15 Dec 2017

Entering new markets, especially in foreign countries, is always exciting, often daunting and definitely challenging. Different cultures, time zones, climates, visa requirements, plus political and/or health risks are just some of the realities that make the unfamiliarity of new markets so testing.

In these busy, distracted, information infused and alien business environments, taking ‘eyes off the ball’ can equal time and energy spent in the wrong places. Travel is often one of those contributors that cause stress on the company’s time, focus and expenditure, particularly when something goes wrong with the business travellers’ itinerary or impacts their health and safety.

“By, from the start, planning their entry into new markets in partnership with an experienced travel management company (TMC), companies can be confident that the right people with the best technology are enabling the business to focus,” says Wally Gaynor, Club Travel Corporate Managing Director. “In other words, by involving a TMC already during the research phase the company benefits from practical, logistical information; the best routes to travel, the most value for money accommodation, etc. The TMC therefore helps prevent the company from making avoidable, potentially costly mistakes. By being proactive with their TMC, the company is achieving a great return on their travel investment.”

Whether part of a project team investigating the feasibility of a new business venture, a conference team exploring possibilities and networking via an international event, or a business development team clinching deals with a variety of stakeholders, new market business travellers cannot afford to waste time; they must maximise their time ‘on the ground’.

For them to focus on the business at hand, meticulous planning before, during and after each trip is essential. The TMC will give advance notice of any entry or visa requirements, saving the company time with documentation and direct contact with embassies.

Because a good TMC will always have full knowledge of the company’s travel policy – often partnering with the travel manager in its creation – the dedicated consultants know exactly who the preferred suppliers are. The TMC will also have extensive buying power and experience to secure the best options and rates for flights, hotels, car hire, security (if required), meeting rooms, networking venues, etc. Best rates with hotels enable the traveller to book last minute availability and, if there is an increase, not pay the market rate. As long as there is availability, they pay the agreed price!

And when the unexpected happens – from a postponed meeting requiring another night’s stay, a delayed or missed flight, to a terrorism incident or serious injury – the TMC has sufficient duty of care and/or traveller tracking solutions to support travellers whenever or wherever they need them most.

“Business travel is critical to both employee productivity and company profitability,” says Wally. “This is particularly true when the company is embarking on a new market venture where travel is essential. It’s a proven fact that face-to-face communication is the best way to get to know and trust potential business colleagues. It’s also a fact that partnering with an experienced, reputable TMC during the planning phase of a new market venture actually simplifies the travel management process and remarkably reduces business travel costs.”