Thursday, May 16, 2013

Four Ways to Save Your Business Money on Travel Costs

Looking for ways to save your business money on travel? If you’re self-employed or a small business owner, then paying attention to your operational costs can make all the difference. Travel really is an area where gains can rapidly be made and money saved, so follow our advice for simple ways to shave the pounds off your expenses.

Buy train tickets in advance

If you regularly travel by train, then it makes sense to get to grips with one of the various price comparison and advance booking websites. Buy on the day and you will pay through the nose, particularly if you are traveling during rush hour and on busy routes. However, if you can book your ticket even just a few days in advance, you will save a great deal of money. Look out for extra ways to shave the cost of your train ticket, for example by purchasing two singles where these are cheaper than buying a return – most ticket websites will highlight when this is the case. Try to travel away from commuting hours and be flexible about your route. Consider too buying a travel card for repeat journeys, to save you further money.

Manage your team’s fuel consumption

If you have a team who work on the road, then fuel cards are well worth the investment. These handy cards allow you to save money on your fleet costs and stay in control of what is being spent on petrol and diesel by your traveling staff. You can manage your account online at any time of day and keep a tight control of your costs – something that will appeal to every business manager!

Promote fuel efficient driving

If you drive regularly to meetings, then driving in a calm and efficient way can help you to save money. This is because erratic driving burns through gas and will cost you more money. Turning off the air conditioning will also help save the pennies, as will braking gently and starting smoothly – as well as providing a more comfortable journey!


Some meetings are simply better done in person and remote meetings will never replace the value of a face to face conversation and handshake for important business meetings and for new client relationship building. But some meetings can adequately be carried out remotely and may even be desirable to do so if it means saving costs, time and carbon on avoided travel.

An example of a meeting that could be done remotely would be a weekly operational catch-up or sales call where staff are basically just ‘checking’ in or doing a project update. It may be worth investing in some basic call technology such as Skype, teleconferencing or videoconferencing facilities to make the most of technology and cut down on non-essential travel.

Hopefully these ideas will provide you with some practical inspiration for keeping those costs as low as possible – and running your business as efficiently as you can!

Alisa Martin writes regularly for a range of business publications and start-up websites. A keen user of fuel cards, she knows how vital cost control is for small business start-ups.

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