As the American economy has recovered from the recession of the late 2000s, many businesses have slowly begun to return to their normal – and more aggressive – strategies. This often means more spending on things like advertising, research and development and hiring. It has also meant more business trips, as these can can be great ways for companies to expand their reach and target untapped markets.
Of course, even though the economy is in much better shape than it was a few years ago, there is no reason for businesses – especially smaller ones – to needlessly squander money on travel expenses. In terms of marketing your business, finding the most cost-effective ways to inspire growth is always preferable to spending money without consideration, even if the thinking behind the strategy is sound.
Here are three ways for small businesses to save money on travel expenses.
One of the easiest ways for a company to overextend their travel budget is by waiting for the last minute to plan trips. Airfare rises exponentially the later you buy tickets and hotel rooms are often similarly more expensive at the last minute. Take some time at the beginning of each year and month to look ahead for likely trips and purchase the items you will need as soon as you’ve settled on a plan.
Of course, this tactic requires a fairly detailed calendar and annual plan, which is a tall order for many small businesses, who tend to fly more by the seat of their pants. However, looking ahead and communicating with your employees and clients is an easy way to get a schedule in place as early as you can.
Company credit cards
These days, the majority of big-ticket purchases are made with credit cards. This is as true for businesses as it is for individuals. Not only does plastic make payment, budgeting and expense tracking easier, it also gives you an opportunity to earn rewards and save money.
Look for cards that feature robust travel reward offerings and use these cards to make the bulk of your large purchases.
Pick the right times
Although it is not always possible to decide when your business trips will be, it is wise to use the flexibility you do have to schedule trips for less expensive times. According to USA Today, the beginning of the year – especially January and February – are cheaper months in terms of plane tickets and hotel rooms. Avoiding busy times like during the summer and around the holidays will help you keep these expenses in check.
Have you found any ways to reduce travel expenses? Share some insights below!
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