The news is full of it…
“The Rand is plummeting” and ”We’re being downgraded to junk status”.
The future of business just became a whole lot more uncertain. Especially if you’re still in the start-up and growth phase of your company.
So, where to from here?
When do you start re-assessing your budgets and what is the first item you’ll cut?
Before you decide to axe your business travel, here are five ways you can tighten up on your expenses to avoid this:
Eliminate hidden travel booking fees
Have you ever booked a cheap flight online only to find you have to pay thousands of rands to change your flight when you miss it because of the traffic to the airport? Times this by the number of sales managers in your team and it quickly adds up!
Don’t waste precious time
Wasting precious time in your day on Google searching for the best flight, car hire and hotel room. You could be spending these hours crunching numbers, closing deals and bringing the money in!
Consolidate all your travel spending and improve your cash flow by paying everything on one credit account.
Add a level of transparency into travel for your business
You need to be able to see and track your spend on business trips. This means having one holistic view of what all your managers are spending when they travel and have the right measures in place to ensure they don’t overspend.
Partner with one travel management company
Stop paying separate agencies for your visa, passports and travel requirements. By partnering with one travel management company who can provide you with all these services, you can save on paying separate fees.
You can do all the above in one simple step – by partnering with Flight Centre Business Travel (FCBT)!
Having been in the industry for over 20 years, they have global negotiating strength and long-standing relationships with the world’s top airlines, hotel chains, car rental companies and travel providers, giving them the power to offer you the best options at the best prices.
And sometimes the cost savings isn’t just on a better rate for a flight or hotel.
Almost 45% of all business trips are changed at least once and usually at the last minute. FCBT assigns a dedicated account manager who is available 24/7 to every business account, so any last minute changes can be made at any time of the day and that’s where most of your savings come in.
Plus they offer flexible payment options to business travellers. These include options like company or personal credit card payments, travel lodge cards and interest free credit accounts.
A travel lodge card helps manage your travel spend by consolidating and sorting all your travel expenses into one simple monthly statement. So you can see exactly what you’ve spent on airlines, accommodation and car rental on the same statement.
FCBT also offer bill backs, a service where they cover all your travel costs, consolidate them, and bill them back to the company. This basically means the company doesn’t have to deal with lots of little expense claims after a business trip. For a risk conscious, growing organisation, this is a huge way to reduce fraud and control travel spend.
But, the most worthwhile reason to consider enlisting a travel specialist is they will have the right knowledge and experience to help you develop a solid company travel policy. Flight Centre Business Travel can set up your company travel policy to streamline staff travel and secure preferred suppliers. This ensures that all flights booked have been duly authorised and are within the allocated budget, reducing your financial risk significantly.
FCBT can help any growing business with their business travel – even in tumultuous times!
The New Rules Of Customer Experience
Intelligent Experience Economy will change the rules of customer experience.
Our report identifies five rules organisations can follow to reimagine the customer experience in the ‘Intelligent Experience Economy’. These rules are the action that organisations need to take if they want to be successful in this new era:
1. Make the customer journey your new chain
Most executives understand the importance of CX and have some form of customer strategy to address it. However, the ‘Intelligent Experience Economy’ calls for significant action. Organisations will need to develop an enterprise-wide customer journey. Creating a common language and taxonomy around the customer that is universally adopted will spur CX transformation at scale and embed the customer in the core of the organisational culture.
2. Embed AI in the Customer Experience
Our research confirms that businesses understand the critical and still growing importance of ‘big data’ and analytics. However, having an analytics function. AI will be the dominant capability enabling companies to reimagine the CX in the ‘Intelligent Experience Economy’. Embedding AI in the CX is a great opportunity for organisations. It can enable easier communication with customers, speed up transaction times, personalise customer experiences and significantly reduce customer service costs. Furthermore, organisations that have embedded AI will have unique access to customer data.
3. Connect Customer Experience to real value
Customer metrics are now commonplace in businesses. Although the metric is important, too many businesses see it as the end point instead of the starting point. CCOs assessing their CX transformation efforts must take into account how mature their organisation’s CX measurement maturity is.
For many, CX measurement is still immature – actively listening to customers and collecting feedback, but not taking action with CX initiatives. Organisations should develop real-time customer metrics.
4. Let the COO drive Customer Experience Change
The role of the COO needs to evolve if organisations are to execute on their ambitious goals for their CX visions in the next few years. The role of the COO will need to shift from ‘measuring the CX’ to being directive on the priorities to drive CX change. In order to be more directive, end-to-end capabilities will be needed within the organisations, framed around journey stages.
5. Ignite the core
To create real CX transformation – the COO cannot be successful alone. The challenge is about ‘igniting the core’ around CX. To ‘ignite the core’ organisations need to spread the CX vision with all leaders, managers, frontline employees and back office employees alike. Furthermore, organisations will have to establish partnerships across the value chain – including UX/CX experts, data analysis, AI architects, app developers, as well as project delivery partners.
How can organisations execute the customer experience?
In order to be a leading customer experience organisation, companies will need to execute the customer experience at scale across the organisation. Customer strategy execution is transformational in nature and requires new capabilities, new ways of working and an entire organisation to be fully behind the new vision.
How To Immigrate With Your Family By Starting A Business In The UK
The simple way to make your entrepreneurial dreams come true in the UK.
Many people, especially those with families, are reluctant to up sticks and move to the UK. These would-be movers are often worried that they will not be able to secure employment in the hugely competitive UK job market. This source of stress alone is enough to discourage some from pursuing their dreams of living in the UK. But, there is an innovative and accessible solution.
The UK has several visa classes aimed at individuals who wish to invest in the country. These give an individual the right to live and work in the UK with their families, if they make a defined investment. A visa that interests South Africans is the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa. We have developed our UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Investment Programme to help South Africans looking to immigrate to the UK alone, or with their families.
The basics of the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa
To be awarded a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa, you will need to invest at least R3,5 million (£200,000) in an existing UK business or one you start up. There are certain other requirements, but these are not particularly onerous, and most investors will qualify if they submit their application correctly.
The entrepreneur visa allows you to live and work in the UK, and take dependant family members with you, defined as your partner and your child under 18. If you have the capital, or are willing to liquidate your assets in South Africa to raise it, the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa is a great way to relocate your entire family to the UK.
Do note: You will need to make specific applications for each dependant, so it is vital you consult with an immigration expert before beginning the application process.
You’re not just immigrating, you’re investing in the UK
By starting or investing in a UK business as part of our programme, you will be granted the right to live and work in the UK, and earn an income from that business.
The business you invest in will want you to play an active role, not just contribute seed capital. If you want to invest in a business without being an active director you will be allowed to do so, but you may not be eligible for the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.
Another restriction is that you cannot hold this visa and work for a business other than the one you are invested in. But, your partner will be allowed to work in whatever field he or she pleases.
How do you choose the right business to invest in?
There is always an element of risk when investing in a foreign business, particularly when you’re thirteen thousand kilometres away from the country you’re investing in. It’s important to understand exactly what you’re investing in before you take the plunge.
That’s why our UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Investment Programme is hugely beneficial. It matches your investment capital with a pre-approved investee business. We’ll make sure that your skills are matched with an appropriate venture so you can be an active director of that business.
We’ll also handle your visa applications, providing you with a comprehensive immigration and investment solution. Our partner’s list of investee businesses is over 200 strong, giving you an array of choices in various industries. This allows us to pair you with the business that best suits your investment goals and skills.
But what if you have a successful business in South Africa?
It’s no secret — emigrating from South Africa is difficult for many families who have deep roots and thriving operations. There’s no reason why you can’t keep your business in South Africa as well as relocate to the UK.
Nothing restricts a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa holder from owning and overseeing businesses in other countries while they are on this visa. Many clients choose to relocate to the UK while ensuring that their original business continues to operate. In this way, you will be supplementing the income from your UK investment with revenue generated by your South African business.
You can hold British and South African passports if you apply for your British citizenship in the correct manner. You must obtain permission from Home Affairs in South Africa to avoid having your citizenship revoked. Retaining your South African citizenship will make it much easier for you to continue running a business here.
Talk to us today
There are compelling reasons to move to the UK — a brighter future for your children and a more stable country in which to retire. Our comprehensive solution will ensure you get the most out of your relocation.
If you’re thinking of immigrating to the UK or investing offshore — either or both — we can help.
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