For the up and at ‘em, go, hard-charger entrepreneur, many traditional businesses just don’t cut the mustard. You may have a lot of funds at your disposal thanks to a lucrative business you already own, or you may be blessed to have the financial backing of wealthy investors. The question you find yourself asking is, what to do with all that money? One of the businesses that require someone with brains and brawn is the private charter jet industry.
There are so many affluent, rich people who always need to travel in style and comfort; and guess what? They’re willing to pay. Indeed so, this is a lucrative business with high upsides, but the yield curve is where the real focus should be. In order for your private jet company to stay afloat, an immense amount of planning needs to be made. Moreover, just about every variable needs to be calculated and anticipated. This kind of venture requires you to have your ears to the ground and read the needs of customers before they seek you out. It also needs staff that have the same amount of intensity and passion for the business as you.
You’re essentially providing air transport for wealthy clients, business CEOs and executives, political VIPs and to a lesser extent, citizens booking your services for a special occasion. The nature of the business is that of non-scheduled flight of passengers and their cargo; therefore it can be referred to as a charter arrangement. Private jet companies give their clients the ability to fly anywhere in the world, and more importantly, at any time they wish. Convenience plays a massive role in luring customers in because that’s the main reason why they want a private jet. Therefore it’s important to conduct an overview of the business landscape where you intend to set up your headquarters.
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Market research the business playing field
Just like any other business venture in the world, you need to conduct thorough research of the consumer base you want to tap into. Research into your competition especially. How many large corporations and industries have planted themselves in your city? How many people do they employ? What’s their gross annual revenue? Are they industry leaders, and do they hold sway in the media because of their business decisions? This will indicate the importance of your clients surrounding your business. Swift actions and reactions are the bread and butter ethos of market leaders, and the value of doing businesses face to face, signing deals and meeting new clients in person has not gone out of fashion.
Find out how many other private jet companies are in the vicinity and what kind of service the offer. Do a quick regional identifier search and go onto their website. Look into their fleet and the hourly prices their demand. Do they provide any other luxuries, in the form of catering and electronic appliances? Studying the competition intently, and discern on a fact that could make your business stand out.
Choosing a niche
Companies which have cemented themselves in the industry can provide their services to the global community. Anyone and everyone, no matter where they are, can book their services, travel to the nearest airport and board their flight. However, as you’re just starting out, it’s best to focus on one aspect and get really, really good and experienced at it. The demographic of your target customer must be something that’s well thought out and explored.
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Execs and business leaders
The best route to take is to target business executives and CEOs. Those who have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, often move around a lot to keep multiple plates spinning. Your business should offer flights from your main operating base, to the capital city of your country. Many headquarters and business partners of large multi-nationals companies are situated in the heart of the financial markets of their respective country. They will need flights in and out of the capital regularly. Therefore your fleet should have quick turnaround time, the highest reliability and short maintenance periods.
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There are many business exhibitions and trade shows which you can go to to find an investor who believes in your business and is willing to give you the funds to buy the fleet needed. You can also turn to a bank which will give you a business loan. Both resources will need a thorough and well-detailed business plan. So think of every possibility, every margin, estimated interest, projected, quarterly profits and the efficiency in which the business will be run to save money wherever possible. To help finance the business further, look for soft loans, such as from willful friends and family members. Sell any and all other business interests such as stocks and shares you may have invested. Sell your home and possessions if you need to, the key is to put your heart and soul into the business to have a real shot at it taking off and stabilizing.
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What kind of fleet
Versatility in your fleet will give you many options, and that means, your customers will also have more options; thus attracting their attention. A small 4-seater propeller piston-engine powered aircraft is superb for short flights. It can be flown frequently, with small fuel burning costs.
A business jet often referred to as a ‘bizjet’ in the industry can be a small or medium sized jet aircraft. The average design will be, two small, streamlined jet engines connected either side of the fuselage at the rear. This is the most common form of private jet most business leaders want. It supplies ample room for six people, but some can seat over 10. It’s important that the technology being used on these jets is intricate, fine-tuned, and the sensors able to pick up minute changes in the atmosphere and electronic systems.
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Precision and safety
Certified aircraft safety regulators will only give you your license if your aircraft can pass a thorough inspection from an independent surveyor and aviation safety institution. This means that sensitive equipment, which monitors speed, temperatures, storm detectors, radar responders and reliable fuel measuring software must be in full working order. If crucial instruments need to be replaced, some companies manufacture highly complex and sensitive parts that are used in the aerospace industry. Contact such a company has the highest standard of contract manufacturing such as www.laserlight.com/services/
It’s very foreseeable that one day your fleet may run into difficulties. They may get damaged on landing due to a crosswind, hit by workers at the airport, develop rust because of a poor hangar service or possibly damaged while in flight due to turbulent weather. Buying an insurance policy to protect your investment, your company and from potential lawsuits is something that you must prepare and cover for. It also gives customers peace of mind to know that you’re covered financially if something unfortunate happens. If an aircraft breaks down, the insurance will allow you to partly or wholly buy another aircraft and still carry on providing your customers with their flights.
Hire your own mechanics
You could use the maintenance team the airport and or hangar business provides. However, it’s best to have your own team of specialists who know your aircraft inside and out. They build up a rapport and feel for the chassis, the capabilities, and patterns. When you have a team of dedicated employees who are ready to work at flexible hours and be there when you need them, it speeds up the entire business; and as we all know, time is money. If you have staff, that have a proven track record in a certain model of plane, that is part of your fleet; you can also market them to customers. Before suspending themselves in the air, customers want to know that safety and competence, are absolutely, unequivocally paramount and put at the forefront of every single flight.
Hire a brand representative
Hiring a brand representative bridges the gap between business and client. The representative will be the first point of physical contact for customers. They can make the client feel comfortable, get them something to eat before and during the flight. Cater to their specific needs, and provide a bespoke service to each customer. They will take them from the waiting area, gateway, passport control and up into the aircraft. A representative also personalizes the flight, by simply being a friendly face, someone to talk to, rely upon and give reassurance to the customer about the flight. They will have the proposed time of takeoff, the time it will take to travel, what local time they will touchdown at the location, provide any useful information of the destination, such as restaurants and hotels, as well as go through the safety and emergency landing procedure. This person will be the image of your business, so people skills are of the utmost importance. They will represent your brand to customers, therefore it’s incredibly important you hire the right person for the role.