Small businesses are playing the role of big spenders on the road. A new study found that small businesses spend more on travel than big business.
The Concur Expense IQ report covering 2012 reveals that small businesses spend about 24 percent more per year on these expenses than bigger companies. The report is a survey of Concur users and how much they spent annually on travel and entertainment.
The study also specifies some reasons for that disparity:
Negotiating leverage, driven by scale and sophisticated spend management strategies, continues to give large market companies significant advantages in controlling their T&E spending.
Items like baggage fees on flights and other ancillary charges for business travelers nearly doubled in the last year, the study found. Concur users spent $58 million on these fees in 2012, compared to $30 million the year prior.
Despite the amount of these fees, which are the same for big or small businesses, it’s small businesses that are paying more often. The report also found that small businesses purchase 37 percent more airline tickets in a quarter than big businesses.
Food and Lodging
Even if your business travel doesn’t require flight, small businesses are paying more for hotel rooms and rental cars, too. The average small business traveler will spend about $736 per quarter, compared to a big business traveler’s $608 per quarter for lodging. Other expenses on the ground also hit small businesses harder.
A small business traveler is dining out about 40 times a year and spends around $340 every three months on take-out or restaurant meals. The big business traveler eats out less often and typically spends less too.
The study found that each small business traveler will spend about $500 more per quarter than a big business traveler. And every expense involved in travel – from airline tickets to hotels to food – is typically higher than what a big business traveler would pay.
Concur provides integrated travel and expense management solutions to 18,000 business customers around the world serving 20 million end users.
Image: Concur Expense IQ Report
Editor’s Correction: the above article was corrected to reflect updated customer and user counts.