Small businesses usually don’t send their staff on business trips. Neither do they have a written business travel policy. Without the presence of such a policy can cause a wide range of problems even if they don’t incur high expenses and sour your relations with your staff. However, with some planning, you can create your own travel expense management policy for employees travelling in Canada. Here are some areas which you will need to focus on to minimize expenses on meals and travel during any business trip in Canada.
Create A Clear Travel Policy
Develop and execute a clear travel policy which offers particular details about per diem payments at different destinations, specific hotels in which you may get a discount rate, reimbursements for extra expenses and limits that need a manager’s signature in advance in case if expenses go beyond the limit.
Liaise With Hotel Chains
Negotiate with hotel chains in Canada which are located in those destinations where your employees are going to stay during the business trip. Track down hotels which offer facilities like afternoon snacks and appetizers, complimentary breakfast & coffee makers and refrigerators in rooms. Instruct your employees to use all such amenities in those hotels during their stay.
Look for Affordable Hotels
Opt for an affordable hotel while making reservations for your staff. Most employees would prefer staying in a plush hotel with ultramodern amenities when they are on a business trip. But keep one thing in mind. Don’t settle for a hotel which lacks cleanliness. Ask travelling employees from time to time to make sure that the hotels selected meet their accommodation needs perfectly or not.
Opt for A Reliable Booking Service
Global Business Travel to keep a check on expenses. Such a company will help you to plan, adopt beneficial policies, cut down costs and limit spending by employees. Even if you opt for local travel services provider, you may gain good assistance. But the major plus point of opting for the services of a company like American Express is that they have a good reach both at national and international level and their services are available online.
Book Air Tickets with One Airline Only
Book travel tickets for your staff with one airline so that you can receive a corporate discount. Advise your employees to book the airline’s booking service. By booking air tickets in advance, you will be able to save a substantial sum of money.
Reduce Travel Costs in Some Areas
You can bring down the expenses on travel in certain areas like meal and alcohol per diem and transportation. Per diems can vary on the basis of location. For instance, Vancouver is more expensive as compared to Montreal. Smaller, non-resort areas tend to be more affordable. Your travel policy should reflect costs your staff will incur as they travel to different parts of Canada.
Make Unreliable Employees Acquire An Authorization
Make it a point to ensure that employees who make travel decisions at the last minute acquire an authorization. There are instances when a plane ticket which when booked in advance would cost $350 costs over $1400 when an employee makes a reservation just a few days before the event. This should be done only in case of an emergency since most tickets are transferable though they are not refundable.
Emphasize On Using Affordable Means of Transport
Instruct your employees to use affordable public transportation services. Shuttle services are more affordable as compared to taxis and are therefore a viable option when travelling between airports and hotels. Look for details on the availability of free shuttle service between hotels and the conference center. Less taxi usage will ensure that your employees don’t end up spending heavily on transportation.
Opt For Virtual Meetings
Use online services such as Skype for Business to hold virtual meetings. Though your staff may at the initial stage feel uncomfortable, virtual meetings are an added skill which will prove to be beneficial in the long run. As time passes, they will become more comfortable in using this type of services. Webinars really work well for different types of training programs like seminars and can be attended by multiple employees.
Heena Khan writes on emerging trends in the tourism industry in UAE and other parts of the world. She also provides tax-related consultancy services like online VAT registration and VAT consultant services.