Saturday, January 20th, 2024

Competing at a busy airport

Last week I shared some of the data we have analyzed from our directory. If you missed it, you can find it here. Amazingly, almost five percent of all US flight schools are based at just eight airports.

So at a large airport with many schools to choose from, what makes a customer choose one school over another? And is pricing the sole reason a customer chooses a school?

While price is certainly a factor, when it comes to getting the attention of customers, fortunately price is not the only way to compete. There are a variety of reasons a customer will choose your school over another school nearby. And as a school owner, there a number of ways to add value so that your school stands out.

For instance, here are some other ways to add value for your customer and differentiate your flight school from the competition (although I’m sure you can think of many more).

1. Most modern fleet
2. Most on-time schedule (we won’t waste your time)
3. Free WiFi and coffee (in case you need to hang out and work)
4. Most social community (we have regular potluck mixers and open houses)
5. Fastest training from zero hours to license
6. Most experienced instructors (you’ll be trained with someone who has more than 400 hours)
7. Guaranteed one instructor from start to finish (we won’t change your instructor mid-stream)
8. Nicest FBO interior and decor
9. Most old-school experience for the traditional
10. Most cutting edge experience for the tech savvy

So … not every customer is looking for the same thing, which means you have an opportunity to stand out, without continually cutting your costs.

Here’s the thing … if you understand why your customers are choosing your school over your competitors, it is possible to tailor the experience for customers in that little niche and charge a premium to meet their specific needs. Even if you are based at one of the eight airports that are home to ten or more schools.

If your school already does this, hit reply right now and tell me how your school adds value to attract a particular niche customer! (And in return I’ll tell you which of the ten options above I was when I was a primary student!)