6 Tips on handling business travel expenses
by Yellow 392 Days
Many businesses need to travel in order to provide goods or services. So, when going on a business trip, who pays, client or company? It's important to figure these things out before embarking on any potentially expensive business ventures. Otherwise, you may find yourself in an uncomfortable situation. Debating with clients about who should pay, why they should pay and how much they should pay for business travel expenses is painfully uncomfortable. To help you figure out how you should go about it, here are 6 tips on handling business travel expenses.
Establish whether you are getting business or giving business
If you are travelling to pitch your services to another business, you have much to gain. Therefore, a business trip to score business or get a big client can be treated as an investment. Hence, these kind of business travel expenses should, in a sense, be your responsibility and your cost. You are after something, which means you need to work for it. If, on the other hand, you have been hired to provide a service, which cannot be done without travelling, this is an expense which should essentially be covered by whomever wants what you can give.
Point out your business's terms and conditions
Before even booking your flights and getting excited about going abroad for business, make sure you have provided your client with your business's terms and conditions. This is something which you can provide together with any quotes for your goods and services. This way, there's no confusion about who pays when it comes to travelling. If you have informed your client beforehand that this is something you expect them to cover, you can send over the invoice for your business travel expenses without any problems.
Lawyer up and sign a contract
When dealing with big clients and big numbers, it's important to have legal agreements to safeguard your interests and those of your client. Put together a contract to protect and solidify both parties' rights and obligations. You can include clauses about your business travel expenses. Point out who should pay, and any other conditions regarding international travel. Get in touch with one of these local 505 Lawyers listed on Yellow to discuss your options. This will provide everyone with peace of mind and a very professional first impression.
Budget regardless of who's paying
No matter who's paying for your business travel expenses, you should always try and minimise your costs. Create a fair budget when it comes to flights, accommodation and other business-related expenses. Ordering a bottle of champagne to celebrate a successful business pitch is not a legitimate billable expense. Do the right and ethical thing, spending money only on what's necessary in order to make business happen in everyone's common interests.
Set a clear itinerary and schedule
Don't let a single moment go to waste. Plan out each and every day to make sure you make the most out of your business trip. Take some time off to rest, get a good night's sleep, but be ready each and every morning to achieve the success you are after. Use a calendar or to-do list to plan out your goals and meetings. If necessary, have a secretary or colleague help you prepare an itinerary if you are short of time and need to maximise each hour by multi-tasking. Remember, a goal without a plan is just a wish.
Make it worth everyone's while
No business travel expenses are wasteful if those expenses produce an impact. Both your business and your client want the desired results. So, make sure you make your business trip count for something. Everyone should end up feeling like the destination was worth the journey. That way, everyone gets what they were after. In other words, get more bang for your buck! Ensure your return on investment (ROI).
In conclusion, if you are travelling to get business, it's your pitch. It's your risk, and therefore it's your expense. On the other hand, if you are providing a service which requires you to travel abroad in order to provide or produce the end results, then the expenses should be covered by the client. They are requesting your services.
The client is buying your time and your work's results, and if travelling is a means to an end, then so be it. Always evaluate and communicate why your business travel expenses are necessary to avoid any misunderstandings when dealing with B2B relationships.
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