Weekly list archive

This is an archive of messages I have sent out to my weekly mailing list since December 10th, 2022. They contain plenty of opinions that haven’t been sanitized by lawyers and marketers. I expect that sometimes you will disagree with me. If you do: great! Hit reply and let me know. I want to hear from you. My goal is to stimulate discussion so we can make this industry we are passionate about stronger for everyone.

Word of mouth

If you have customers, they are talking about their experience doing business with you. For local businesses in an established and well-defined industry like flight training, positive word of mouth can supplement or even replace time-consuming and expensive marketing...

How much more would your customers pay?

A couple of weeks ago I was traveling out West for work. When scheduling a rental car, I looked for the cheapest option: I was traveling by myself and just needed reliable transportation from Point A to Point B, so the company offering the best rates got my booking....

Getting off the bus

Recently, while visiting a new city with my family, we booked a tour on an open-topped double-decker bus. It was great. The tour guide was informative and funny (my 11-year old is still repeating some of the jokes we heard). And we enjoyed learning about the city and...

I want to visit your airport

I love airports. They are their own little eco-systems. Many small airports offer fuel and maintenance, a flight school and even a cafe. Some might have an EAA chapter, CAP squadron. When I learned to fly mine even had a Navy Flying Club. Like most eco-systems, all...

Do you have the ROADS app?

A couple of weeks ago I was having coffee with a friend who asked, “do you have the Porsche ROADS app?” Full disclosure: I don’t have a Porsche, but my Chrysler minivan enjoys a spirited drive as much as the next car. If, like me, you are not familiar with ROADS it is...

Do you know who your secondary customers are?

Many years ago I was friends with someone who was very keen to become a helicopter pilot. She was married to a work colleague of my wife, and every time we met socially we spent the evening talking about flying. Here’s the thing … despite being knowledgable about...

How long does it take to get a license?

What do you tell clients when they ask you how long and how much will it cost to get a pilot license? If you’re like most school owners, you probably answer something like it depends … and then maybe follow that with the minimum FAA requirements and the typical...

Is it worth it?

I often hear people involved in General Aviation saying we can’t grow the pilot population because it is too expensive. Last month I wrote an email about the prices some people pay for luxury cars, watches and household appliances. You can find that email here. Here's...

How is age affecting your students?

Successful companies create niche products and services to cater to different segments of their customers. They can then serve those customers better while increasing utilization and productivity, increasing their revenues, and reducing their overhead. So let’s look...

Do you segment your customers?

Do you segment your customers? Here are some reasons I have found that make segmenting customers useful and worthwhile. About thirty years ago I worked for one of the well-known collector car auction houses based in London. In our business we had two customer...

There’s a bug going around…

Like many families this winter, we’ve been fighting a series of bugs. This past weekend, while my youngest was stuck in bed with a fever, he and I rewatched Disney’s animated feature film Planes: Fire and Rescue (if you haven’t seen it, I recommend it)! The story is...

Do you want some acetylsalicylic acid?

Imagine the phone rings. A guy is on the line trying to sell you acetylsalicylic acid. He has a great deal for you if you sign up right now. You ask them for more information and they rave about how their acetylsalicylic acid also includes hypromellose, powdered...

Is it really about the money?

Why do people buy Ferrari sports cars? Prices start at around $250,000 with the most expensive production models topping out around double that. The performance is not legally useable on any public road, but the sales figures show Ferrari sold over 11,000 last year....

They could have just changed the sign …

Customer experience is the process is matching a business’ procedures with customer expectations. Done well and you have created a fan; poorly and you get bad reviews. Recently I took my dad to get a haircut. We went to a nearby barbershop with a sign in the window...

Expectations, experiences, Apple, & Starbucks

Happy New Year! Like many of you, I traveled over Christmas period to spend time with family: Three generations brought together in one house for several days of celebration. As a member of the middle generation who grew up with time in both camps, I smugly enjoyed...

How to stabilize the flight training industry

Last week I posed a question: Can pilots learning to fly for personal reasons play a role in stabilizing the cyclical flight training industry? Here are some of the benefits that personal pilots can bring. Local pilots are not subject to the cyclical nature of airline...

Year end thoughts

Now that the holiday season is underway, I've been reflecting on the past year. One of the things that keeps coming back is the cyclical nature of flight training. Over the last three years we've seen a shortage of instructors, followed by what seemed like the end of...