Supply chain · 26 July 2016

Does business travel cost small firms more?  

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Over half of small firm owners don’t have a business travel policy in place

Owners and employees of small businesses feel they pay more for business travel than counterparts from larger companies, new research has found.

According to the results of marketing consultancy Kelton Global’s new Small Business Traveller study, those working for smaller firms find business travel more challenging in general, as well as more expensive.

A third of small business workers feel they are not treated as well as those from large corporates when travelling and, while most are conscious of costs, more than half of small firm owners don’t have a travel policy in place, choosing instead to find the most cost effective options themselves.

By attempting to save money and set a good example to staff, however, the study concluded that the cost to small business owners, in terms of time and stress, is very high.

It takes employees as many as nine separate online stages just to book a hotel for a business trip, and workers that visit hotel booking websites do so three times on average before choosing one option, the study found.

Over half of small business travellers revealed that the biggest bug bear of going on a trip was actually the stress of the travel itself, rather than time spent planning and organising.

Despite the downsides, as many as 98 per cent of the study’s participant workers agreed that business trips included many perks for small businesses, and that the value of travel for having face-to-face meetings with new or existing business partners was unquestionable.

Kelton Global conducted the study on behalf of hotel chain Holiday Inn among over 1,000 business travellers from smaller firms, earlier this year.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London. He previously worked as a reporter at Global Trade Review magazine.

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