As of today, Aviation Access Project has received inquiries regarding Flight Center opportunities. Of those 75, 8 are from locations outside the United States and are located on three different continents. As you might imagine, this has provoked numerous responses, including:
- PANIC! How is a small business such as ours, a business just starting on its journey and with limited resources, going to handle that kind of response?
- Solution: Don't panic. Deep breaths. Prioritize. Count your blessings.
- JOY! We're so great! People LOVE us! People want to join us! People want to PAY US!
- Solution: Feel free to come down off your mountain and get real. Work needs to be done, or that love will quickly go away, replaced by less friendly emotions.
- UNCERTAINTY. I don't know how to speak French or know the current exchange rate between the US and a bunch of other countries. (Some of whom speak French,by the way!) I sure don't know international aviation law plus the civil aviation laws of a half-dozen nations.
- Solution: You don't know this stuff, but other people do. Use your resources, your assets, your network. (My very best friend in the whole world is a fluent Francophone and has often expressed interest in helping "The Project.") Rick knows smart people all over the place, and he's done this before.
- SURPRISE! How does a little company based in glorious downtown Gallatin, TN earn serious and significant interest from a variety of nations?
- Solution: THINK!
- We are on the Internet
- We are on LinkedIn
- We are on Facebook
- We are all about creating and joining a community of aviators. Many European nations have a "culture of joining." They like this!
- Aviation expenses in most other countries are MUCH higher than in the USA, so of course people will be interested in lower-cost alternatives to sole ownership.
- DREAD! How are we going to juggle all these requests, contacts, emails, phone calls, and time zone changes?
- Solution: Technology to the rescue! There are lots of useful apps out there to help us out. We're collaborating online with cloud-based document storage and editing. We're getting up to speed using a cloud-based CRM tool to help us keep track of leads, opportunities, tasks, contacts and emails. We're using Skype for international phone calls. And we're installing accounting and flight scheduling software as I write this.
- FUN! While we have experts in business and aviation around here, this is my first go-around as an officer in a start-up venture. I have learned from my colleagues and others, I have traveled to new places, met lots of interesting people, and learned a bunch of new things on my own. It has been an incredible ride, and as Rick is always telling me, it is really just starting.
Getting some people together and starting your own business is really the epitome of the American Dream. It takes hard work, knowledge, common sense, resources and a GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR. It is a chance to put your mark on a venture, a way to craft a business they way YOU want it to be. It is a fantastic way to solve problems and improve the lives of people. You make a difference. You treat your colleagues and customers and vendors like family. Because, at least from 9-5, they truly are.