Blog illustration
Travelspot image

How should small businesses use travel management?

How to do small business travel management

Smaller companies need to be more precise and transparent in their approach to travel management, unlike big companies, who may allocate significant budgets to their own travel management. Additionally, developing travel policies, establishing processes, and identifying clever cost-saving measures may require more effort on the part of smaller businesses. The small business owner may find it difficult to control resources, particularly if employees travel often. A company can easily waste resources and time if reservations aren't made via one channel and travel policies aren't taken into account.

If you, as a small business, want to get the maximum out of your trip but don’t want to spend too much money, you should plan your business travels. So it is crucial to determine the main priorities: 

1. Consolidation

Without establishing an organized structure, it is hard to handle the finances of your small business. Companies occasionally don't succeed in consolidating their financial expenditures because it can be challenging to distribute their spending across departments effectively without a clear awareness of the company's costs. Developing a structured and consolidated finance system will enable the company to understand travel expectations and budgetary constraints better.

2. Compliance

Employees occasionally deviate from their company's travel policy in an attempt to get reduced costs. Unfortunately, they risk the possibility of distorting or harming your company's savings strategy if they don't follow the guidelines by spending more than the amount stated in the policy. These things happen if your employees don’t quite understand the company’s policy. 

Small businesses may carry out their travel plans inexpensively and effectively, thanks to team members' compliance. However, that is only possible if you have a flexible travel policy. And before doing so, you need to be certain that they understand the company travel policy. 

3. Flexibility

One of the first things that come to mind when considering travel is flexibility.

Many employees have dealt with last-minute adjustments at some point. Therefore it's necessary that small companies are flexible and ready to make last-minute modifications.

Being adaptable with your employees is essential since it is unrealistic to expect every employee to adhere to the same rules. 

4. Transparency and accountability 

Many small companies make a mistake by supposing that their employees are informed about and completely comprehend the company's travel policy merely because of its small size. There is the assumption that it is easier to inform 20 people who aren’t traveling frequently than about 100 of them. Smaller companies may neglect travel management while employees are traveling, as larger companies have clear and elaborate travel management plans. As we mentioned above, things might go wrong swiftly if your employees do not adequately comprehend your travel policy.

It is not uncommon for employees in small companies to neglect the company's travel policy and make independent choices while on the road. Therefore, it is essential to have insight into the reason why your employees are traveling, their expenses, and their traveling goals. Building a system that functions well is not so hard when everyone on the team is fully synced and coordinated.

The difference between unmanaged and managed travel

There are two alternatives available to businesses sending their employees on a trip: unmanaged or managed travel.

Unmanaged travel is a business trip in which employees independently (or other authorized personnel) make travel reservations, manage all adjustments while on the road and submit expense reports after they've returned. This may seem like an understandable option if the company rarely sends employees on business trips.

Managed travel is a business trip backed by travel management companies’ (like Travelspot) service and knowledge. Travel reservations are performed either directly with a designated travel manager or by using the travel management company's booking tool. They are all combined into a single, simple-to-read report.

Travel management companies offer a wide range of information and tools that can benefit companies in preserving money and travelers by helping them have better experiences.

Unmanaged business travel

Unmanaged travel can seem appropriate for a small company just starting to manage all elements of building a business. However, unmanaged trips have concerns that you should be familiarized with so that you can handle them better in case they occur. 

In unmanaged travel, the budget is often not detailedly explained. For example, employees are simply told not to choose the most expensive options. Over time, expenses pile up due to your employees making independent bookings without supervision.

In theory, unmanaged travel seems less expensive than managed travel because there are no booking fees, but practice shows otherwise.

Employees are frequently forced to evaluate alternatives across websites rather than receiving the inventory they require on time, which in the end, reduces efficiency. Additionally, the employee alone is responsible for resolving any issues that may appear. That includes everything from bookings to any problems they may encounter on the road. 

Unmanaged travel indicates that the financial department has no insight into purchases until employees present expense reports. That process can sometimes last several weeks or months after the travel has finished. Unfortunately, by this time, it is overdue to regulate costs that a managed travel program would do on the go.

Managed business travel

Controlling expenses connected to employee travel is the most evident advantage of a managed travel program.

When opting for a business travel management platform like Travelspot, you also get other benefits:

1. Travel policy adherence

Adherence to travel policies is easily achieved by managed travel. For instance, booking tools incorporated into managed travel arrangements can notify employees when they make travel arrangements that go against the travel policy, whether due to budget overages or another factor. In addition, if your company doesn't already have a travel policy, you can create one with Travelspot's assistance.

2. Easy online booking

Employees don't have to spend time searching online and comparing the best deals on flights and hotels that suit their travel plans.

With Travelspot, you can browse through choices that represent pre-negotiated rates, choices that adhere to travel policies, and choices that are pre-loaded with your preferences. You can book, change, cancel, reach support, view itineraries, and get directions from one source.

Travel management platforms make it much easier for employees to manage expenses and file claims for refunds after a trip.

3. Centralized reporting and analytics

Covering everything from airline and hotel booking details to vehicle rental data and expense reports, the travel management platform makes it simple to access whatever information you require whenever you require it. Additionally, creating comprehensive reports on travel specifics and payment is simple because all your travelers' data is centralized in one platform.

With this service, you can easily see which employees are currently on the road, where they are staying, and when they are scheduled to return. This information can be invaluable in the event of an emergency, and it can also help you plan for future trips and projects. 

4. Duty of care 

Businesses have to ensure the safety and security of their employees when they are on the road. Many travel management companies can track the whereabouts of your employees and offer fast and direct support in an emergency.  With Travelspot, you can rely on 24/7 customer support, so if you encounter any issues during your trip, help is always available.

The choice is in your hands

Should your small business consider managed or unmanaged travel? The best choice is a system that allows you to get the best out of your investment in business travel while aiding you save money.

Travel management does not have to be an issue. As presented earlier, you can see that Travelspot's features cover all concerns of unmanaged travel and offer even more. So don't hesitate to contact us if you want to optimize time and costs. 

Build a positive experience for your company and employees by enhancing your small business travel solutions.

What do you think? 


If you have any questions or additional eagerness for knowledge about how our travel management platform can help your small business in traveling organization, feel free to contact us. 


We want to hear from you!