Most people who run a business will tell you that spreading your influence across borders is a great way to turn a small business into a large one. Thanks to the wonders of technology, programs such as Skype make it possible for meetings to take place online, most of the time. There are always certain occasions though that require one or more staff members to pack their bags and hop on a plane.

Businesswoman on the go
photo credit: Matthew Hurst / Flickr

These trips are great for small business growth, although they often take a large bite out of the budget. Thankfully, there are a number of tricks around that are designed to turn your trip into an economical one. Accommodation is one of the biggest culprits in budget destroying, with many businesses finding a hotel nearest to the meeting location and sending their people there. These hotels tend to be more expensive, thanks to their convenient locations and popularity. Choosing alternative accommodation options, such as boutique hotels, bed and breakfasts, guesthouses or corporate-styled apartments can help your budget in many ways.

Working at an apartment in Amsterdam
photo credit: Mike 140AM / Flickr

Cheaper Eating Options

If we were to make a pros and cons list between alternative accommodation and the mainstream hotel approach, the cheaper eating will definitely be at the top of the pros list, in bold letters. These sorts of places offer a hearty breakfast each morning, which you can enjoy in a relaxed environment, at a fraction of the price compared to a hotel. Often the owner of the guesthouse makes an effort to add a local spin to the food that is provided. Last year I spent a few nights in one of the quaint guesthouse apartments in Amsterdam. The lady who ran the place baked bread each morning to go with the Dutch cheeses, as well as some miniature pancakes, called poffertjes, adding some sweetness to the morning.

Pofferjes
photo credit: Lusy Kongdju / Flickr

Another great thing about this approach is the fact that you are often situated slightly outside of the main city centre. As a result, there are usually some great local taverns nearby that offer delicious food and interesting company.

Finding Specials

When it comes to finding the best accommodation, there is usually a massive selection to choose from. Although this may seem like a tick in the negative column, it can actually make your life easier. Thanks to the saturated market, many places offer some great specials. Spend a few minutes each day hunting on sites like Groupon for an offer that works best for you.

Living room at a budget apartment in Amsterdam
photo credit: Trey Guinn / Flickr

Very often if a large number of staff members book at the same accommodation, the owner will offer a number of nifty benefits. Free Wi-Fi, lowered rates or even food and beverage discounts could be proposed, helping the budget to last a little longer.