Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Road Trips in Half the Time!

Forget about jets for a minute. Let's talk the most basic business aviation out there...the twin engine airplane. An example would be the Beech Baron. Twin engine business airplanes can be incredibly cost effective and frequently out-perform travel by road.


From La Porte, IN to
Driving
Business Aviation
Time Saved
% Saved
• Chicago (Schaumburg)
2:00
0:45
1:15
63%
• Indianapolis
2:45
0:54
1:51
67%
• Detroit
3:30
1:05
2:25
69%
• Cincinnati
4:15
1:21
2:54
68%
• Cleveland
4:30
1:36
2:54
64%
• Columbus, OH
4:30
1:20
3:10
70%
Drive times shown are 1-way, as calculated by Google Maps from La Porte, IN

We recently did a comparison for a company in La Porte, IN comparing driving and business aviation to cities they often visit. (La Porte is 26 miles west of South Bend.) We used a basic twin engine airplane for the comparison, not a fancy business jet.

In all cases, airline flights weren't a viable option because the client would need to drive to South Bend, catch a commuter flight, go to a hub, and change planes. By the time they did all that, it was no faster than driving. But the business aviation flight could use the La Porte Municipal Airport.

It's not just the time saved in travel...it's what you can do with that time! If you find yourself dreading an upcoming road trip, you owe it to yourself to get a comparison like this.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Why You Need to Know How to Charter a Plane


Business Aviation Education from Aargus Air Charter                                                                                  Volume 1, Post 23

Have you ever had a morning like this?

At 10:45 AM, I checked with the airlines to see if I could fly four people from Grand Rapids non-stop tomorrow morning for 9:00 meetings, then back home anytime after 2:00 PM. I compared two cities, one that is a non-stop and the other that always requires a connection.

Cincinnati Trip
  • The airlines: The best the scheduled airlines could manage was two seats on the 7:20 flight arriving Cincinnati at 8:41. You won’t make a 9:00 meeting from the airport in Covington, KY except by pure dumb luck; but maybe your client will push back the meeting to 9:30 for you. Round-trip airfare per person was $1,141. The non-stop return flight gets home at 9:11 PM.
  • Aargus Air Charter: A turbo-prop was available to carry all four passengers to and from Cincinnati for a total of $5,534. Compares favorably to the airline’s last minute full-fare coach cost of $4,564 (assuming four seats had been available.) You’d depart Grand Rapids at 7:15 AM arriving downtown Lunken Airport at 8:30 AM in plenty of time for your 9:00 Meeting. The flight home departs six minutes after you get to the airport and lands in Grand Rapids 75 minutes later.

Pittsburgh Trip
  • The airlines: The earliest arrival in Pittsburgh departs Grand Rapids at 5:45 AM and gets to PIT at 9:37. And there are only 2 seats left, not the four you need. Price per person was $1,001. The best return leaves PIT at 3:10 PM arriving Grand Rapids at 5:53 PM. The outbound flight connects in Detroit; the return connects in Cleveland.
  • Aargus Air Charter: A turbo-prop was available to carry all four passengers to and from Pittsburgh non-stop for a total of $5,800 or $1,450 each. Compares favorably to the airline’s last minute full-fare coach ticket of $4,004 if four seats had been available.

In my research, I couldn’t get any people to a meeting on time tomorrow morning using the airlines. My only choices were send them today and stay overnight; or try to get the meeting moved back to later in the morning. And unless some folks traveled today, I couldn’t get four people to either city at all tomorrow morning.

And that’s why you need to know how to charter a plane!

Call Dan Dunn at Aargus Air Charter with all your questions and to arrange your trips.
(616) 956-7600 or (616) 822-0099

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

When Should You Fly the Airlines?


Business Aviation Education from Aargus Air Charter                                                                                  Volume 1, Post 22

You should use the airlines for most of your trips. Shocked? Airline travel often is the right choice. We’d never suggest using business aircraft for every trip.

What kind of trips should you take on the airlines?

  • Weeklong round trips would be a good choice. If you’re flying from Grand Rapids to Sacramento on a Monday morning, working all week, and coming back on Friday, using the airlines usually makes sense.
  • Same day round trips where you can go non-stop. Say you’re flying from Grand Rapids to Chicago, working in town all day, and flying home after dinner. You may need to get up at 4:30 AM to catch the first flight out.  And the last flight home is often delayed. But you'll likely be in bed by midnight.
  • Trips for that rare client who lets you bill for travel time. If you miss a connection, or there’s a delay taking off, at least you’re billing for it.

When should you fly in business aircraft? When time, speed, privacy, delivery, or flexibility gives you an immediate advantage greater then the difference in cost.

Call Dan Dunn at Aargus Air Charter with all your questions and to arrange your trips.
(616) 956-7600 or (616) 822-0099

Monday, February 17, 2014

Save “At Risk” Accounts Using Business Aircraft


Business Aviation Education from Aargus Air Charter                                                                                  Volume 1, Post 21

At least once this year, you're going to come very close to losing a major client or customer to a competitor. Even though the client is using your services, there are competing firms trying every day to get that client away from you and onto their books.

Although a business customer may have been using your products for years, your competitors have never stopped calling on them, building rapport, and asking about needs. One day, all your competitor’s efforts start paying off…and you are in serious danger of losing this account you’ve always assumed was “safe.”

I guarantee you a conference call or web meeting isn’t going to save this account. 

You’re going to have to save it in person.

Don’t waste time with the airlines. You’ll never get there fast enough. By the time you learn the account's at risk, you’ll be lucky if you have 24 hours to save it. In many cases, you’ve got less than a day.

You need to go straight to the airport, hop into a business jet, and get to your client or customer by the fastest means possible. If you get that “goodbye” call at 9 AM, you need to take them to lunch that very same day. If you get the call at 1 PM, guess what city you need to eat dinner in that night?

When you’ve got hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales and revenue riding on one account, don’t try to save it flying on the airlines. You don’t want the lowest fare. You want the fastest trip and you need to go right now!

Better call Dan Dunn at Aargus Air Charter!
(616) 956-7600 or (616) 822-0099

Friday, February 14, 2014

Visiting Reference Accounts in Business Aircraft


Business Aviation Education from Aargus Air Charter                                                                                  Volume 1, Post 20

Prospective customers often want to visit a reference account to see your product or service in use. The prospects also want to questions the folks that have been using it every day.

Visiting a reference account is a routine part of your sales cycle; but it’s fraught with peril. What happens if the prospect is a six-hour airline trip from your reference account…and that’s if the connecting flight is on time?

If the prospect arrives frazzled and upset from the trip, you’re going to have a rough visit. And because it was a six-hour trip one way, the prospect might have to stay overnight. That means, in most cases, only one person made the trip and the rest of the decision makers stayed behind.

Imagine, instead, that you charter a jet to pick up your prospect…and the entire decision-making team…and fly them non-stop in two hours to an airport 15 minutes from the reference account. You have cars standing by to whisk them to the location. No muss, no fuss, happy relaxed prospects eagerly looking forward to seeing your product or service being used.

When the visit is over, the cars whisk them back to the field, and six minutes later your future customers are wheels-up and heading home for dinner with their families. But wait! That’s not all.

Imagine you're on that jet, sitting with your prospects, discussing everything they learned during their visit. You’re helping them debrief, organize their observations, and…since the entire decision-making team is aboard…why not close the sale at 35,000 feet?

Call Dan Dunn at Aargus Air Charter with all your questions and to arrange your trips.
(616) 956-7600 or (616) 822-0099

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Shorten The Sales Cycle By Flying Instead of Driving!


Business Aviation Education from Aargus Air Charter                                                                                  Volume 1, Post 19

How often do your top sales people spend 8 hours driving for a 1-hour sales meeting? Let’s say you’re based in Grand Rapids and have a sales meeting with an Indianapolis company. Google Maps show it’s an 8-hour round trip.

How likely is it you’re going to convince people from manufacturing, shipping, customer service, and technical support to squeeze into your mid-size sedan for an 8-hour road trip? If you’re lucky, maybe one of them agrees to make the trip.

That helped, but the prospect still isn’t sold and now wants a face-to-face meeting with someone who didn’t make the trip. At the next meeting, someone else at the prospect’s company insists on meeting in person with one of your people who did not make the trip.

Your 8-hour road trip ends up being four or five road trips, that get spread out over five or six weeks. Any wonder the sales cycle is so long? On top of that, you’ve just killed an entire week of productivity driving 40 hours to meet 5 hours face-to-face.

Why not shorten the sales cycle by putting everyone you need in a chartered twin-engine business airplane?  You could fly there and back in 2 hours or less.  A typical aircraft would be the Beechcraft King Air or the Cessna Conquest. You’d have comfortable seating, fold out worktables, and complete privacy in which to plan the meeting and debrief on the way home.

It’s your choice. 40 hours on the highway, listening to passengers whine about being dragged along to a meeting, “just in case the prospect has a question,” or having people begging to go so they can get a ride on the “company plane.” And closing the sale on the first meeting!

Call Dan Dunn at Aargus Air Charter with all your questions and to arrange your trips.
(616) 956-7600 or (616) 822-0099

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Business Aviation Is More Than You See on TV


Business Aviation Education from Aargus Air Charter                                                                                  Volume 1, Post 18

Based on what you see in the movies and on television, you’d reasonably assume all business aircraft were luxuriously appointed, 14-passenger large cabin jets. But did you know that the vast majority of business aircraft seat six passengers in a cabin roughly the size of a large SUV and fly average trips of less than 1,000 miles?

I’ll bet you also thought that only major corporations use business aviation. It turns out that Fortune 500 companies fly about 3 percent of the approximately 15,000 business aircraft registered in the U.S. Small companies operate the majority of business aircraft. Most companies (59 percent) operating business aircraft have fewer than 500 employees, and seven in 10 have less than 1,000 employees.

TV and movies would also have you believe that only the President or CEO of the company uses the business jet, with most of the seats going empty. The facts are quite different. Most business aviation flights involve time-critical trips by sales, technical and middle management employees, not trips by top executives.

How does this information change your thinking about business aviation? What have you taken for granted about business aviation, based on television, books, and movies? What questions do you have and what assumptions can we confirm or clarify?

Facts in this post are from the 2010 NBAA Fact Book available online at http://noplanenogain.org

Monday, February 10, 2014

If The Airlines Don’t Go There, Anymore…


Business Aviation Education from Aargus Air Charter                                                                                  Volume 1, Post 17


If the airlines don’t serve a city you need to visit regularly, you owe it to yourself and your company to investigate using business aircraft on a regular basis. Chances are, if you’re going to a city frequently, so are others in your company.

Did you know you could set up a corporate shuttle? While you might have thought you needed to fill a regional jet to have a shuttle, the fact is you can set one up for as few as three passengers using an aircraft the right size for the trip.

Even if the airlines can get you there, how difficult is the trip? You can fly to only 23 cities from Grand Rapids non-stop on the airlines. That means at least one connecting flight each way to go anywhere else.

The commercial airlines service about 500 US cities. To get anywhere else, you’ve got to drive…and that’s after making a connecting flight to the closest commercial airport. Business aviation serves 5,000 cities because business aviation uses all the public airports…not just the ones served by the airlines.

Call Dan Dunn at Aargus Air Charter with all your questions and to arrange your trips.
(616) 956-7600 or (616) 822-0099

Friday, February 7, 2014

Business Aviation Lets You Stop Along The Way


Business Aviation Education from Aargus Air Charter                                                                                  Volume 1, Post 16

Have you ever sat in a window seat on a commercial airliner, looked out and thought, “Gee, I wish we could land here. I’ve got customers in that city.”

One of the best things about business aviation is that you can land there! While the airlines have inflexible routes and schedules that fit their needs, business aviation allows you to pick the cities you need to visit, and arrange a schedule that works best for you.

Let’s say you've chartered a cost-effective twin engine plane for your sales manager, one of your technicians, and yourself to fly from Grand Rapids to Evansville, Indiana for a morning sales presentation. After closing the sale (bringing the technician was a smart move) and taking the new customers to lunch, you head back to the airport.

Realizing it’s only 1:30 and you’ve got the entire afternoon free, you ask the Captain if you can fly home by way of Dayton, Ohio where you’ve got a key supplier you’d like to visit. The Captain gets on the phone with the dispatcher, files a revised flight plan, and in almost no time at all has you airborne and headed for Dayton. Try that on a scheduled commercial airline!

Call Dan Dunn at Aargus Air Charter with all your questions and to arrange your trips.
(616) 956-7600 or (616) 822-0099

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Privacy When You Fly


Business Aviation Education from Aargus Air Charter                                                                                  Volume 1, Post 15

As we all know, there is little enough privacy in a public airport terminal and none at all once you are on board a commercial airliner. Even the airline membership clubs have virtually no privacy. You’re typically within earshot of a competitor.

Why not take advantage of the privacy afforded by business aircraft when you have urgent and confidential matters to discuss and prepare before reaching your destination? If you need a private conference room, almost every business aviation terminal, or FBO, has one for your use.

Once aboard the plane, you can review materials, discuss matters, and work on presentations without strangers looking at your laptop or listening in. Most business aircraft offer club seating. Use that seating arrangement like a flying conference room. Your sales team can use it as a place to debrief the calls they just made and to discuss the next steps in the sales cycle.

Call Dan Dunn at Aargus Air Charter with all your questions and to arrange your trips.
(616) 956-7600 or (616) 822-0099.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Introducing Your New Sales Rep


Business Aviation Education from Aargus Air Charter                                                                                  Volume 1, Post 14

Sometime this year, odds are pretty good you’ll be hiring a new sales person for one of your territories. When that happens, please keep in mind that chartering a plane for a few days makes good sense. The rep and the sales manager can blitz the territory, seeing a lot more customers in a few days than driving or flying the airlines.

Since this would be a new hire, the sales manager will need to observe, critique, train and coach. If they travel by car, one of them would always be driving, and couldn’t make or refer to any notes. And if they flew on the scheduled airlines, there would be no privacy to discuss confidential matters.

I’m not suggesting a business jet. To cover a typical sales territory in a few days, you would often be better served with a cost-efficient twin-engine business airplane, typically carrying 2-4 passengers. 

While slower than a business jet, these personal-sized business airplanes are perfect for barnstorming a sales territory, as they can land at any airport near the customers and prospects. They are also cost-effective. We can often demonstrate, to your CFO’s complete satisfaction, that you can break-even when compared to driving and spending extra nights on the road.

Call Dan Dunn at Aargus Air Charter with all your questions and to arrange your trips.
(616) 956-7600 or (616) 822-0099.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Protect Your Sales Pipeline From The Competition!


Business Aviation Education from Aargus Air Charter                                                                                  Volume 1, Post 13

Let’s assume that, one day this quarter, one of your regional sales reps suddenly quits, with opportunities in the pipeline that your sales manager must handle quickly.

One thing for sure is that your competitors are going to call on your customers and prospects. The competition will take advantage of the fact you no longer have a sales rep in the territory.

Your sales manager needs to leverage time.  The sales manager must get out in the field and meet face-to-face with the customers and prospects to protect the pipeline! By using business aviation, the sales manager can protect the sales pipeline much faster than by driving or taking commercial flights.

While your competitors are hanging around a commercial airport, waiting for their airline flight to depart, your business aviation flight is half way to the client! While the competition is changing planes at a hub, you’re sitting across a desk closing a sale!

Business aviation might seem like a luxury most of the year...but when you've literally got to be faster than the competition...business aviation is an absolute necessity!

Call Dan Dunn at Aargus Air Charter with all your questions and to arrange your trips.
(616) 956-7600 or (616) 822-0099.