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Entries in Don't Give It Away (2)


Best FBO Industry Practices: Don’t Give It Away!

Beginning with this blog post, we are embarking on a new series that will highlight the best practices we have encountered over the past two decades in working with numerous FBO enterprises.

Included in the mix will be our personal file of best practices garnered from operating and managing a 21-base FBO chain, Mercury Air Centers, along with 11 insightful years of conducting the popular NATA FBO Success Seminars and, recently, the NATA Certified Customer Service Representative (CCSR) program.

We will cover almost every area of an FBO operation. We’ll discuss best FBO industry practices for two dozen topics. Read the full list.

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FBO Success Seminar: Take Time to Sharpen Your Axe

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

Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

          -Abraham Lincoln

FBO operators, managers and supervisors often find themselves dealing on a daily basis with situations that need immediate attention. These are the bugs and gnats that creep into our schedule unannounced and take away from quality time needed for planning, preparation and, quite frankly, sharpening the axe.

As Abraham Lincoln so wisely put it, work goes a lot easier if you take time to hone your tools. In the case of the FBO manager and supervisor, that’s time spent in keeping abreast of the FBO industry by learning new strategies and tactics that will move your business forward and help you focus on the things that matter most. 

That’s why we’ve dedicated this blog to providing tips that help in three key areas of FBO operations:

  • Maximizing Profits.
  • Reducing Expenses.
  • Improving FBO Productivity & Bottom-Line Performance.

In 2008, we teamed with the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) to develop a comprehensive two-day FBO success seminar. The original training syllabus was based on our proprietary 10 Steps to Building a More Profitable FBO.

Now we are starting our eighth year in conducting this seminar, which has evolved over time and provides an opportunity to sharpen the axe.

A key session is titled Don’t Give it Away! In a nutshell, this means that FBO operations need to take a close look at all the things they are giving away on top of demands from customers and third-party fuel providers to discount fuel prices.  

An important takeaway is that every aircraft operator that arrives on your ramp must contribute to your revenue stream, even if they don’t buy fuel. That’s why we are seeing an emergence of facility fees and other fees to help FBO operations become and stay profitable.

Please take time to sharpen your axe and join us at our next NATA FBO Success Seminar, March 9-10 in Las Vegas, as we discuss these types of key issues in detail.

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. For more background, visit the biography page or