If you ask most small business owners “what’s the one thing you want more of?” you’re likely to find that most people give the same answer – time. No matter how long you choose to spend at work, with your family, or even sleeping there are still only 24 hours in each day.
It’s issues regarding time, or lack thereof, that also present the most significant concerns for SME business owners when it comes to business travel activity. Not only do you need to spend days, weeks or maybe even months in a different physical location to your business, but you also need to take time before departing to prepare yourself for your trip and prepare your business for your absence. And to think that we haven’t even mentioned the time you’ll need to book your transport and accommodation or organise your itinerary yet.
Luckily, when it comes to preparing for your business trip and making your travel arrangements, engaging a corporate travel management firm can play a vital role in helping you use your time as efficiently as possible so that your time is spent preparing yourself and your staff for your trip, not preparing your itinerary.
Here are some of the ways your corporate travel manager can help you ‘wind back the clock’ and maximise the efficiency of your business travel prep:
Single point of contact
Whether it be through a customized online booking system or a dedicated account manager, having a single point of contact for all your corporate travel needs ensures that you don’t need to waste time dealing with multiple different companies to arrange your ground transport, flights, accommodation and car hire bookings.
Furthermore, if you experience a setback or require assistance once you’ve begun your travels, having a single point of contact eliminates the possibility of you having to spend hours on hold with different airlines, hotels and car hire companies in the event that you need to change your travel plans.
Knowledge and expertise
We all know how easy it can be to get lost in a sea of ‘deals’, ‘savings’ and ‘coupon codes’ when using online comparison sights to search for the best airfare or accommodation deals. You begin your journey on one webpage, then before you know it you’ve lost 3 hours of your afternoon and are on a completely different website to the one where you began. And you have even booked your hotel rooms yet.
The great thing about corporate travel managers is that they already know where to look to get the best deals for you based on your preferences, where you need to go and how long you’re staying for. Even if they need to spend a little time searching themselves, that’s their job and they’re great at what they do, so chances are good that they’ll be able to do it a lot faster than you could. Having the knowledge and expertise that comes with years of experience can make the travel booking process faster, more efficient and more cost effective for you and your organisation.
Holding tickets and handling charge backs
Due to the nature of their work, corporate travel managers often have relationships with industry partners that have been built over years and countless phone calls and meetings. Whether they be with certain hotel chains, airlines or even credit card companies, taking advantage of the professional relationships that your corporate travel manager has taken years to establish can save you huge amounts of time when it comes to doing things like putting paid travel tickets on hold or handling a credit card charge-back.
Saving time when it comes to business travel preparation comes down to recognising what is important that you do yourself and what can be handled by an extra set of hands. If you find that you’re constantly short of time when you’re preparing to embark on a business trip, consider sitting down for a coffee with a corporate travel manager to discuss ways that you can boost the efficiency of your corporate travel activity. If you’d like to know more, or simply to arrange a chat, contact us today!