A Third of SMEs Waste Money on Business Trips

A third of small firms are wasting money on staff business trips by failing to shop around for the best deals on travel and accommodation, event management firm BSI has warned.

The research from BSI revealed that 33 per cent of small firms do not negotiate the best rates they can on staff business trips, and 48 per cent do not set employees a budget for accommodation.

“Our research shows that, due to limited understanding, apathy or misconceptions, a large number of SMEs are not following best practice procurement when buying and booking overnight accommodation, meetings and events, a fact that is likely to be causing them to waste significant time and money,” said BSI managing director Trevor Elswood. “With margins tightening, SMEs are facing even greater budgetary and resource pressures,” he added. “Business owners need to make sure they shop around for the best deals available.”

The research also found that 16 per cent of small-business owners do not know where their employees are staying on business trips, despite having a legal duty of care.

Under recently introduced corporate manslaughter regulations, businesses must ensure the security and welfare of staff when travelling.

“Employers that are reviewing their compliance with the Act need to look at their travel policy and challenge the measures and communication on safety for the traveller in accommodation and meeting arrangements,” said Elswood.

Federation of Small Businesses spokesman Stephen Alambritis, added:

“Employers have a duty to ensure that staff are insured, met when travelling abroad, check in on a regular basis, and have the correct vaccinations when visiting tropical countries and so on.”

“There should be a process from start to finish when staff are involved in business travel as employers are liable for their employee’s welfare whilst away,” he added.

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