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Entries in Mercury Air Centers (2)


Aviation Leaders Can Learn from the Legacy of John Rahilly

For us in the aviation industry, modeling our leadership style after that of veteran industry executive John Rahilly would be a recipe for success. The carefully measured ingredients would include honesty, frugality, kindness and fairness.

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Welcome to AC-U-KWIK's FBO Connection Blog

We would like to welcome you to AC-U-KWIK’s FBO Connection, a source for discussion, ideas and general conversation on the FBO business. Here you’ll find weekly contributions from seasoned FBO professionals, sprinkled with bits of wisdom and peppered occasionally with some hot topics. We like to call it “Sage Advice for the FBO Community.”

When AC-U-KWIK approached myself and business partner Ron Jackson about writing a blog for their new, enhanced electronic AC-U-KWIK Alert newsletter, we both felt honored to be able to contribute to the AC-U-KWIK heritage as the definite industry resource for Fixed Base Operation information worldwide.

After 40-plus years of working in the aviation fueling and FBO industry, including as president of Mercury Air Centers’ 21-location network, I was eager to share my knowledge of the industry to the FBO community. This was the genesis for establishing our company, Aviation Business Strategies Group, as a means for sharing, teaching and consulting with FBOs to help them become more successful.

Besides sharing our FBO expertise and experiences in this blog, Ron and I regularly teach a seminar for the National Air Transportation Association (NATA).

Nearly three years ago, NATA approached us about teaching a seminar based on our proprietary 10 Steps to FBO Success. So in the fall of 2008, we taught our first seminar on-board a cruise ship as it sailed the Caribbean to the Bahamas. This first seminar has now evolved into NATA’s acclaimed FBO Success Seminar Series, and we have conducted several “dry land” seminars with the next one scheduled for Indianapolis in April.

For AC-U-KWIK’s FBO Connection Blog, we’ll touch upon many of the winning strategies we teach in our NATA Seminars and a whole lot more. Each week we’ll peel back the onion to reveal what we consider to be seasoned FBO insider knowledge — the legal kind — aimed at educating and motivating FBO managers, supervisors and employees. To that end, we hope we don’t disappoint.

Since my expertise is in FBO Operations, I’ll be blogging on a variety of topics that fall out of our 10 Steps to Building a Profitable FBO. Included will be winning strategies and tactics you can put to use immediately and over time in the operation of your FBO. Subjects range from Managing Your Fuel Pricing and Margins to finding “free money” hidden in you operation — and I’m not talking about the nickels and dimes found in the lounge sofa.

Ron, who has a considerable aviation public relations and marketing background, will be blogging about:

  • How to Build Long-term Profitable Customer Relationships
  • Making the Customer Your Best Friend
  • and Marketing Your FBO on a Limited Budget, among other topics.

In addition, we have developed an FBO Customer Service Training Program titled The Ultimate FBO Customer Service Experience: “Don’t Forget the Cheese!” This is not your entry-level customer service training curriculum, which teaches the basics like Introduction to General Aviation and The Basics of Airport Operations. Instead, we teach members of your organization common sense customer service and how to add value to each transaction by simply “Adding a Little Cheese!” Sound intriguing? Stay tuned as we feed you some interesting cheese nibbles along the way.

Lastly, we will invite some guest bloggers in various areas of expertise including:

  • FBO Law: Minimum Standards — Current Trends from Airport Leases
  • FBO Insurance: Insurance Issues and Risk Management
  • FBO Web Site Enhancement & Social Media: Developing Streaming Videos, Optimizing Your Site and the Value of Communicating via Social Media
  • FBO Finance: FBO Accounting: “The Good, Bad and Ugly”
  • FBO Construction: Keeping on Time and Within Budget on Hangar and Terminal Projects

Ron and I look forward to reaching out to you each week through this blog and connecting on everyday issues that affect the bottom line of your FBO operations. If we happen to hit on a subject that you’d like to comment on, or if you want us to address a certain issue, please let us know by sending an e-mail.

One thing is for certain, we’ll add a little spice to your FBO life and maybe some sage advice along the way.

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.

Ron Jackson

Ron Jackson is co-founder of Aviation Business Strategies Group and president of The Jackson Group, a PR agency specializing in FBO marketing and CSR training. He is the author of Mission Marketing: Creating Brand Value and co-author of Don’t Forget the Cheese!, the ultimate FBO Customer Service Experience.