The Business Travel Show 2018

This week, the Rapid Accommodation team is taking the opportunity to make an appearance at The Business Travel Show, on 21-22 February 2018 at Olympia, London.

The Business Travel Show opens its doors for the 24th time and is Europe’s largest industry conference and exhibition. The show brings together thousands of international industry bods all in one place – more than 7,500 European professionals will be treading the boards with us.

The long established show will give Rapid Accommodation the opportunity to gain the latest knowledge and contacts in the market, giving us an in-depth look at what’s new and current, what works and what doesn’t, and an insight into valuable information of new trends and resources.

A comprehensive overview of the market

In gathering together all the significant industry people, The Business Travel Show helps us to make contact with a large number of people, products and services at the same time, so we can have a comprehensive overview of the entire market.

From airlines to hotels, and the latest in travel technology, we will also be attending a number of specialist seminars, all of which helps us to develop the most successful and up to date travel programmes for our clients – to help find ways to continue to meet our client’s needs.

Keep Romance Alive By Taking Your Partner With You On A Business Trip

Business travel is often anything but glamorous, but by focusing on the potential benefits, like taking your partner along, you can get more out of your time together. Not only will you both have a much more meaningful personal experience, the trip can have the positive effect of building resilience in your relationship.

Make time for both of you in the itinerary for some joint R&R, then maximise it. If you are both foodies, enjoy everything a new place has to offer, including staking out the best restaurants. If history is your passion, taking advantage of time out of a work schedule, could mean having the rare opportunity of exploring museums and historical sites together in an exotic or different location.

Good for Business

Taking your loved one with you on a work trip, can actually be good for business, it can enhance positive social connections and aid business dealings. Inviting your partner out to dinner with a business associate can help the business bonding process – it forces you to push conversation beyond business, and into the realms of life outside of work.

Its a well known fact that communication is key for any relationship, but it doubles in importance when that relationship must stand the test of travel. Its crucial that each person in the relationship bridge the geographical distance, by consistently meeting one another’s emotional needs. By taking your partner on a business trip, instantly turns business travel into pleasure, and for some, it may even be an opportunity to use the end of their trip as the beginning of a holiday together in the same city, with the added benefit of airfare savings that are hard to beat.

Customer Relationship Management

The perception of business travel being only about managing a booking system, is outdated – business travel continues to rebrand itself through the trend for integration and automation. What is often missing within our industry, is the value added by real people.

This is where CRM comes in – Customer Relationship Management – the practice of building meaningful relationships with customers and suppliers. Because good mutual relationships are at the very heart of who we are, we’re using dedicated software to track vital data from many sources (websites, social media, calls, chatting with clients on a regular basis, mail, and email), which in turn, allows Rapid’s team to place the wants and needs of our clients at the forefront of our business.

Client expectations are growing, and it is not enough to simply book business travel – there has to be the ability to maintain a good client relationship built on trust, that no amount of advertising or marketing can achieve as effectively as one-on-one dialogue, and the intimate knowledge of a clients lifestyle, and what makes them happy.

The integrated shift in thinking, has driven a new blend of personalised digital marketing, which should sit alongside face-to-face Customer Relationship Management, where the thinking is ‘the customer is king’ rather then ‘just the content.’

Are you claiming all the VAT you’re entitled to?

Once your colleagues and contractors have returned from their business stay, one of the first things to do is collect their receipts. However, they may have misplaced a few, spilt coffee on them or the accommodation provider hasn’t included the right information. Perhaps the receipts don’t have a printed VAT number, or maybe the business isn’t actually VAT registered at all…

A company who spends £500 on accommodation per week could easily lose out on almost £4,500 of VAT each year!

We understand how frustrating this can be, which is why there are some things to look out for from the agencies that book your business stays.

It’s all in the invoicing

We provide carefully-crafted invoicing as a part of our accommodation booking service – to ensure that all the necessary information you need is included in one easy-to-process document. Each invoice will be formatted with the correct address, company and contact details, as well as the right VAT rates and totals so you can claim back every penny that you’re entitled to.

As you’re researching booking agents, you may come across some that are not based in the UK. You should be aware that if you use their services and pay online, you cannot claim the VAT. While making sure all expenses are claimed is essential, it’s just as important not to misclaim.

Here to help

Managing expenses is a valued part of our service. We know this as one of our largest clients began working with us for this reason; we’ve helped them to save thousands of pounds in VAT that was otherwise being lost! If you have any questions about our accommodation service and how we help to streamline your post-business stay admin, get in touch. Our Accommodation Advisors are ready, waiting and more than happy to help.

Coming up in 2018

Happy New Year, everyone! The phones are ringing, the coffee is hot and the Rapid Accommodation team is ready for our biggest and best year yet.

Over the festive season, we’ve had the opportunity to take some time and reflect on some of the great moments of the past 12 months. 2017 was a big year for us with many highlights and successes that we’re determined to build on throughout 2018.

Throughout the past year, Team Rapid grew to 12 people as we welcomed Maisy, Bebhann and Brad as Accommodation Advisors. It’s fantastic to see how passionate they are about the business and their clients.

2017 also brought changes to the way we work. Firstly, we launched our very own bespoke booking software that enables us to enhance the efficiency of our sourcing and booking process – complete with personal profiles for each and every customer. Next, a ticketing system that helps us to improve response time and ultimately offer an enhanced customer service. As the company’s grown, we’ve made sure that great customer service is always a priority.

Award-winning business

To top it all off, we won not one, not two but three awards! In April, Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis named Rapid Accommodation #SBS winners in his weekly Small Business Sunday Twitter competition, and in September we won the #KingOf award on Twitter for King of Contractors Accommodation 2017. Also, Rapid Accommodation is the High Growth Business of the Year winners for the Yorkshire and Humber region in the British Chamber of Commerce Business Awards! In November, the team travelled to London for the glittering ceremony. Although we didn’t take home the national prize on the night, we had a fabulous evening. A wonderful way to round up a brilliant year.

So, what are we looking forward to in 2018?

Expanding the team – again.

As our business grows, our team grows with us. In five years we’ve grown from three to a team of 12. We carefully recruit each and every team member, looking for a whole variety of qualities in employees. One of the most important, of course, is personality – if you haven’t got it, you’re not getting in!

Getting out there.

Going to events is always a highlight, whether it’s attending awards, going networking or visiting trade shows. We’re looking forward to meeting lots of new businesses in 2018 and making the most of exciting opportunities that come our way.

Merry Christmas from Rapid Accommodation!

Christmas is here and Rapid Accommodation are excited! We’ll be rockin’ around the Christmas Tree in our festive jumpers, enjoying a mince pie… or two!

To help spread a little festive cheer, Team Rapid have shared a few of their favourite things about Christmas…

Rapid Accommodation - Bebhann

Bebhann

My favourite parts of Christmas are the Christmas markets, festivities and wrapping presents!

 

 

Rapid Accommodation - Katy

Katy

My favourite thing about Christmas is snuggling up with a blanket and hot chocolate watching Christmas films…

 

 

Rapid Accommodation - Ellie

Ellie

The thing I love most about Christmas is making memories with family.

 

 

 

Rapid Accommodation - Karl

Karl

For Christmas, I enjoy finding unique and thoughtful presents for others… followed by lots of Christmas Pudding for me!

 

 

Rapid Accommodation - Rowan

Rowan

For me, it’s spending time with loved ones.

 

 

 

Rapid Accommodation - Rachael

Rachael

My favourite things at Christmas time are the terrible jumpers and the delicious food! And of course, Santa Claus coming to town!

 

 

Rapid Accommodation - RebeccaRebecca

I love Christmas because it’s the only day of the year we get off as a business owner. It’s great to go home and spend time with family. Oh, and not to mention the mulled wine!

 

 

Rapid Accommodation - Maisy

Maisy

Personally, I love spending time with family, it’s a time to be merry and not worry about overeating! I like to decorate the house and Christmas Tree, making everything very festive.

 

 

Rapid Accommodation - Leanne

Leanne

I love Christmas because it’s a time of year to indulge and not feel guilty. An opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family and I LOVE decorating the tree!

 

 

Rapid Accommodation - Linda

Linda

Linda loves Christmas because of the mistletoe!
Linda loves Christmas each time of the year
She enjoys the fuss even though its dear
With plenty of mistletoe and kisses too
She would like to wish the very best to you.

 

Watch the Rapid Accommodation Christmas Message!

A Christmas message from Rapid Accommodation

 

We’d like to say a big thank you for your support in 2017 and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous New Year.

If you need us, you can reach us on 0330 041 6077 or by emailing info@rapidaccommodation.co.uk.

Love from all the team at Rapid Accommodation x

Five Things to Remember for Business Travel

It happens to all of us. You’re making your journey, you arrive at your accommodation and realise that there’s something you’ve forgotten. When it comes to business travel, you can be so busy getting to and from shifts, or concentrating on your all-important meetings that you miss the details that can make your stay – and post-trip admin – much easier.

In the five years we’ve been helping companies to manage their accommodation, we’ve found there are some common things that business travellers forget.

Here are five things to remember when travelling for business.

Research local amenities

Once you’ve made your journey to your accommodation, you’ll want to get inside, unpack and relax. However, if there’s something that you’ve forgotten to bring with you, or if the kitchen cupboards need stocking, you’ll need to nip back out again and find the nearest shop.

Before your journey, take a look at the supermarkets closest to your accommodation so you can stop by for any essentials on your way in.

Check travel routes

With Sat Nav systems, it’s so easy to get in the car, set your destination and go! But, we all know how essential it is to check your route before setting off to your accommodation. Look for any unexpected roadworks, tolls and diversions – anything that can cause a delay or be an added expense. And don’t forget about your route to and from site, too!

Save all of your receipts

Receipts are easily thrown away, or hidden deep within pockets or bags and forgotten about. By the time you find them again, you’ve already filed your expenses for your work trip and so, you’ve missed out! But by collecting them and keeping them safe, you can claim back all the expenses and VAT that you’re entitled to. Each little coffee, lunch, or car park ticket adds up.

Keep your contact number handy

When we work with you to book places to stay for business travel, we’ll give you a contact number that’s available 24/7. This way, you can reach us for help with any problems you may have – we’ve even directed clients to their destination over the phone! Add the phone number to your contacts, and keep a copy with your booking paperwork. Just in case…

Make the most of your stay

When you have downtime, make the most of the facilities in and around your property. Whether it’s relaxing in the hot tub on the patio after a long shift, or exploring the town centre on your day off, taking a break can really make your business stay feel like a home-away-from-home.

If you have any questions about business travel and booking accommodation, get in touch. We’re always happy to help!

Chamber Business Awards 2017

On Thursday, Linda, Rebecca and Rachael made their way to London for a very special occasion – the 2017 Chamber Business Awards!

The Chamber Business Awards is one of the most prestigious programmes in the country. It rewards excellence in business, in all sectors, from across Britain. Back in September, we were so excited to find out that we were named regional winners of the ‘High Growth Business of the Year’ category for the Yorkshire and Humber region. As well as this prize, Rapid Accommodation became finalists in the national awards. Sadly we didn’t win, but we had an incredible time.

The Awards Ceremony

The glittering ceremony took place at The Brewery, a beautiful Grade II listed venue in the heart of London. The evening began with a lot of chatting and getting to know the fellow guests and finalists. We met so many inspirational business people from across the country, including Agenda Screening. They are an agency for background and pre-employment screening based in Hull and were our table companions for the evening. We dined on Mackarel with almond cream, garlic and thyme roasted guinea fowl, and plum and pear pavlova, which was absolutely delicious! Kate Thornton was the host for the evening, and she did an excellent job of keeping the guests entertained.

Then came the announcements. It was so motivating to hear the success stories of all the nominees, how far they’ve come and what they’ve achieved over the past 12 months. Finally, it came to our category, ‘High Growth Business of the Year’. The very deserving winners were iCON Aerospace Technology Ltd, specialists in polymer technology for the aerospace, defence and industrial sectors.

A Successful Year

2017 has been such an incredible year for us. It began with us securing £2 million worth of business from organisations within key sectors. Then in April, we became winners of Dragon’s Den star and Entrepreneur Theo Paphitis’ Twitter competition, #SBS Small Business Sunday. We’ve also expanded our team three times this year, taking the number of employees from eight to 13 in order to accommodate the growing demand for our business travel services. Attending these national, prestigious awards is the icing on the top of a delicious cake!

Find out more about the Chamber Awards 2017.

Who we work with: Kirk UK

KIRK UK is the leading liquid storage tank specialist in the UK, operating in a wide variety of industry sectors across the globe, and we’re proud to have them as one of our oldest, most loyal clients. We’ve been working together since 2012, sourcing and booking accommodation around the UK for their many workers.

What challenges did you encounter before using Rapid Accommodation?
Time constraints and not holding accounts with the accommodation provider.

Why did you choose us over our competitors?
Service, price and willingness to help.

What benefits have you experienced since working with us?
We get complete peace of mind knowing that you give 24/7 service.

How has our service improved your day to day life?
Time is freed up, allowing us to get on with other tasks.

Does it save you time or money?
Both! Very much so.

What are you most impressed with?
Your service, reliability and approachability, as well as the friendly nature of your staff.

 

How we can help you, too.

To find out more about how we can help your business with its accommodation requirements, get in touch. You can give us a call on 0330 090 4142 or send an email to info@rapidaccommodation.com, and our Accommodation Advisors will be more than happy to help!

Why Use Self-Catering Accommodation?

Sometimes, there’s more to business stays than simply checking into a hotel room. Shift work may mean you need to arrive before the designated time, or that you won’t be around when the kitchen’s open. That’s why more and more business travellers have been turning to self-catering accommodation.

We’ve rounded up five reasons to choose self-catering for your business stay.

Flexibility

Self-catering means you have the flexibility to come and go as you please, arriving and departing at times that are best for you. Therefore, you won’t have to pay any additional fees for late check-out after a post-night shift sleep.

Budget

You’ll find that, with the right research and booking negotiation, self-catering accommodation is fantastic value for money. You receive a lot more space than just a room for sleeping, no matter where you book. While small cottages and contemporary apartments are always a favourite, you may find manor houses and luxury lodges within your budget, too.

Equipment

Self-catering accommodation is like a home away from home, so you’ll find that your place to stay will have a variety of facilities needed for every day such as your own oven and washing machine. Some places may even provide luxuries like gym equipment or a hot tub – and it will be private to you, too.

Dining

Having your very own kitchen means you can store and prepare your own food and snacks, and have them readily available whenever you need them – even at 2am after a late shift! You can be sure that the food you have meets your dietary requirements, and you’ll save money on dining in the long run. Of course, if you did want to explore the area, your host will be able to recommend the best local restaurants, cafes and bars.

Space

Self-catering properties will provide travellers with more space, which is very useful for colleagues travelling in groups. As well as private bedrooms, you’ll find communal areas – whether a living room, dining room or private patio, where the group can relax and socialise before turning in for the night.

 

How we can help

If you need accommodation now, not a problem email us at info@rapidaccommodation.com or call us on 0330 0904142. Our Advisors are ready to help!