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The Power Of Partnerships: How More SME’s Are Leveraging Partnerships For Business Growth

 An increasing number of Small to Medium Enterprise’s (SME’s) are choosing to partner with experts to help them achieve ‘more with less’ by using the expertise of an organisation, like corporate travel provider, Corporate Traveller.

According to Deloitte, business process outsourcing is set to grow by over 9 percent, per year between now and 2030. SME specialist travel management company, Corporate Traveller is encouraging businesses to adopt this mindset to trim expenses while pumping up productivity.

A Clutch Global Survey says 24 percent of small businesses cited heightened efficiency as their top reason for partnering with an external business.

Angie Forsyth, General Manager of Corporate Traveller NZ said the sentiment is similar from their clients with plenty of companies re-orientating their focus towards their key functions.

“SME’s like many kiwi business are facing a number of challenges as business rebuilds, looking for ways to focus on their key functions is key to business growth in the current economic environment.

“For small businesses, coming together with the right partner is the key to unlocking a team’s potential. By passing off routine tasks like HR, IT and travel management to external specialists, internal resource time is freed up to tackle high value business tasks.”

Sustainability is also increasingly important for businesses of all sizes. Many expert service firms will likely have sustainability solutions to consider.

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“Sustainability is a factor the team at Corporate Traveller incorporate into the creation of travel programmes – helping companies measure and offset emissions. Our clients really value this part of their travel programme.

Forsyth adds there may be some SME’s that are reluctant to form business partnerships. For these companies, Corporate Traveller has come up with 10 steps to success when finding the perfect partner:

  1. Use Your Network – Word of mouth is a fantastic way to identify potential partners, especially if they understand your industry and have worked with other small businesses.
  2. Do Some Research – Don't be shy when it comes to researching prospective candidates including reading reviews!
  3. Ask the Right Questions – You may want your future partners to share your culture, ethics and vision. Ask about their policies on data security, sustainability, DEI etc.
  4. Conduct A Thorough Interview – Be transparent from the get-go. Make sure your shortlisted candidates have all the information they need in order to make a meaningful pitch.
  5. Don’t Always Default to Accepting the Lowest Bidders – Remember the old adage, you get what you pay for? Do your due diligence and go with the best fit for your business.
  6. Put A Rock-Solid SLA In Place – Establish clear objectives and expectations in your service level agreement – leaving no room for misinterpretation.
  7. Agree To Open Communication and Full Transparency – Whether you’re talking travel, IT or HR services, you have to be transparent about your goals and budget constraints.
  8. Meet Often – It takes a while to build rapport and trust. Invest the time and you’ll reap the rewards.
  9. Keep Control of Your Costs – Once you’ve got a groove with your new service provider you’ll find it easy to offload more work. Exceeding scope often happens quickly. Make sure you’ve got a handle on your costs.
  10. Be Open to New Ideas – Don't fall into the trap of same same. It’s amazing where new ideas can come from.

Forsyth concludes that regardless of your goals, a combined, future focused plan is what makes a successful business partnership.

“By partnering with a travel management company like Corporate Traveller, SMEs can design and implement a policy that aligns with business objectives, as well as the needs and desires of the travellers. The team at Corporate Traveller can identify areas for savings, based on company travel data and find extra value across your whole business travel programme.”

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