Small businesses often live one month to the next, and when unexpected expenses arise, they may not be able to financially weather them. Sometimes, business travel comes with the territory. And while travel can be a large expense, often it is well worth the cost if you’ll be gaining more from this client meeting, or from a trip. Here are some tips about how to funding self-employed business travel when you don’t have the funds on hand.
Ask Your Client to Pay
If you run a consultancy business, are a coach, or an industry expert, you might be able to let your customer know that you are happy to visit them, but give them a daily rate for your trip. This rate should include travel meals and lodging. Alternatively, you could ask them to pay for your trip directly by finding accommodations and tickets for you. This is a fairly common practice in the business world, and if your potential client is serious about working with you, they will not refuse the offer. They might book you a hotel and write it off as an expense. Larger companies are much more likely to accept this type of offer since these are small expenses compared tot he value they would gain from working with you.
Get a Company Credit Card
If you are sure the trip will pay dividends, yet you don’t have the cash to pay for tickets, you can use a company credit card. This method gives you an added bonus of fraud protection, and it will be easier to calculate your expenses because you can access them all on your credit card bill. Booking with your credit card can also give you more protection in case your flight gets cancelled or delayed. Use credit if you are certain that at least one of the meetings will result in a lucrative partnership so you aren’t left with a bill and no business at the end of the trip.
Ask Your Bank
When your monthly business budget is tight, and you are need cash to secure new business, you might want to get a bank involved. From cash advance to working capital loans, there are several products available for small and medium sized businesses to cover short term cash flow issues. Continue reading about finance available for small businesses and choose the right solution.
Book Now Pay Later
Sometimes you only need to wait for a few weeks until your payments from customers arrive. If you know you will have cash in the short term, there are some travel brands who don’t ask you to fully pay before you travel – once your trip is over, they will send you a final bill. These deals reduce your risk, as you usually only have to pay a small deposit, and there are no cancellation fees. Shop around for delayed payment options.
The good news is that when you travel for work, you can travel on a budget. Book an AirBNB accommodation, or get a cheap deal on a hotel. You don’t have to stay in a 5-star hotel, as it usually will not make a difference at all to the client.
Even if you think that you cannot afford business trips, sometimes the only way to take your venture further is to get on the road.
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