Managing the cost of business travel is crucial as it is among the highest controllable costs of operating a company. Developing and implementing a travel policy, negotiating rates for transportation and accommodation, and leveraging reward points and discounts are vital approaches to optimizing travel costs. Large corporate organizations can negotiate rates and get handsome discounts because of the large volume of business trips. These organizations can afford to hire dedicated travel advisors. Small and medium businesses may find it challenging to secure offers and discounts as the frequency and volume of business travel is lesser. It is possible to secure small business travel discounts with little planning and a proactive approach.
Scroll down for the 10 tips for small business travel discounts and get the maximum output within the budget.
Small business travel discount tips
Cutting down on the number of business trips is not a prudent approach to controlling travel expenditure. Small business hotel discounts and smart hacks to save money on flights are effective ways to minimize travel expenses.
The emergence of online travel service providers travel management platforms, and Travel Management Companies helps spread the advantages of discounts and offers to businesses of all sizes. These tips on travel discounts for small businesses will help you optimize your travel costs without affecting your travel experience.
1. Fix, track and monitor a business travel budget
A travel expense budget enables the effective implementation of a business travel program. It is also helpful to design the company’s travel policy. Tracking business travel expenditures is crucial to determine ROI on business trips. Periodic review of the expenses facilitates cost savings by identifying avenues to curtail unproductive business trips.
2. In-depth research
There is no alternative to in-depth research if you are seeking ways to ensure small business travel discounts. Thorough and ongoing research is crucial in earning points, rewards, and discounts. One should devote a couple of hours daily to minimizing travel costs by researching travel discounts for small businesses. It should focus on comparing rates of hotels, flights, and local transport services.
3. Explore discounted rates for corporate
Unlike seasonal tourists, business travelers are the consistent and round-the-year source of business for travel suppliers like hotels and transport services. Every hotel and transport service values corporate travelers and designs special discount packages to entice business travelers. Many hotels and flights declare loyalty programs for businesses regardless of their size. Look for small business hotel discounts besides additional amenities and reward programs on train tickets, rental cars, and flight tickets.
4. Establish direct communication channels
In the service industry, familiarity does not breed contempt, it ensures better rates, discounts, and loyalty offers. Pursue direct communications with hotel and airline executives to negotiate the best small business travel discounts. Ask your employees to communicate with the managers of hotels because they may have a better rapport. Nurturing relations with the decision-makers in hotels and transport services can ensure long-term benefits, such as more amenities and better rates than standard discounts.
5. Explore better rates through negotiations
Leverage your negotiation skills to secure higher discounts by convincing the providers on a regular business. You may share special rates and services your employees enjoy at other locations. Avoid approaching the hotels and transport services via agents to maximize travel discounts. Negotiations will help you clinch better rates than the standard discounts.
6. Adopt a travel management solution
SaaS-based travel management solutions like Paxes allow end-to-end management of small business travel programs. The comprehensive online platform helps you book accommodation, flights, and local transportation by ensuring policy compliance to control travel expenses.
You can set spending limits on travel purchases as per their hierarchies and departments.
7. Leverage loyalty programs
Determine the hotels and airlines your employees prefer and find out the availability of reward programs or loyalty points with these suppliers. Loyalty schemes can ensure many benefits besides small business travel discounts. Your employees can get extra days for car rentals, more check-in luggage, seat upgrades, late check-out, and early check-in into hotels. Check rates with competitors despite enrolling in loyalty programs, as the rates may be cheaper.
8. Save by using corporate credit cards
Business credit cards or corporate credit cards allow significant savings on business travel. Get cheaper rates on flights, earn loyalty points on travel services, free hotel stays, and lounge access by availing of corporate credit cards. Check with banks about offers and compare annual fees to choose the right corporate credit card.
9. Avoid weekend travel
Weekend travel can be costly because many tourists prefer reaching holiday destinations and other locations on these days. Book travel on weekdays to avail cheap flight tickets. Prefer early morning flights to benefit from lower rates and to reach the airport comfortably, avoiding the city traffic.
10. Claim tax benefits
Tax refunds like GST or VAT can help you save up to 20 percent on business travel. Get GST invoices while booking travel by sharing your company’s GST details with the service providers for seamless reconciliation. Online travel management solutions facilitate the reconciliation of GST invoices for claiming tax benefits. Travel management platforms enable efficient receipt management for audit readiness.
The global market for business travel is huge and will touch US$1.5 trillion by the year 2027. Many travel suppliers implement policies to attract business travelers by offering special rates, more amenities, and reward points. Business travel can affect your company’s bottom line in the absence of effective budget monitoring and travel cost optimization. These perks are available for all businesses, regardless of size. Securing small business travel discounts is easy if you follow these tips.
Suggested Read: How To Manage Corporate Travel For Small Business Like A Pro!
Small business Travel Discount FAQs
Why do travel vendors offer corporate discounts?
Hotels and other travel suppliers implement corporate deals because business travelers assure steady business, and special discounts can ensure loyal clientele from the business sector.
What are the primary advantages of small business travel discounts?
Travel discounts for businesses improve travel experience, cost savings, and ROI.
What will be the growth rate of the business travel market?
The Compound Annual Growth Rate of the global business travel market will be 8.49 percent between 2021 and 2027.
How to get cheap air tickets?
Booking a flight ticket one to three months before the journey date, avoiding weekend travel, and availing of corporate flyer programs are a few tips to get cheap flight tickets.
How much discount is available for corporate accommodation?
A corporate hotel discount can be up to 60 percent.