Why would you travel for business if you can effortlessly connect with clients across the world via Skype, Slack or Zoom for free?
For small and medium businesses, online communication tools are a game-changer, saving time and breaking down barriers. From email to video conferencing, and instant messaging, communicating has never been easier.
Communication innovations combined with an increasing need to keep business costs in check can lead companies to view business travel as simply an expense. A dangerous mistake, according to Andrew Grunewald, FCBT Brand Leader.
No matter how much technology evolves, Grunewald explains that business travel remains an important part of sound corporate strategy. Here's why...1. Seal important deals
We all use tech to communicate but is this best way to acquire and secure new business?
An Oxford Economics study recently revealed that companies see an average of US$12.50 (R190) in additional revenue and US$3.80 (R58) in new profits for every dollar (R15) spent on business travel. The return on investment is compelling. The same study mentioned that both executives and business travellers estimate that 28% of current business would be lost without in-person meetings.2. Grow your client base
Meeting new people and networking is the cornerstone of any business’ success and growth. Business travel is the best – if not only – way to expand your client base beyond your ‘regular’ market and audience.
From the airport lounge to the hotel lobby, you never know where you will meet your next business connection, client or supplier. It could even be the person sitting next to you on the plane.3. Foster existing relationships
Fostering strong and sound professional relationships with clients and colleagues is next to impossible via e-mail or telephone conference. Discussing business – or even having a casual chat – with potential business partners over lunch or dinner will add a personal touch that can elevate your business relationships.
Executives and business travellers estimate that roughly 40% of prospective customers are converted to new customers after an in-person meeting, compared to 16% without the meeting, according to the Oxford Economics study.4. Increase employee morale
Although employees will tell you that business trips are all work and no play, the opposite is often true, according to recent research.
A Hilton Hotels & Resorts survey of Millennial work travellers showed that 75% of today’s new road warriors (ages 23 to 35) see business travel as a major work perk, and 65% consider it a status symbol. And unlike the image of the jaded road warrior, 56% actually create reasons to travel for business. Another 39% even say they wouldn’t take a job that didn’t allow them to travel for business.
No matter the size of your business, keeping costs low will always be a key goal. However, even smaller companies realise that to grow their business, they need to invest in business travel to expand their markets, not cut out travel altogether. The question for entrepreneurs and SMEs is not ‘can I afford to travel?’, it is ‘can I afford not to?’
To help growing businesses explore the benefits of business travel, FCBT has decided to launch a competition allowing small and medium businesses to win a R150,000 travel grant that can take their business to new heights.
If you would like to stand a chance to win the FCBT Travel Grant, take the following steps:
1. Go to www.flightcentrebusinesstravel.co.za/business-travel-grant
2. Upload a 1-2 min video or document with a maximum of 1000 words with your answers to the questions below:
Question 1 – What does travel mean to your business?
Question 2 – What will this Travel Grant allow you to do?
It’s that simple! Entries close 18 October 2019