It’s all in the eye of the business, says John Burroughes

Managing Director, Uniglobe Preferred Travel

Since 9/11 there has been a huge amount of global research carried out on the impact of this event on every aspect of personal and business life, there have been far too many potential conclusions to include in this column, but I hope the enclosed words of wisdom (if you care to read them) will add a little something to your companies bottom-line results this year.

One statistic that shone out like a beacon brighter than any other from the 9/11 that we should all take notice of was the undeniable statistics that those enlightened companies that did not do what comes naturally after 9/11 (cut sales and marketing budgets and anything else we can think of) but maintained their sales and marketing budgets and in some cases, increased, outperformed all of their competitors over the next 3 to 5 years.

Given the recent global events (the vote to leave Europe and the election of President-elect Trump) together with the various Parliamentary and presidential votes across Europe in the coming year, I thought it was time to try to eradicate emotion, cut out personal views, and take a hard look at, what the enlightened ones within our business community society look to at, solid data from trusted sources and may be a look back in history for inspiration from which we could learn.

Paul Samuelson, 1970 Nobel Prize winner for economics said “When events change, I change my mind, what do you do”

So focusing on business travel, my question to you would be how many of you actually measure the return on investment (ROI) on your business travel budgets?

It is very common, as a travel management company, to come across financial and procurement executives that have received instructions to cut travel and entertainment (T&E) budgets. Let’s face it, it’s is an easy budget to cut, during such times people in the sales and marketing arena have but one thought, the song from the original Italian job  “The Self Preservation Society”

As a prominent international business travel management company, Uniglobe Preferred Travel are members of the Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC), as such our membership represents 84% of managed business travel in the UK, (The Voice of Business Travel) we, as you would expect deal in hard facts and data verified by credible and trusted third parties.

In 2016, the GTMC commissioned Oxford Economics to look into hard facts behind all the data of business travel, in order to cut through all the waffle and give us some hard facts that would help us interpret what’s going on globally so we may guide our Businesses Clients accordingly.

So let me enlighten you on their findings:

Business Travel Boosts Trade: A 1% increase in Air Business Travel will boost all UK trade by £400 Million.

Business Travel Drives Exports: A 1% increase in Air Business Travel increases exports by £160 million and imports by £125 million.

Greater Air Connectivity Leads to Greater Trade: A 1% increase in air connectivity will result in an increased trade for the UK of around £600 million.

Increase Your Business Travel: In 2010 an upward trend (post-financial crisis) started, and as the detailed report by Oxford Economics shows, if volumes were to return to the pre-financial crisis levels the next five years, this can add as much as £6.5 billion to the value of UK trade.

I am sure by now many of you are starting to glaze over but lets face it, this is something we all do in our business life when bombarded with facts and figures. We tend to hold onto what we know (or believe in) as fact, and that tends to become our historical experience..

But l would like to jolt you out of your seats as you might be thinking, what a load of old tosh and boring data but l would challenge you by asking “how many international orders have you ever won without meeting your clients face-to-face’?

I am here as the Managing Director of Uniglobe Preferred Travel to offer my assistance in ascertaining your company ROI on business travel and if you don’t know, you should!

So I will leave you with a final thought or two:

My name is John Burroughes MD of Uniglobe Preferred Travel,

If you want to increase your international business and get closer to your potential new clients, answer me one question.

If you don’t never meet face-to-face, how can you ever see eye to eye.

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