It may surprise you to learn this, but 99% of businesses in the U.S. are small businesses. Because small businesses do a large amount of work on a small budget, most small businesses look to outsource where they can, taking advantage of agencies with experienced specialists who they may not be able to afford to keep on payroll. One of the areas that you may have to consider at some point is arranging business travel for your employees. This can be a complicated, time-intensive process, but you may not need someone on staff at all times to handle travel concerns, especially as a small business. Read on to learn all about finding the right travel agent for your small business.
What is a Corporate Travel Agent?
You are probably familiar with the concept of personal travel agents who handle individual or family vacations and cruises. Personal travel agents are especially popular when going on international trips or coordinating large numbers of people in one vacation. A corporate travel service performs similar services for business clients. Instead of booking individual or family travel plans, they handle the various aspects of travel for businesses big and small. They can help you by booking tickets and hotel rooms, coordinating shuttles to and from various conference rooms or vendors, and being the ones to handle things if flights are canceled or delayed. Because they make various aspects of corporate travel so much easier, corporate travel agencies are considered a must for medium and large sized businesses, but small businesses can also benefit from their expertise.
Why Choose a Travel Agency?
There are a few key reasons why a corporate travel service might be the right move. First off, travel agents help enforce any corporate travel policies. They will book tickets and rooms that adhere to company pricing guidelines, and because travel is their specialty it is unlikely that they will overspend. Corporate travel agents will also help keep expenses down by using their connections within the industry to access cost-saving deals that aren’t available to the public. Finally, corporate travel services can save small businesses a lot of time. Dealing with customer service when a flight gets cancelled, comparing prices on hotel rooms and flights, and even simply juggling booking for various business trips can easily add up to a full time job. Outsourcing travel booking will make it so your travel needs are met without additional burdens to your employees.
What to Look For in a Travel Agency
So what factors should small businesses look for in a corporate travel agency? Here are a few. Look at the way the agency charges for its services: do you want a commission-based contract that will only have you paying what is necessary or a flat fee agreement that will allow you to budget more accurately? Is the agency able to support your business around the clock, or will you have to find someone to cover for evening or nighttime travel emergencies? How does the agency work with their clients – over phone, email, or in person? Does the agency also manage travel expenses? And, most importantly, make sure that the agency specializes in your type of travel. Look for specialists in small business travel, and if your company needs to make many international trips ensure that the agency has the right connections to get you the best prices.
How to Find the Right Agency for You
So how should you go about finding the right agency for you? Firstly, you should ask colleagues at other companies for referrals. If your network can’t connect you with the right match, start searching for various agencies in your area. Having a travel agency in your area means that they will be attuned to the local airlines, buses, trains, and other means of transport. There are also some tech solutions, but these should always be augmented by experts who can ensure that whatever app or website you’re using for your business is really getting you the best deal.
Small businesses spend an average of $10,000 per traveller per year, so finding the right corporate travel service is a must. By using these tips, you’ll be able to find the right travel agency for your business and take your business to the next level.