Head of Helloworld Associate, Corporate and Affiliate Networks, David Padman, said the first steps were about dispelling myths TMCs were only for big business and demonstrating the benefit of managed business travel for the SME sector.
“Our network members are SME businesses themselves. They are independent businesses that have access to the helloworld for business buying power, plus the latest in digital booking and online systems. However, they still offer the small-firm style of personalised attention and service, something smaller accounts would miss at the large TMCs.”
“Secondly, the belief that it’s cheaper for an SME to manage its own business travel is very dated. Not only does engaging a TMC give value for money, it saves valuable productivity time and allows all business travel aspects like flights, accommodation and car rental to be accessed in one transaction.”
By aligning like-minded businesses with TMCs that understand what it is like to run a small business, Mr Padman believes that with the increase in travel of SME businesses, there is a perfect market opportunity.
“Twenty years ago it was only big business conducting regular domestic and international travel, now we’re seeing a big increase of travel requirements for smaller to medium enterprises as they engage with customers worldwide.”
Employee safety and risk mitigation is another value addition where helloworld for business network believes it has the advantage.
“Employee safety is paramount when they are travelling for business. All of our network members have ready-to-go emergency action plans in the event of a personal or location-based emergency. Our travel agents and TMCs are able to update customers promptly, provide assistance on the ground to their employees and get people home safely and soundly. It’s not only mitigating risk factors, it’s a piece of mind for them and their employees.”