As a growing business, booking business travel can be hard work.
You don’t have the resources, time or budget of a larger businesses and so you’re really up against it; you’re looking to get a good deal without wasting the most productive hours of your day hopping from booking site to booking site and it can feel like an impossible task.
Often, the whole thing becomes so exasperating that you’ll do whatever it takes to get your trip booked; booking direct with a hotel rather than through online booking sites, booking the first deal you stumble across or giving up altogether and paying someone else to do it for you.
These are all common, understandable mistakes made by growing businesses who are just looking to get their business travel booked in a quick, simple way so that they can get back to focusing on what matters – running the business.
The good news is, all of these mistakes have realistic, practical solutions that we have handily listed below. So, here are the most common mistakes made by growing businesses when booking business travel and, most importantly, their fixes:
Booking the cheapest deal out there
Now there’s no point dressing things up – as a growing business you’ll always be want to make sure that you’re getting value for your money, but that doesn’t always mean looking for the cheapest price.
Lots of online booking sites will proudly display a cheap room rate to users who are searching for a hotel room, but they tend to be less forthcoming with the T&Cs. More often than not a cheap room rate will include nothing but the room; no breakfast, no wifi and definitely no refund if your schedule changes. There are two ways around this; 1. Get into the habit of reading every line of the small print (do this after you’ve had a coffee and an eye test…) or 2. Find a booking tool that displays things clearly, meaning that you know exactly what you’re getting for that ‘too good to be true’ price.
Paying for services that aren’t needed
A surprising amount of growing businesses are paying for the services of travel management companies (these are businesses who claim that they can help you to cut travel costs and always get the best deal) and this really is a huge mistake. Travel management companies (TMCs) work well for big, soul-less corporations who have on-site yoga classes and hold their meetings around a ping-pong table, but the truth is that growing businesses really don’t need to bother with TMCs.
TMCs make their money by offering you access to ‘exclusive’ deals for a price – these deals don’t really exist, TMCs just combine the results from lots of different booking sites and then find the best price. If you can find yourself a booking tool that offers you the same amount of choice, then you can easily find these deals yourself.
Becoming stuck in a business travel-booking routine
If you think that trawling the Internet looking for a cheap hotel room or a palatably priced flight isn’t a good use of your time then you’d be quite right; spending the morning searching booking site after booking site looking for a good deal would be a big mistake and would definitely have a negative impact on your output for the day.
However, getting into a comfortable routine of booking direct with a certain hotel or flight carrier just because it take less time is also a huge mistake. You might feel like you’ve saved yourself a load of time, but you most certainly haven’t saved yourself any money at all – in fact, you’ve probably paid over the odds. It is possible to get the best of both worlds though, as finding a booking tool that collates the results from all other booking sites and presents them to you in a clear way will not only save you from site-hopping, but will also save you from paying more than you need to.
Getting bogged down with travel-related admin
Business travel and admin go hand in hand; there are email confirmations, itineraries, amendments, confirmations of amendments, reminders and probably even more confirmations after that. These emails then have to be forwarded on to the right people and sifted out from the rest of your inbox nearer the time of the trip, a task that’s often much easier said than done and usually takes more time and effort than the trip itself.
It doesn’t have to be that way; travel-related admin is not a cross that growing businesses have to bear. Avoid drowning in Fwds by using travel booking tools that send itineraries and confirmations direct to the people who are travelling and not just to the person making the booking.
Of course, the quickest fix would be to find an online booking tool that does all of those fixes for you; one that takes care of the admin, one that collates all of the best deals from across the internet and presents them to you in a clear, concise format and one that doesn’t add on sneaky charges left, right and centre.
And in the interest of saving time, you can find that quick fix right here…