Four common mistakes
companies make when
booking travel

Would you balance your business accounts yourself just because you know how to use Excel? You might, but it will take a great deal longer and you are likely to make more mistakes than getting an expert to do it for you. 

Ask any jetlagged traveller who’s been stranded in an airport for eight hours waiting for their connecting flight and they'll tell you the value of using experts. 

Here are four of the most common mistakes SMEs (Small and Medium sized Enterprises) make when booking travel: 

1. Thinking arranging travel yourself is easy

How difficult can it be to book a quick London to Amsterdam flight for a meeting? 

The truth is that travel management isn’t as simple as booking a simple return flight and arriving at the airport in time, especially when there are so many factors to consider with business travellers complex demands and itineraries, so why not let an expert take the stress out of the process? 

In addition to the minefield of rules that govern travel – from flight change fees to visa requirements – travel is also highly emotive. You’re dealing with your employee’s time and comfort and as a result their productivity. Again, solve your woes by getting an expert to solve these on your behalf.
    
The cost of getting it wrong is more than the time and money it will take to fix the problem, like paying a change-fee; it’s the wellbeing of the traveller affected... the person who you’ve entrusted to close that important deal for the company who you want to be at the very top of their game. 

2. Ignoring the impact small expenses have on your bottom line

If you’re not actively managing your business travel spend, you might not even realise how much you spend on sundry costs like change fees, taxes and visas. Seemingly small items, such as baggage fees and airport parking - can add up to substantial amounts for the company. Have a travel management company (such as FCBT .... for example) take care of it for you so that you can keep any unnecessary costs to a minimum. 

However, these expenses are negligible when compared to the stress of having to spend hours trying to arrange business travel and the time taken to reconcile travel expenses. 

3. Assuming your company is too small for a travel policy

Guidelines on travel arrangements should be clear for everyone in the company, even if you work with a small team. But, does it really make sense to craft a proper travel policy for yourself and your staff that dictates the terms under which travel is planned, approved, booked and carried out?

Just because you may be a smaller business, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a travel policy. If anything, it’s even more reason to have one. Smaller companies typically don’t have the buffer bigger businesses have when it comes to wastage. A travel policy helps you keep track of what you’re spending on your business travel, as well as puts in place rules that avoid unnecessary expenditure.

A travel policy also helps you take back the control when it comes to streamlining your processes and reducing your costs by ensuring there’s no uncertainty among employees on what type of travel is booked and how. You can also save by outlining clearly in your policy what will be covered as an expense and what isn’t permissible. 

4. Assuming its cheaper to do it yourself

Every pound saved makes a difference to your bottom line and your time. We all know how precious time is so let FCBT prevent wasting of yours.  

Imagine all the time spent comparing flight costs and travel times, getting to the airport to catch the red-eye flight from London to New York, only to realize you’ve booked onto a different airline on the connecting flight and your luggage is in Reykjavik. And take into consideration the time and money wasted having to change a booking, wait for the next flight, or possibly reschedule all your meetings, and miss an opportunity to conclude an important deal or get home in time for dinner.

There’s a misconception among many SME businesses that if they book their business travel themselves, it will be quicker and cheaper. In most instances, this simply isn’t true. You can solve all four of the above mistakes by simply partnering with a travel management company who have the experts in place to effectively manage your travellers and travel programme. 

So, get in touch, and save yourself the time, money and stress in the long run.