6 Tips to keep control of Business Trips

The soul of any business is money. To get this money, earning it not only important, you need to save it as well. Every company, big or small, dreams to expand and be bigger. For expanding your business you need to travel to parts of the country and even cross borders, because your company cannot be present somewhere, until and unless, you or your sub-ordinate is physically present there. Business trips although highly crucial, can completely bleed you dry. From travel to food to lodging, the company is liable to pay for all of it. But, if you do not take the risk and decide to let go of a business proposal, you might just lose out on earning some big bucks. So, here are some tips on how to manage your business trip expenses.
image credit: uniglobeletsgotravel.com
1. Is it worth it?
Today, you are flying from Delhi to Indonesia to propose your business plan to a potential investor. Now, they might invest or simply might turn you down. Either way, your money is being spent. So, before you spent it, think clearly, is the money spent actually give a return? Spend ample amount of time to go over your objective of visit, what you will do to achieve it, how will you do it, and most importantly, what’s your contingency plan.

2. Take the lead and manage your deals
When you travel to visit your clients and offer them the privilege to choose the meeting point, you are basically serving your bank account on a silver platter. Plan ahead, decide where you want to meet your client, what’s the cost of food of the restaurant or hotel, what are their specialties and cost of other facilities. When you go for a business meeting, you are bound to order food, now if you know what to order, there’s a chance your companion might just opt for the same or something close enough. This gives you the upper hand to get an assumption of the possible costs.

3. Ask for every invoice
For every company it is not possible for the owner to go down for every business meeting.  When you send in your associate to represent your company, you can either provide an allowance to them, but that might backfire, since they might try to skim some money into their own pockets, by taking your clients to a cheaper meeting point or by staying at a low priced hotel. The most efficient thing to do, is to book the hotel and travel tickets of your employee beforehand and ask them to hand over any receipts that they incur, like cabs, hotels and food, and the company can simply repay back to the employee.
4. Plan ahead
If you just started a project in Bangalore from your office in Kanyakumari, the chances are you have to travel there every fortnight. If you tie up with a hotel or booking broker, you can easily get tickets and hotels whenever you need them, at a lower rate. Or, you can easily rent out an office space, so that in future if you or your associates need to come down for a couple of days, you can provide them a place to stay and work from.

5. Do your math homework
Never go to a meeting unprepared. We are not talking about your business basics, but the basics of your expenses. If your client fixes up a meeting at JW Marriott, and you walk in there with 10 thousand bucks, you might get embarrassed. Do your homework, other than checking out how the place is and how to get there, Google how much it would cost you just to sit there.
 Your client can order anything on the menu, from 1000 rupees coleslaw to a 10,000 rupees bottle of wine. You have to be prepared for it all, because you don’t want your billion dollar investor walking out the door because you decided not to pay their 10,000 rupees bill. See what the highest cost is and what’s the lowest. Let your client order anything they want, but always suggest. Order something good but not very extravagant for yourself. This gives your investor the assurance that you are willing to meet their demands but at the same time you are here on business and not here to enjoy a good time on your company’s account.

6. Stay lavishly but stringently
Your whole business tour is part of your appeal to your client. So if you book a one stat hotel and take your client to a five star to dine, it might catch up with you, if your client decides to pay you’re a visit out of nowhere or may be comes down for a drink. Your hotel room represents your company’s image. So choose a place with is suitable to entertain but at the same time not very expensive.

Business trips are more like risk trips. You invest money in the hope of a better outcome. But the outcome is entirely dependent upon your presentation skills. Send only the best to represent out company, one with crystal clear knowledge and sense in the matter. Set a budget for every trip and try not to precede it. If it does get preceded, see what cost you more, so that you can plan better the next time.

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