Often SMEs rely on an office manager or PA to source the best deals in the belief this is the most cost effective way to control travel budgets.Sometimes, travellers book trips themselves ? they have favourite hotels and airlines and they assume that if they know how to book the family holiday, it can?t be any different buying business travel. Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth and this ad hoc approach can cost SMEs valuable time and money. By following these seven steps, SMEs will be able to successfully buy travel smarter, get more for their money and cut costs by up to 20 per cent. Step one ? Put someone in charge The first step is to nominate a travel manager; a person within your company whose responsibility it is to manage travel booking. Then get them to create a travel policy. A travel policy sits at the heart of any successful corporate travel programme. It helps to control spending by encouraging travellers to book ahead and look at the total cost of travel, for example. It can also steer the travel booker/individual travellers towards using preferred suppliers (loyalty pays) while also giving them enough flexibility to meet their trip needs. Step two ? Avoid online leisure travel agents Online leisure travel agents eat up your time and charge hidden fees. If you know what you want to book, go direct ? you?ll get better service and equally good prices ? or move on to step three?
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