Rising travel costs make it difficult for small business owners to keep control over business travel expenses. Business travel expenses are becoming more and more difficult to minimize as the price of oil fluctuates and the economy grows even more unstable. Small business owners can take a variety of steps to reduce travel expenses for business and maximize the return on investment in this area.
Provide Details in Writing
Employees need to understand what is included in business travel expenses. Provide a written plan ahead of time so that employees aren’t trying to collect reimbursement for extravagances that the company will not cover. Specifically outline how much they should spend on taxis, meals, and tips. Travel expense for business can be minimized by simply educating staff about what is and isn’t acceptable.
Create a Simple Reporting System
Whether employees report business travel expenses on paper or via the computer, you need to develop a system that is easy to use. This minimizes the chance for errors and makes it easier to identify mistakes when they occur. It also reduces the likelihood that employees will be dishonest when they make reports about travel expenses for business.
Double-Check Expense Reports
Human errors can be costly when it comes to business travel costs. Be sure to double-check all expense reports associated with business travel expenses. These documents are important company records and should be neat and filed away properly for future reference.
Kill Two Birds with One Stone
If a costly business trip is necessary, then make sure to take care of everything business-related that is possible on the trip. In the event that you can meet with two clients in the same city, take advantage of the opportunity. Likewise, if a delivery is necessary in the same city, take it along with you to reduce business travel expenses.
Buy Package Deals
One of the simplest ways to minimize business travel costs is to purchase package deals. These might include air or rail fare, rental car and hotel accommodation for one low flat rate. Package deals are also easier for employees to manage, as they get an itinerary that is all-inclusive. Dates and times for travel, location of hotel or rental car agency are easy to find on package deals.
Saving at the Last Minute
One thing that increases business travel costs is last minute trips that are completely unforeseen. Airfare is especially costly when purchased at the last minute. There are a variety of travel websites that are designed to offer the lowest prices on last minute purchases. Consider sites like www.lastminute.com as a means of minimizing travel expenses for business. Many discount travel sites also offer perks like cheap car rentals, airport parking and even hotels as part of last minute deals.
The key to reducing business travel costs is being smart, attentive and aware at all times. Common sense should take over when it comes to arranging business travel. Look for savings the same way you would if paying for a family trip out of pocket.