The importance of developing a purposeful business travel program

We live in a digital age where innovative and advanced technology has given us a simple and easy solution to communicate and efficiently do our tasks. The development of technology has played a vital role in allowing people to communicate easily without any boundaries or hindrances. Video conferencing and Skype has given tremendous ease to interact with people for both personal and business purpose. Still, there is a time when a business manager needs to travel to finalize essential aspects of the business.

The online methods of communication are necessary and effective. Still, to make important decisions regarding the growth of the business, the executives and managers of a company have to travel and make a face to face meeting with clients. On a computer screen or mobile, the conversation is set in a very professional tone, and there is little else than talking about business. While having a direct conversation helps the business executive to open up and find some lighter things to talk about that may help to form a relationship. Having a personal interaction also eases communication, and there is no chance of any miscommunication and misunderstandings.

Business travel is an important feature of many big and multinational organizations and also a small and medium-sized company looking to expand its business. The different reasons why business travel is essential are

  • Meeting with clients, suppliers, or customers
  • Finalizing a new location for an office, outlet, warehouse, or factory
  • Attending an exhibition, trade show, or conference.
  • Doing promotions for the brand
  • Reconciling differences between employees located in another city
  • Strengthening relationships with clients and stakeholders

Corporate travel is the term used when employees, managers, executives, and business heads travel on behalf of a business company. Traveling is a natural part, but a company has to bear several costs in order to send its employees or managers on a business trip. The essential elements of business travel include the cost of airline tickets, accommodation expenses, transportation expenses, and food expenses.

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There may be different reasons why the employees are asked to travel, but it all can be costly for a company to manage if there is no specific program and guideline. A well prepared travel policy can help a business company to reduce its traveling expenses considerably. The trends of global business are changing, and companies need a suitable business travel program to ensure a cost effective solution to manage how the employee may book flights and what facilities they are entitled to. A travel program gives a business company adequate control over the travel policies and records of the business travel expenditure.

The corporate business travel policy is different for each company due to the nature and purpose of business. A travel policy of a sales and trading company would be different from the travel policy of an advertising agency. However, the main emphasis of the travel program is to reduce the business travel cost and provide the best service to the employees and executives of the company. Some of the keys aspects that a business company must consider in corporate travel policy are

  • Defining objectives

The objective is to reduce the costs, and ensuring that the employees have a comfortable and safe experience while traveling

  • Ensuring all needs are fulfilled

The standard or essential business destinations are selected, and then the best way to travel to those places is to decide.

  • Giving options to the employees and managers who will travel

Traveling is a luxury where nearly everyone likes to have choices. A business company can keep the cost down by offering a selection of airlines and hotels that have affordable rates.

  • Making sure everyone in the company know about the policy
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The travel policy should be told to all the employees so that they may know the details of business travel. The managers must communicate the travel policy to the employees so they may understand what documents are needing while traveling.

Flexibility is key when defining and determining the travel policy so that particular changes can easily be incorporated as per requirements. The managers and employees should also give regular feedback that can help to improve the business travel program. The corporate travel policy must reflect the needs and values of the company and its employees. The essential factors on which the travel policy is made are

  • The airline, hotel, and rental car reservation
  • Use of different modes of local transportation such as taxis
  • Guidelines for other amenities while on travel such as meals, entertainment, and making phone calls
  • Safety and security of the employees who travel
  • The complete process that employees and managers need to follow
  • The method of payment if the employees incur expenses during travel

Corporate travel programs give the ability to a business company to monitor and regulate the complete travel for its employees and executives. Once a company has a meaningful travel policy, then it can approach different airlines, hotels, and rental car companies to come to an agreement that can result in cost savings.