For most SME businesses, a travel policy is the furthest thing from their minds when they’re fighting fires, juggling impossible deadlines and simply trying to make payroll.
In truth, having a travel policy for your employees helps to keep them safe. Instituting formal company travel policies and procedures helps to limit your legal liability as a business owner. And more importantly, a travel and expense policy helps to reduce your travel expenses and improve the return on investment for your business travel.
What is a Travel Policy
A travel policy provides a company and its staff with a framework with guidelines they should use for travel. Essentially put in place to help organisations save on their travel spend, it also helps to inform staff on how they should travel to ensure their safety and assists companies in satisfying their duty of care obligations.
Your first step to devising a travel policy should be to define what current process is followed when you or your staff travels for business. You can’t move forward if you don’t know where you’ve come from.
Why is a Travel Policy Important for Small Businesses
For small businesses, every cent counts. Even more, than in a large organisation, SME businesses need a travel policy to ensure it has complete oversight over what is being spent on travel, and that that spend is used for maximum benefit.
SME businesses can’t afford the wastage that occurs from mistakes made when booking travel. Conversely, the savings delivered as a result of having a business travel policy in place and managing your travel spend properly could make a big difference in profits. If you’re not sure if your business requires a travel policy, you can take our quiz to find out.
What Should Your Travel Policy Include
Among those factors your travel policy should include are:
- The procedure to follow for getting authorisation for a business trip
- The company’s preferred travel-management company and service providers
- Conditions when booking air travel, for example, under which circumstances are employees allowed to fly business class
- Expense-claim guidelines and deadlines for claims
- A car-rental policy
- Managing travel risks