Business travel may be an easy item to trim when faced with budget cuts. However, the relationships you build in traveling, and the ability to meet in person with clients and coworkers can be important. There are ways to reduce the frequency of travel to save money. Although not all travel can be eliminated, you can cut back on it significantly. Prioritizing trips is the key.
Examine the typical number of trips for your department and company. Price each trip and compare it to the amount of income it generates. The sales trips that are least effective in generating income should be cut first.
Determine which company meetings can be canceled. Changing your training meetings to regional meetings will cost less since you can fly one trainer to a location where several people can meet, instead of sending everyone to your central office. Training can be completed online as another alternative.
Set up alternative means of communication. Business meetings can often be conducted using teleconferencing. Staff meetings can be conducted online. The first few meetings may be awkward, but as people adjust, you will find this to be an effective alternative to travel.
Hold staff retreats locally. Have food brought in and hold the meeting at your office. If you need a bigger room than normal, rent a room at a hotel or from another business.
Limit attendance at conferences. Another option is to pay for the conference, but ask your employees to pay the cost of travel. Encourage employees to participate in local conferences instead of national conferences.
Choose less expensive options when you do need to travel. Downgrade from business class to coach, and choose less expensive hotels and rental cars. Reducing the cost of each trip will allow you to cut fewer trips.
- Wichita Business Journal; Video Conferencing Becoming a Viable Alternative to Business Travel; Lainie Muzzullo; Nov. 2001
- Hypergrid Business; Virtual Meetings Offer Green Alternative to Business Travel; Maria Korolov; May 2010
- USA Today; Company Cost Cuts Puts Limits on Business Travelers; Roger Yu; Jan. 2009
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