Save your company money and time: use a travel expert to book your business travel

There is nothing wrong with using an online business tool but a business travel expert can save your company money

Image: 123RF/Rawpixel

Are you a business owner or a director in a company? Chances are you’re reading this in between reconciling your expenses, updating your website or responding to customer enquiries … on a weekend.

Running your own business is tough and you’re probably already doing a lot of things to save money. Even the smallest savings in cost and time can make a big difference to your bottom line.

But if you’ve spent hours in an airport trying to get a seat on the next flight out instead of sealing a lucrative deal at your destination, you may already have an inkling that do-it-yourself business travel isn’t quicker and cheaper. It would have taken a travel expert a few minutes to get it right the first time.

Consider the time you’re spending trying to find the perfect flight for the best price only to realise on your travels that you actually got it wrong and now have to pay for your mistakes – in time and money. Think about the wider implications of getting it wrong, such as rescheduling all your meetings, reconciling the additional expenses and missing that opportunity to conclude an important deal.

“We sometimes forget the true cost of organising our own travel instead of working with a travel expert,” says Ryan Potgieter, Flight Centre Business Travel brand leader. “Procurement experts talk about something called strategic sourcing. Quite often, when you’re a business owner or a director trying to organise your own travel, you’ll consider the immediate implication of cost without thinking about how that decision could be affected down the line and actually cost you and your business whole lot more.”

“A practical example would be booking the cheapest airfare, which is fine if your business does not require you to be flexible. A good travel expert would work with you and understand your company well enough to advise that you would be better served with a more flexible ticket because you are prone to changing your travel plans frequently.

“Remember, with every change you do yourself, you have to pay a penalty as well as the difference in fare and taxes. If you’re changing the original ticket twice, you can expect to pay in a great deal more than what you thought your cheapest ticket was going to cost you in the first place.”

Potgieter says business owners and directors should consider that there is a time and place for DIY business travel; using a travel expert like Flight Centre Business Travel, which specialises in organising travel on behalf of entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized businesses; or relying on an online booking tool (OBT).

He offers these insights:

Saving time and money

Booking travel through an OBT can be cheaper than booking through a travel agent in the long run, but you need to consider the original cost of setting up and installing that OBT. An OBT can also help streamline the booking process, but it is only optimal for simple travel itineraries. A travel expert like Flight Centre Business Travel can save you both time and money. With one phone call to your dedicated travel expert, you’ll receive three options for every travel requirement and have access to a global network and buying powers.

Flexibility

Travel experts can assist with last-minute changes and cancellations while you’re on the road. They will rearrange your travel itinerary on your behalf so you’re able to travel with peace of mind. Although business travellers can access their OBT on the go, it will take time to cancel and rebook flights. Travellers will then need to make their own arrangements with transfers and hotels.

Simple vs complicated transactions

OBTs are useful for simple itineraries such as point-to-point routings. If much of your business travel is point to point, you could benefit from using an OBT. For more complex transactions, you would benefit from working with a travel expert who can assess your entire itinerary and make sure you get the best routes and stopovers.

Human expertise

An experienced travel manager can help you travel efficiently by using their industry knowledge and insight into your travel behaviour to suggest better ways to travel. They also have relationships with suppliers and strong buying power so that you benefit from reduced rates and special privileges.

If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur and recognise you could be spending your Saturday afternoon enjoying the outdoors instead of scouring the internet to organise your next business trip, Flight Centre Business Travel offers some insights into when it makes sense to turn to a travel expert.

And if the prospect of DIY business travel no longer appeals, consider calling Flight Centre Business Travel on 0877 40 51 60 or visit the website for the travel expertise you need to grow your business.

This article was paid for by Flight Centre Business Travel.

X