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  • Keep your business travel expenses to a minimum

    For Sam Hamadeh, co-founder of Vault.com, a career information site, traveling for business was costly when he first started his company.

    Traveling for business can be costly for startups. Hamadeh told Forbes that he struggled getting his four-person staff around the country to meet with potential clients.
    "For sales, it's a people business at the end of the day," he said. "It's important for us to develop personal relationships, and you do really have to go see them. Since we were a shoestring startup, it was critical for us to do it cheaply."

    That's why Expedia, the world's largest online travel site, collaborated with LiquidSpace to give a few a travel tips to small-business owners across the nation.

    "Simply put, when our customers are asked to describe LiquidSpace, they often refer to us as the 'Expedia for office space', so working together to reach business travelers was a natural fit," said Doug Marinaro, president and COO of LiquidSpace. "Whether travelers are 10 minutes or 10 hours away from home, LiquidSpace has trusted workspaces ready with WiFi and instantly bookable on their smartphone - whenever, wherever."

    The cost of business travel
    Americans spent $266.5 billion on business travel in 2013, according to the US Travel Association data. But that money isn't going to waste. According to a 2013 report from Oxford Economics, the money small-business owners spend in travel usually offers a great return on investment.

    Oxford Economics reported that each dollar spent by companies in business travel returned $9.50 in new revenue. Expedia surveyed more than 7,000 small business employees and found that more 52 percent of respondents believe that travel is "very important" to their venture's success.

    Saving on travel
    The nation's economy still isn't back to the levels seen before the Great Recession, and many businesses have closed their doors since that time because they simply couldn't cut it in the tough environment. That makes it all the more important for startups and small businesses to make every travel dollar count.

    The Expedia Small Business Report claimed that 75 percent of respondents reported the main element they considered when booking travel for work is "getting the most value." Respondents said dealing with an "easy booking process" was the next most important at 69 percent. Sixty-five percent of respondents said that "finding low prices" was their main goal when booking business travel.

    However, if your company is still in the early stages of development and you can't afford to book any travel for business purposes, Cisco reported that a networked phone system that offers video calls and Web conferencing can help decrease the time and expense of traveling to offsite meetings and training sessions.

    Needs, wants and complaints from business travelers

    With more than 20 percent of respondents traveling between 11 to 20 days out of the year for work purposes, it's easy to imagine some of the frustrations workers feel when out on the road. According to the Expedia survey, the top complaints from business travelers included a lack of WiFi availability on flights or in the hotel, delayed or canceled flights and long security lines at the airport. The survey reported that 65 percent of small business travelers use mobile devices while out traveling to make last minute arrangements. More than half of the respondents reported that they primarily use their smartphones for such last minute travel adjustments, while 33 percent said they primarily rely on their laptops.

    USA Today reported that one of the biggest cons to business travel is the lack of healthy food options, although the survey from Expedia revealed that many business travelers are making a concerted effort to stick with healthy alternatives.

    While on the road, 81 percent of small business travelers make an effort by eating healthy meals. More than half of respondents also claimed they take advantage of their company's fitness center.