Especially early on, a private aircraft business might find it a little difficult to do more than break even. Here are a few relatively low-risk methods you can try in order to improve your profit margins.
1. Improve lead conversion on your website.
UI/UX (user interface/user experience) is an exciting and creative industry and one that can yield fantastic results for your business. UI comprises the structure, navigation, and usability of a website (or app), while UX pertains to the general ‘feel’ that it brings to your audience; these are two factors that can make the difference between a customer purchasing your service and clicking out of your site to find someone else.
The industry relies a lot on consumer psychology and has a plethora of standards and methods for making sure your site retains audience attention and encourages purchase. For your aircraft business, work with a UI/UX expert to make sure your website is easy to use and conveys an image of trustworthiness and class. Perform A/B tests on color schemes and other design elements (e.g., forms, layouts, and placement of calls to action) to further gain insight into your potential customers.
2. See if you can eliminate unnecessary expenses.
There may be items in your budget that are costing you money without contributing much to success. Perhaps there are aspects of your in-flight entertainment, or items in your menu, that your customers generally don’t pay much attention to. Or perhaps you have certain ad spots that are not effectively generating leads for you despite being high-profile and expensive.
See if you can cut these expenses out or reduce them; analyze your existing data and conduct surveys to make sure you can do so without negatively affecting customer satisfaction.
3. Work with aviation tax experts.
Taxes on aviation and luxury services can take a large chunk off your margins. There are, however, aviation tax experts who specialize in identifying the exemptions applicable to your industry in order to maximize your savings. Consult one of these experts to see if you have valuable exemptions that you’re not applying, and to make sure that there aren’t any policies that you’re not complying with (which could cost you hefty fines).
4. Try new marketing strategies.
The internet offers a wide array of possibilities when it comes to marketing, some at fairly low costs. For starters, it goes almost without saying that you will need to make use of social media in order to increase your brand recognition. Post attractive images and videos of your aircraft and services, and maintain a blog about your different destinations. While some brands have achieved great results with viral videos, do not bank on this idea; this is rather hit-or-miss and tunnel-visioning on this can lead to terrible results for your brand.
5. Keep your aircraft well-maintained.
Preventive maintenance is expensive, but grounded planes and major repair costs are even more so. Try to implement sensor-based aircraft health monitoring systems to identify parts that are at risk of damage. Despite the costs, the difference is an airplane in the skies making you money, versus one sitting in your hangar waiting for expensive replacement parts.