Optimizing Your FBO, Part 2: Cross-Train and Outsource
Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 1:58PM
John Enticknap in FBO, aviation services, business, cross-train, customer service, management, optimizing your FBO, outsource

In Part 1 of Optimizing Your FBO, we talked about analyzing your business and investing in your front line employees. It just makes good business sense, even in tough economic times, to invest your time and resources in your front line employees because they have the first and the most important contact with your customers.

In this post, Part 2 of Optimizing Your FBO, I want to share additional strategies that will help prepare you to weather any kind of economic environment and increase the efficiency of your operation.


For most FBOs, employees must learn to multitask — a term that management gurus have coined. It’s really a new term for an old axiom. The best employees, who do the best jobs, can do many different tasks. Gee, what a concept!

For FBOs that are consistently successful, employees do many different job functions that result in a more efficient operation and better employee morale. A happy employee, a happy customer. It can be a very contagious working environment that results in better customer service. Cross-training makes all employees more valuable and better motivated.

Let’s look at some ideas:


Many FBOs feel outsourcing is what big companies do, not smaller aviation service companies. The fact is, many services an FBO provides are not necessarily full-time, around-the-clock services. Outsourcing may actually save you money and help keep your front line employees focused on better serving the customer.

For instance, building cleaning, most especially restrooms. This service is not one most employees enjoy, so let’s outsource it. There are many vendors available to do this as well as provide the cleaning solutions, toilet paper, hand towels, etc. Get competitive pricing and monitor closely.

Another area is maintaining indoor plants as well as outdoor landscaping. This is a pain in the neck for most employees, but if you want a first-class FBO facility, you need to pay attention to interior details and keep the grounds well groomed. Get a number of bids, and again, monitor closely.

How about providing some extra services on an on-call basis? No overlapping costs while providing more services and a new stream of income. For instance:

In larger cities or communities, there are vendors you can source that specialize in aircraft cleaning and detailing. In smaller communities, you may be able to find a good auto detailer that you can trust and help train to provide on-call services such as aircraft cleaning services, auto valet, customer car washing and detailing services.

What are some other ideas for cross-training and outsourcing? If you have some ideas that have worked at your FBO, please send them to me and I’ll include them in a follow-up blog. My email is jenticknap@bellsouth.net.

John Enticknap

John Enticknap founded Aviation Business Strategies Group in 2006 following a distinguished career in aviation fueling and FBO management, including as president of Mercury Air Centers. He is the author of 10 Steps to Building a Profitable FBO and developed NATA’s acclaimed FBO Success Seminar Series.

Article originally appeared on Flight Planning, Airport Information, General Aviation (https://www.acukwikalert.com/).
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