Small Business Brief


Off to a Flying Start: How to Make Your Aviation Business Succeed

Over 8 million people fly in planes every day. To us, that high number comes as no surprise.

Not only is air travel the fastest way to get around, but it also just so happens to be jaw-droppingly cool.

After all, who would have thunk a couple hundred years ago that humans would be catapulting thousands of miles through the sky to get around the world?

That “cool factor” that aircraft have going for them is one of the primary reasons why so many people become passionate about flying and choose to open up an aviation business.

Owning an aviation business can be an extraordinarily rewarding process if you love planes. Unfortunately, it can also be downright stressful if you’re not sure how to run your business.

To make sure your company takes off without turbulence, our team shares some topical tips on how you can maximize your company’s success below.

1. Pick Your Niche

When people think about opening an aviation business, most people are talking about offering their private pilot services to clients that need transportation.

Flying people around in private planes is certainly a viable aviation business and one that our tips apply to. Still, it’s important to know that being an air chauffeur isn’t the only way that small businesses make money in aviation.

Some businesses are built around private pilot training, getting experienced pilots their ratings, selling airplane parts, training air traffic controllers, and the like.

Consider what aviation business is best for your unique sensibilities and start building your company from there!

2. Watch Your Timing

As with all businesses, opening at the right time is very important.

More businesses will spend a lot of capital upfront in order to get their operations off the ground. That spending coupled with a lack of clients means losses for most in their first few years of operation.

That trend can be exacerbated substantially if you’re launching during a down economy.

Understand how much a bad economy threatens the viability of your business. If your aviation services rely mostly on hobbyists to stay afloat, launch when the economy is strong.

3. Exude a Well-Traveled Image Even If You’re a Newborn Business

Aviation businesses only succeed if there’s a fair amount of trust in the equation. Air travel is inherently dangerous, and nobody wants to buy parts from, be flown by, or get trained by a business that seems cobbled together.

To exude a professional aura, consider naming your company something that feels less “mom and pop shop” and more corporate.

Also, ensure that your online presence looks professional as this will be the first thing customers look at before engaging your services.

4. Understand Your Expenses

There are a lot of expenses involved in certain aviation business niches. Knowing yours backward and forward can make or break your company.

If you’re a private pilot that flies commercial clients, for example, ensure you’re weighing your maintenance, fuel, insurance, and related costs into the pricing your offer.

For those running flight schools, understand that admissions are likely to be significantly higher in the fall than you’ll experience in the winter.

Factor that vacancy period into your pricing.

One missed expense could mean posting a loss at the end of the year.

5. Market to the Right Kind of Customer

In the aviation business, chances are you’re not marketing your services to the masses. That means you can’t just open up social media accounts, start posting, and expect that you’ll see conversions.

If you’re a private pilot, you’re looking for high-end clientele, which isn’t hanging out on Facebook. If you’re a pilot school, you’re looking for prospective students that are less likely to be on LinkedIn and more likely to be on platforms that skew younger.

You can learn more about marketing and customer avatars when it comes to aviation businesses online. Be sure to take the time to do your homework before investing your time and money in marketing.

6. Ensure Your Website Has a Goal in Mind

There’s no (legal) business out there that think it’s okay to not have a website. Websites are just too important.

Over 4.1 billion people use the internet today. That means 4.1 billion chances for you to engage with your target customer.

When you build your website, understand what its goal is.

Is it to get people to book your flight services? Is it to get students to request an information packet?

Whatever your desired end, ensure every page on your site does something to propel customers toward it.

7. Be Prepared to Weather the Storm

A lot can happen when running an aviation business.

Economies can change. Lawsuits can come up. Taxes can catch you off guard.

To ensure you’re prepared to weather the inevitable storms of business, plan ahead to make sure your foundation is strong.

Have a good attorney that you can reach out to, have an accountant you can go to for advice, and have money saved to deal with economic downturns.

With a little bit of forethought, you’ll find yourself in business for a long time.

Wrapping up How to Make Your Aviation Business Succeed

Running an aviation business isn’t unlike running any business. By knowing your numbers and marketing yourself to the right kind of customer, your passion will drive you to success!

If you want to learn more about how you can take your aviation business to the next level, we recommend checking out more of the free content we have available for you on Small Business Brief today!