This last year, one certainty... has been uncertainty...
When you have to start planning ahead for your business and everything is so unclear, uncertain and complex, it’s tough to do, particularly on your own. It may seem an odd question in the midst of the worst part of the pandemic and when travelling for any reason is a no-go area, but surprisingly planning for a safe return to travelling on business is high on the agenda for many.
Despite the advent of technology and other mediums of communication, doing business really happens when you build relationships, when you meet people and when you see first-hand how something operates or works. Or when you soak up new ideas, or if your idea needs delivering, or if your business works in a sector that is hand-on and practical, virtual just won’t do. We’ve been giving this lots of thought ourselves and already working with a number of clients as they plan for when, not if, their travel programme restarts and the realisation of how different and in many ways daunting it may be.
If that’s a situation you may be in now or know it’s coming in the future then how do you see through the uncertainty and complexity to know what is needed to ensure your employees will feel safe, confident and able to do their jobs successfully for you if they do need to travel. Clearly, we are going to be biased and say use a Travel Management Company, don’t risk trying to do it yourself, but look at some of the questions we deal with now, even whilst travelling is at such reduced levels:
#2 Do I need to self- isolate when I return from my trip?
#3 The flight I used to take does NOT operate anymore, how do I get there?
#4 I need to change my travel itinerary. How do I do that? Who do I contact?
#5 Is my passport still valid for the EU after Brexit?
#6 Will I need proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter the destination? If so how do I get one that will be valid?
#7 Are there any health restrictions at my destination?
#8 Am I exempt from travel restrictions because of the role/the industry sector I work within?
#9 Is there enough money on the company card to pay for this or what happens if there is an emergency and extra costs?
#10 Does Brexit mean my traveller now needs a visa for this EU destination?
#11 How do I track the traveller during their journey and make sure they are safe?
Scary stuff, and the list goes on and on. So during the coming weeks and months we’ll guiding you through the complexity of travel management (as seen in our handy Infographic HERE), helping to make life more straight forward as much as possible, taking some weight off your shoulders and created from direct insight that our team have listened to and learned from as they have navigated their way over these last 12 months. We’ll help you to gain insights into the solutions needed to make sure you can get your business travel plans back on the road.
Some industry sectors have been travelling throughout the pandemic, but to do so they’ve needed an expert. Even now as we move from 2020 to 2021 with further challenges, bans on travel and difficulties being faced it would be easy to just put it off. But there are positive signs on the horizon and if you are a business that trades internationally and needs to travel to be successful, like many, then it’s never too early to start to plan.
You might ask, is it a luxury to work with a Travel Management Company? But if you look at the UK business travel market, the managed travel spend for business travel far outweighs the unmanaged. And that’s before Covid, Brexit and everything in between.
Does it cost a lot to use a Travel Management Company? - the straight answer is no. Usually the fees you pay are on average no more than 3-4% of your total spend, but you’ll save far more than that through a managed approach for buying, not taking into account your time. And you’ll find Travel Management Companies much more open to looking at new ways of charging for their services, from management fees through to monthly retainer or subscription style fees for differing services.
During our series we’ll talk more about all the challenges faced, interview our travel consultants and account managers, our technology experts and our finance team. Between them they make up a highly skilled group working and consulting with businesses throughout the UK. And it doesn’t matter what role you take in your company from an engineer travelling for business, through to a PA or Travel Manager, a procurement or finance expert through to a Managing Director, Travel Management touches everyone if your business trades or works globally.
But before all that, back to that all important question.......where to start? Sign up for our blog and we’ll enlighten you as we take those steps through a complex world and help unravel it for you.
You can contact Good Travel Management via the following means:
T: 0330 004 0520
Or contact us via our web chat facility.