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SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZE ENTERPRISES


Bespoke model


Tailoring a business travel service to a small or medium-size enterprise can be very rewarding


ByMARK FRARY W


HEN YOU ARE SMALL BUT BEAUTIFUL – as a company that is – it usually makes sense to concentrate


on what you do well. If you are a bakery with five staff, you would happily outsource the bits that might not be considered core to your business – cleaning the shop, doing the accounts, and so on. When it comes to business travel, small


and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) have not always felt the same need. Booking travel, even if it is for business rather than leisure, is usually perceived as a task that doesn’t really require external expertise. However, Kate Roe, American Express


GBT’s head of marketing for EMEA and APAC, says outsourcing business travel is no different from outsourcing other functions, such as payroll or accounting. “How much do you want to take on yourself before it becomes more cost-effective and more professional to have that managed and let you return to your core business?” she asks. But Steve Banks, director of business development at Capita Travel and Events, says there has to be a trigger for SMEs to start using an agent. “They may start off having unsophisticat-


ed requirements and doing it themselves. It might be that it takes up too much of


52 BBT July/August 2018 BUYINGBUSINESSTRAVEL.COM


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