Everything Small Businesses Need For Efficient Travel Management

Small businesses need efficient travel management just as much as large companies do. Networking opportunities and in-person client meetings are vital parts of business management. Clients like those ‘personal touches’ as they make them feel valued. And, of course, keeping a client happy ensures their continued business and support.

But what does this travel management look like for small businesses? While big companies or corporates can dedicate large budgets to their travel management, small businesses need to be more specific and clearer with their strategy. Smaller businesses may also have to put more work into establishing travel policies, ensuring procedures, and finding smart ways to cut costs.

This article will serve as a guide to help small businesses with their travel management. It will outline all the important factors your business must consider when defining your travel strategy. This includes the travel policy, compliance, expense and invoice tracking, reporting and analysis. 

It will also highlight some of the challenges of small business travel and the tools your organisation can use to tackle these challenges.

How to Define Your Small Business’ Travel Management

Optimizing small business travel is all about creating clarity and transparency in your travel management. You need to create processes and systems that give you access to travel expenditure and policy travel compliance. In the same breath, your employees also need to have access to your travel policy and rules so that they can remain compliant and accountable.

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These are the four aspects of your business’ travel that can help you create this transparency, clarity, and accountability:

Travel Policy

When creating your travel policy, remember that:

  • It must be easy to understand.
  • It should be accessible to all employees and/or actors it affects. Thus, keep it in a central location.
  • The policy should be simple and easy to comply with. Don’t add unnecessary or complicated steps. 

Ensure that you store all important travel documents in one place. This includes all employee travel information and the prescribed employee responses in case of emergencies. For example, your policy should guide employees on what to do in unexpected situations like missed flights or client cancellations.


The entire company needs to remain compliant with the policy. Once the policy is in place, communicate it to all employees. Don’t assume that they know it’s there. You need to create an awareness of the policy so that they know how and when to respond in line with it. 

Creating awareness works hand-in-hand with improving communication around travel. Create channels for your employees to communicate if they encounter issues or have questions while on the road.

Flexibility will be important too, especially when plans need to change. Travelling will probably have unexpected issues. Ensure that the policy is flexible enough to not hinder travellers and render them uncompliant in tough situations.

Thus, compliance requires awareness, communication, flexibility, and accessibility.

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Expenses and Invoices

A huge part of your travel management will involve juggling expenses. Small businesses have a limited budget, making it important to track expenses and keep them within your budget. 

To achieve this, you must establish spending limits and rules for each employee on a trip. You must also have a payment channel that makes it easy to monitor expenditure. For example, keep all spending on the company card. This is the best option for travel spending, as invoices and reimbursements can lead to mix-ups and confusion.

Reporting & Analysis

Accounting software or a travel booking platform will make it easier to track spending on a trip. Once you’ve logged all travel finances, you can do an annual analysis to determine ROI. From there, you can determine if continued future travel is worth it. 

Non-financial feedback is a good idea as well. For example, gathering feedback from employees that went on a trip can help you pinpoint areas of improvement in your travel policy.

The Challenges Of Small Business Travel Management

Some of the challenges of travel management for small businesses include:

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  • Managing bookings.
  • Managing your team’s travel documents.
  • Establishing and managing the budget.
  • Creating a comprehensive but easy-to-navigate and flexible policy.
  • Choosing or arranging ground transport for travellers can be challenging.
  • Deciding on shared rooms vs single rooms. While shared rooms may be best for your budget, this may leave your employees frustrated or dissatisfied.
  • Location-specific issues. For example, currencies may differ, which can interfere with daily spend limits.
  • Ensuring employee safety.

Having efficient small business travel management in place will minimize these challenges.

Tips And Tools For Effective Small Business Travel Management

Smart Booking Tools

It’s important to streamline business travel and make it as smooth as possible. Automated small business travel management tools can alleviate the stress of travel planning. 

Platforms like EnterAnGo are efficient and flexible. They add simplicity and convenience to travel management. With these tools, you can automate your travel policy, making it easy to enact your policy and ensure compliance.

They store all travel records in one place, including booking, reporting, 24-hour customer support, and other data. They also make automatic updates to important travel information, including changes in the prices of transport, accommodation, etc. If there are any fluctuations in flight, car hire, or hotel rates, you will know as they happen.

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External Travel Management Agencies

These are specialists with extensive experience in business travel planning. These agencies manage everything from start to finish. They often use online booking tools for your convenience and to reduce your costs. 

These teams are available 24/7, so last-minute trips won’t be a stressful affair. Travellers also have round-the-clock support while on their trip. Lost luggage? Sudden illness? Or maybe trouble with their car rental? Someone will always be available to assist them.

The external nature of this option means that the agents handle all travel issues fast and reliably. While you may need to pay these agencies a fee or commission, it may be worth it for the time and effort saved.

Utilize All Travel Data

An essential tip for travel management is to analyze, organize, and utilize all travel data. Accurate record-keeping is key to determining if business travel is profitable. If your expenses are more than your ROI, then it might not be worth it.  

This data will help you keep track of travellers’ spending, as well. If someone is overspending, it will be easy to identify them and address the issue. Non-financial data like employee feedback will help you understand the travellers’ experience during the trip. This information could be invaluable for future business travel control.

Have a Payment Method in Place

It’s a bad idea for employees to pay for travel expenses and then invoice the company. You’ll have no control over their spending. Using business cards is ideal as you can limit how much each employee can spend. Business cards have the added benefit of loyalty programs.

There are many reward programs and corporate rates geared towards business travel. Big corporations regularly take advantage of this. Companies in the travel and hospitality industry and credit card providers want loyal customers. They want businesses to use their hotels, rental cars, and airlines and use their credit cards to do so. The rewards they offer for business travel extend to hotels, car rentals, and flights.

And they offer lower rates and extra benefits to encourage this loyalty. Take advantage of these perks to minimize the impact of travel on your business’ budget.

Final Note

Finding the right balance between rules, policy, and compliance, and flexibility and accessibility is important for small business travel management. With this guide, we share useful tools and tips that can help you define your small business’ travel strategy. 

Need more help? Contact EnterAnGo today and we’ll give you the assistance you need to get you started.