|Cut your business travel budget by 20 percent|
|Tuesday, 09 February 2010 07:58|
Ten top tips for SMES to get more for less.
Ten top tips for SMES to get more for less.
Every SME in the UK has senior managers who travel on business, people who book that travel and a budget to spend on it.Yet many of these companies are still wasting time and money booking travel. By investing just a small amount of resource in learning more about the business travel industry, SMEs will learn how to be smarter buyers, get better deals and slash up to 20 per cent of their current budgets.
This is according to David Chapple, event director of the Business Travel & Meetings Show, the leading business travel trade show in Europe. He believes there is a massive – and unnecessary – overspend on business travel by SMEs.
“Buying travel is something we all do in our personal lives, so it’s all too easy to think we know best when it comes to booking business travel,” said Chapple. “In fact, we very rarely do. Knowing where to look, what and how to buy business travel is a completely different ball game.”
David Chapple shares ten top tips for SMES to get more for less:
1. Use the Travel Savings Calculator http://www.businesstravelshow.co.uk/en/visitor-zone/travel-calculator.aspx to show how much you could save by using specialist business travel suppliers, products and services and implementing policies, procedures and booking guidelines for travellers
2. The answer to cutting costs doesn’t always lie in pushing for the cheapest price. It’s about being smarter, knowing where to look and how to negotiate for a better package. For example, instead of fighting for discounted flights, why not try negotiating for a free upgrade, lounge access or kerbside check-in? And instead of chasing cheaper hotel rooms, why not push for free breakfasts, Wi-Fi or airport transfers?
3. Learn how to negotiate like the professionals and pick up tricks of the trade for free. Sessions at the BTMS conference have been designed to inspire, educate, challenge and involve company owners and travellers, providing practical tips that can be applied to every part of the business. Sessions include ‘Improving your negotiation power’, ‘Getting the most out of your hotels programme’ and ‘Assessing the low cost alternatives and finding the best value for money’.
4. Extend your supplier base. It’s all too easy to stick with what you know. But there are hundreds of suppliers out there keen to compete for your business.
5. Sign up for loyalty programmes that reward companies AND travellers. Most major airlines and hotel groups operate these schemes, including British Airways’ OnBusiness, Star Alliance’s Company Plus, IHG, Accor, Wyndham Hotel Group, Select Apartments and Premier Travel Inn. Then use these rewards to upgrade for free.
6. Save money on traveller comforts – sign up for membership schemes such as Priority Pass, which gives you access to airport lounges.
7. Consider using a travel management company. TMCs can save you money and sign you up for corporate reward schemes, giving you the best of both worlds.
8. Travel savings extend beyond flights and accommodation. For example, chauffeur companies are more reliable, convenient and comfortable than taxis and are available to suit all budgets. Carey is about to launch a new service called embarque for companies with smaller budgets. And technology providers such as WordSim can help you slash the cost of your company’s overseas mobile phone bills.
9. Appoint a member of your management support team to take responsibility for buying business travel and work with them to introduce a company wide travel policy to control spending and reporting.
10. And, of course, visit BTMS 2010, 9-10 February 2010 at Earls Court 2 in London.
At the show you can network with 6000 like-minded professionals, attend the conference sessions and meet 200 world-leading suppliers – from airlines to chauffeur travel and hotels to technology providers, including American Express, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, IHG, Star Alliance, Accor Hotels, Hilton Brands Garden Inn, Hampton and Doubletree, GetThere, thetrainline, Amadeus, Sabre Travel Network, Carey Worldwide Chauffeur Services Bridgestreet Worldwide, Hotel Reservation Service, NYS Corporate, BCD Travel, Wyndham Hotel Group, Choice Hotels, Air New Zealand, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Concur, Emirates, Flybe, JAL, Premier Inn, thetrainline Business and Wyndham Hotel Group.
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