expenditures.
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic has brought any form of travel to a halt, companies have noticed a significant change in their monetary status. Suddenly, these brands have more funds to reallocate towards employees and handle the ongoing crisis.
The pandemic, in a way, helps business travelers build perspective: you can now be even more frugal with your travel expenses and find a strategic approach that will help preserve your revenue without jeopardizing your relationships. Let’s dive in and discuss a few main tactics to help you manage your travel budget, cut your expenses, and boost your business operations.
Insurance for the sake of protection
As a business traveler, you might feel that your trips are predictable enough and secure enough as it is. However, unexpected flight cancellations or mishaps with your hotel reservations are all possible issues you might come across. This is why travel insurance is something you need to plan for and often add to your budget plan. Otherwise, you might end up paying for two flights instead of one or having to stay the night during your layover when your next flight is canceled.
Typical policies can also help cover the loss of your baggage, entire trip cancellations, or in case there’s a delay. Not to mention the medical coverage that will be extremely useful in case of an emergency. In a sense, investing in policy means reducing your unexpected travel expenses for the long haul.
Help your employees manage their allowance
When you have new employees join your business, you should take some time to help them master the art of business travel. If, for instance, there’s a new co-worker on the team that’s about to head to a conference abroad, you can share some of your own travel tips for a stress-free trip.
Every business traveler can benefit from pre-packing her travel bag and structuring her allowance for the duration of the trip. That way, she’ll always have her essentials ready without worrying if she’ll have enough room in her carry-on luggage, and to avoid overpacking which is often charged with a hefty fee.
Pick a travel-friendly credit card
Every business needs a dedicated credit card provider, but how you select yours will depend on a myriad of different factors. That is why companies that send their employees to conferences and sales meetings all across the country (and beyond) often select a card that helps them accumulate miles and loyalty points for accommodation.
There are companies that choose a free luggage credit card ideal for employees who travel frequently and need to bring more than just their carry-on. As a result, accumulating enough loyalty points gets you a free checked bag or even a free bag for your future trips. All in all, perks from your credit card provider can be an essential element in your strategy to reduce travel expenses.
Partner with the right airlines
Loyalty is deeply valued among brands, and when you, as the customer, show that you’re happy to go back to that one and the same provider, they are bound to reward you for your trust. That is especially useful in travel-specific partnerships. Finding a trusted airline, your favorite hotel in a place you travel to regularly for client visits, and a reputable transportation company all help you cut costs with loyalty.
Of course, you can also invest in a travel management expert, who can always find great travel deals to reduce airfare, the costs of lodging, and the like. That, however, is an option often reserved for larger companies with too many employees to manage their own travel budget.
Opt for cost-effective solutions
If you’re a regular business traveler, you know that prices can fluctuate depending on the season, the airline, the festivities you can expect at a destination, etc. However, you can always find less expensive options to replace the costly ones you’re familiar with, especially with the help of technology.
For instance, you can download a range of useful apps that help you find low-cost accommodation, local eateries with reasonable prices, and transportation options to replace the standard expensive taxi. Plus, you can use an app to track your expenses on the go.
Always keep the receipt
Keeping track of your travel expenses can help you apply for tax deductions and thus save money in the long run for all of your trips. Travel tax deductions vary from one state to the next, so it’s vital that you talk to your accounting experts and make sure that you retain all the necessary documents such as receipts, airplane tickets, and hotel bookings.
Of course, you need to prove that the purpose of your trip was business-related, to begin with. That is why conference tickets and similar professional engagements are always good to have on record, and you’ll have an easier time getting those deductions approved.
Switch to remote conferencing when you can
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began, more companies have started looking for alternative solutions for their everyday communication and operations. As it turns out, more companies are now switching to Zoom, Skype, and other video conferencing platforms to replace meetings in crowded conference rooms.
For a while at least, we can expect the trend to continue, and during this time, you can rely on these digital tools to replace your traditional meet-and-greet travel to spend time with your clients. In fact, you can continue to practice a similar approach and replace your regular trips with occasional meetings. Every time you opt for a digital get-together, you will inevitably save an entire trip worth of funds.
Without an endless budget for your travel plans, you certainly need a strategy to handle your travel expenses for your future business trips. Everything from a range of useful apps to find low-cost flights and affordable boutique hotels, all the way to your credit card selection, you can manage your travel budget effectively and ensure financial stability for all your choices. Use these bits of advice, and in time, you’ll be able to master the art of planning your travel expenses to enable further business growth.