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How the smartest fast-growing companies are spending less on hotels

For years, low interest rates and freely-available capital kept the leaders of small businesses focusing their effort - and their spending - on accelerating growth. Product development, marketing and sales teams were given carte blanche to deliver growth, often at any cost.

But as we settle into an era of more restrained spending, leaders have new pressures to balance. The chances are many of your employees work remotely - and your customers expect to see you in person. There's less money to spend. But there are more trips to pay for. And you cringe (or even worry) about closing the gap by sending your employees to cheaper third-rate accommodation.

Does that sound familiar? If so, here are two facts you'll like: first, there are preferential hotel rates that can help; second, they're more accessible to you than you might think. In fact, companies with just 100 employees can benefit.

Let's look at why these rates should form part of every fast-growing company's strategy:

1. You get the cheapest rate

Every dollar counts more than ever in this economic climate. Here's good news: through Corporate Negotiated Rates (CNRs), hotels are ready to offer you substantial discounts. The reason is two-fold: steady business and reduced commissions.

When you agree to a CNR, you're essentially promising to direct a significant portion of your travel towards one hotel, which ensures regular bookings and reduces their room vacancies, especially during the less busy weekdays. This consistency in occupancy is a win for the hotels.

Additionally, by securing bookings through a CNR, hotels can bypass intermediaries like, thereby saving on the hefty commissions they typically pay to these platforms. So, they're more than willing to share these savings with you in the form of discounted rates. This way, you can ensure quality trips for your employees, but at a significantly trimmed cost.

2. Costs become more predictable

Costs are always lumpy in a growing business, but the more you can forecast patterns, the better you can plan your spending. Corporate rates naturally lead your employees to book quality hotels at competitive rates that are often much more consistent than the publicly-available price you'll find. No more wild guesses about whether an employee's trip to Amsterdam will cost €80 or €300.

3. Employees don't waste time booking

Think about the last time you went somewhere unfamiliar on a trip. How long did you spend comparing hotels? Trying to find the best rate? Calculating whether it was better to book a rate that includes breakfast, or one that doesn't? Now think about how much travel your employees do: all of those hours of decision-making are being repeated across your whole business. With corporate rates, the right decision is fast and easy to make. Your teams will thank you for less time clicking.

4. You can sleep easy, because your employees are sleeping easy too

When unpredictable factors like sporting events drive room prices up, your employees can find themselves in an awkward position. Most leaders would like to think they'd tell you costs are high, so you can approve a bigger spend. But in our experience, the reality is that most people will simply book poor quality accommodation to avoid making a fuss. We've heard all the horror stories, and we wouldn't wish them on anyone.

With corporate rates, you benefit from both lower pricing, and peace of mind. That's because with corporate rates, employees can be comfortable that they've made an "approved" choice - even if prices are a little higher than usual. No money wasted - but no sleepless nights worrying where your employees are.

The benefits of corporate rates are clear, but setting them up can be a hassle. In a small business, who can you spare from their daily tasks to start calling hotels? How do you know you're getting a good deal? How can you unlock these advantages, without having to spend time and money upfront?

That's where Impala comes in. We can negotiate rates on your behalf, at no cost to you. Let us take care of the hard work, advise you on how to get the very best offer in every location you do business, and secure high quality accommodation at pocket-friendly rates for your business.