Innovation and disruption in information technology have led to a marked increase in the need for businesses to work within a global market. No matter what industry or niche your organization is a part of, traveling and the need to book flights and accommodations seamlessly will become an increasingly integral part of your operations. Creating and implementing customized procedures for booking business travel will enable your company to remain competitive and efficient in today’s economy.
Business travel contributes more than 262 billion dollars to GDP, which is almost 30% of the tourism and travel industry in the country. Those numbers are expected to increase by more than 423 million dollars by 2020. So, what are the procedures for booking business travel? Let’s find out how you can send your talented employees on trips that will increase your profits while protecting your business overhead from unnecessary bloat.
What types of situations call for booking business travel?
We live in a global economy. Digital or telecommunication channels are not always suited for business procedures and projects that need vis-à-vis communication. In a competitive, global market, it is necessary to the health and wealth of already established and growing companies to communicate with their suppliers, colleagues, and partners in person, whether that includes domestic or international travel for these crucial meetings. Some of the situations that may require your company to develop business travel booking procedures include:
A branch of your business may possess a specific skill set or knowledge base that is vital to training new employees in another location.
Is your business launching a new product? You may need to travel to your customers to demonstrate how it works, so they can test the product, see it, touch it, and ask questions.
Senior management meetings are critical to establishing the vision of your company and the long-term direction the business needs to take to remain competitive. Traveling for face-to-face senior management meetings can save time by cutting down on the negotiations that often weight heavily on these types of meetings.
What are the procedures for booking business travel?
It’s true that business travel is a growing part of the travel and tourism industry. Unfortunately, most companies, especially start-ups, don’t have any business travel procedures in-place. Establishing a company-approved travel booking protocol will save your business time and ultimately, money.
First, you’ll want to create a travel request form. Travel request forms eliminate the hassle, confusion, and last-minute communication issues between your employees and management when booking corporate travel. You can include the following in your travel request form. Of course, you'll want to create a form that's tailored to your business needs:
• Employee details, such as their name, job title, department, etc.
• Dates, and if there is any flexibility in the date ranges.
• Destination and purpose of the trip.
• If there is a need for ground transportation (where, to, and from).
• Any airline or hotel preferences.
• Other special requests, such as dietary restrictions, if the employee requires internet access, if the employee has a fear of flying, etc.
When booking trips in the past, have your employees often asked the same types of clarifying questions? Or has management needed specific information for booking a trip that they’ve had difficulty tracking down?
For example, have you had employees mention airline seating preferences at the last minute, creating confusion and communication issues? Or have your employees attempted to book trip requests over email while others try to lock-down dates in-person?
Think about communication issues you’ve come up against in the past when employees have tried to make trips and include those in the form so your business can streamline requests and scheduling.
What’s a great, money-saving hack for booking business travel?
Try to process all requests within 24 hours. Unfortunately, flight and hotel prices only increase the closer you get to the requested travel dates.When you book your travel plans in advance, it will be much easier to stay within your budget.
How can your travel booking procedure save your company even more time?
So, your employee sends in their completed travel request form. You manage to get everything booked and squared-away within the 24-hour timeframe. How do you relay the essential travel information to your employee who is slated to go on this trip? If your employee is having to chase down all the travel booking information and organizing your flight, that can cost them a lot of valuable time and damage their focus at work.
Make it a priority to save your traveler’s details in one place. Depending on your needs and personal preferences, you can use a booking app, a PDF, or a single email to save your employee’s customized travel info in one convenient location, so they know where to go, how to get there, and when.
Managing a successful company in today’s competitive business climate can be exhilarating and also daunting. Fortunately, there have so many sophisticated, user-friendly tools you can access that are designed to help streamline travel booking procedures and protocols.
As the industry for corporate travel continues to grow, more and more businesses are taking advantage of corporate travel booking tools and solutions. These platforms are built for customization and can be tailored to your business's unique needs. Employees will also enjoy convenient travel booking tools that will allow them to request and save their travel information in one, easy-to-access place.
Creating a company-approved procedure for booking corporate trips and using innovative technological solutions for travel will save your business time and money. Travel booking solutions enable your employees and managers to book accommodations and transportations quickly, and within a compliance framework.
The ability to access vital travel information in one location and in real-time will reduce the risk of errors from occurring in your travel arrangements. It can be expensive and time-consuming to change a flight or switch hotels after a trip has already been expensed. Creating a procedure for booking business travel will protect your budget and keep your overhead costs within range.