I want to introduce you to Corporate Lodging.
The stress of traveling for business is exhausting. Having meetings to attend, finding the right strategy to win over a new customer, staying involved and on top of your customers to keep them from going to your competition, possibly oversee the supervision of hundreds of employees, or have the onus of being a crisis manager fighting to keep a business viable and away from the maw of bankruptcy. The one detail on anyone’s mind who travels in business is where they will stay for the night when they reach their destination.
Whether you are a small business owner, an independent truck driver, a contract driver for a Drive-Away company, or someone that does a lot of traveling for a larger company. Finding a place to lay your weary head at the end of the day is a priority. While hotel stays can put a big hole in your operating budget this is a necessary expense in some businesses. The expense of over $2,000 a month for hotel rooms at a budget rate establishment can put a serious dent in your finances.
When I first started going with Joe as a helper in his business as a Contract Driver for Drive-Away in 1999 it usually fell to me to call the various hotels near our nightly destinations. I would begin making the calls after 11:00 a.m. I would pepper the poor desk clerk with a myriad of questions.
- Does the hotel have semi-truck parking available?
- Do they have a CDL rate? This is rate strictly for the truck driving industry and is usually 20% to 35% lower than the daily advertised rate of the hotel.
- If they don’t have a CDL rate, do they have any discounts?
- Does the hotel allow pets? Our dog used to travel with us until she had to be put down.
I had a couple of map holders with pockets to tuck state maps away. The holders would fold up to a neat little packet and could be easily put in a backpack. I didn’t use the holder for maps. My holders were crammed full of hotel chain directories. Each time a hotel chain updated their directory I had to make sure I had the newer version.
After I graduated from being a helper to an actual truck driver in 2001 Joe and I shared the duties of finding a hotel. I still had to rely on the many directories to find a hotel chain within a city and state we would be ending our day at. Either I would make the call or I would dictate the phone number over the radio for Joe to call.
Around 2003, I don’t remember who I learned it from, I heard of a company that had discounts for hotels all over the US. I checked them out on the internet and decided to sign us up. Once I had an account established with Corporate Lodging we could use the service by printing off the temporary card from the website. Within a week our actual cards would be waiting for us in our mailbox at home. For an additional charge of $4.95 I chose to add the directory to my overflowing mass of hotel directories.
I no longer have the directory from Corporate Lodging because they have a smartphone App that will allow me to search for hotels at our destination. I can see if the hotel has truck parking or not, what their rates are, and how far from an interstate exit they are located.
Currently, I am at home doing my paperwork for the year. I am in the month of August and had been gathering all of my invoices from the Corporate Lodging website for that month. We don’t use Corporate Lodging exclusively any longer. There are many budget hotels that have decent rates. The few that don’t have a room for less than $75 a night are the ones that we ask if they use Corporate Lodging.
Here is an example of how Corporate Lodging has benefited us in our stay at a Best Western in Portland, Oregon in August.
As a member I have access to all of my invoices. At a glance I can see how often each month we used their services and how much they saved us in room rates.
If you do a lot of traveling in your business you might want to check out their website. This is not a paid advertising for Corporate Lodging. I just think it is useful to be a member and save a few dollars on your hotel expenses. Check through their website. They have accounts with quite a number of the budget hotel chains as well as the more upscale chains.
I will be popping back in from time to time. I am quite busy getting my business records in order for the tax man in 2014. Yippy