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Tip of the Week: Our Top 10 Tips eBook

By John L. Enticknap and Ron R. Jackson
Aviation Business Strategies Group

For the last few years, we have written FBO Survival Tips that focus on the various strategies and tactics needed to survive the daily rigors of running a successful fixed base operation. After some great feedback, we decided to compile the 10 most popular tips into a comprehensive ebook resource for the FBO industry.

We are very proud to introduce FBO Survival: 10 Tips to Keep Your Operation Lean, Mean and Profitable. This book was made possible by the good folks at AC-U-KWIK and Penton. 

Acknowledging that market and economic conditions often dictate the size and scope of an operation, this book will help the FBO owner, operator and manager prepare for both the best of times and the worst of times and keep them focused on running a successful FBO.

In this book you’ll find 10 of our most popular tips as well as a bonus section, Keys to FBO Success. Also included are some dashboard report templates you can use to keep track of your operation on a daily basis.

The book is available as a digital download at Here is a thumbnail overview of each of the 10 tips:

FBO Survival Tip #1: Keep Your Customers Close and Your Margins Closer

In order to survive in any economic climate, FBOs should focus on the two most important revenue generators: valued customers & fuel margins.

FBO Survival Tip #2:  Avoid the “Ready, Fire, Aim” FBO/MRO Syndrome

To generate profitable transactions, FBOs must communicate across the enterprise, figure costs accurately and not overpromise.

FBO Survival Tip #3: Don’t Give it Away!

As fuel margins get squeezed by aircraft operators and fuel broker discount programs, FBOs need to charge for “free services” instead of giving them away.

FBO Survival Tip #4: Develop an Early Warning System

A crucial FBO survival strategy involves developing early warning reporting metrics designed to keep your fingers on the pulse of FBO operations.

FBO Survival Tip #5: Prepare to Operate in Your New Normal

After every major economic downturn, FBOs must establish a new operating benchmark that becomes their new normal moving forward.

FBO Survival Tip #6: Take Off the Blinders

FBO operators and managers can’t effectively run their facility without getting involved by walking around to gain a customer’s perspective.

FBO Survival Tip #7: Ask the Tough Questions!

If you don’t know what your customers think of your FBO operation, then you’re not asking the really tough questions.

FBO Survival Tip #8: Be a Savvy Business Operator

The FBO owner and manager should know and understand all aspects of the operation and what drives business profitability.

FBO Survival Tip #9: Avoid the Status Quo

About the time an FBO operator thinks things are running smoothly, that’s the time complacency sets in and things begin to slide.

FBO Survival Tip #10: Sharpen Your Negotiation Skills

Building successful stakeholder relationships in the FBO business often includes skillful negotiations. Sharpening these skills and thinking win-win are critical elements to getting what you want. 

FBO Survival Bonus: 3 Keys to Success

As an FBO Survival book bonus, the authors have detailed 3 fundamental keys to FBO operational success. 

About the bloggers:

John Enticknap has more than 35 years of aviation fueling and FBO services industry experience. Ron Jackson is co-founder of Aviation Business Strategies Group and president of The Jackson Group, a PR agency specializing in FBO marketing and customer service training. Visit the biography page or for more background.

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