Are you about starting a flight school? If YES, here is a complete sample flight school business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE.
Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a flight school. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample flight school marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for flight schools. So let’s proceed to the business planning section.
Why Start a Flight School Business?
If you are interested in starting a flight training school, then the first thing to consider before launching this business is how to secure all the required licenses and permits needed to run the business, the airspace regulations in your chosen location, the ideal insurance and the type of aircrafts needed to run this type of business.
The next thing to consider would be how to get the different types of aircrafts needed and how to make the necessary adjustments. The options available are outright purchase or leasing; outright purchase is usually more expensive than leasing.
You will also have to decide how many aircrafts you need to start with, bearing in mind that the higher the number of aircrafts and professional flight instructors your business owns, the more earnings your business makes. The aircrafts have to be well maintained, so that you would enjoy high turnover.
You could decide to contract the maintenance out, or hire your own maintenance staff, which could prove more expensive for your startup business initially.
In other to capture a fair share of the available market in your location, you would need a good website and ensure that it is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) compliant if you intend to achieve a good number of visitors. The truth is that your website ensures that your business remains visible to your customers.
You can even ensure that your customers get to book and pay online so as to make it more convenient for them. Lastly, you would need a good business plan to be able to launch a successful business and below is a workable flight school business plan template that will help your draft yours.
A Sample Flight School Business Plan Template
Table of Content
- 2. Executive Summary
- 5. Job Roles and Responsibilities
- 6. SWOT Analysis
- 7. MARKET ANALYSIS
- 13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)
1. Industry Overview
The flying school industry is made up of establishments that primarily provide aviation and flight training for vocational and recreational purposes.
If you are an observer of happenings in the flying school industry, you will notice that changing regulatory framework and a growing disinterest in aviation as a profession muddled the industry’s performance despite a growing economy.
While the new regulation is expected to improve pilot safety, major regional and commercial airlines contend that it adds a significant barrier to entry for would-be aviators, exacerbating the pilot shortage crisis. Going forward, the Flight School industry is projected to grow.
As the economic recovery speeds up, per capita disposable income is expected to expand, as are corporate profit levels. Nevertheless, heavy competition in downstream industries such as commercial airlines, will dissuade some intended students from pursuing a career as a pilot.
The Flying Schools Industry is indeed a large industry and pretty much active in most developed countries of the world. Statistics has it that in the united states of America alone, there are about 750 registered and licensed flight schools scattered all across the United States responsible for directly employing about 13,746 people and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $3 billion annually.
The industry is projected to grow at 0.9 percent annual growth within 2012 and 2017. It is important to state that ATP Flight School, CAE and FlightSafety have the largest chunks of the available market share in the industry. A recent report published by IBISWorld shows that Flying schools in the United States are located in proximity to key downstream markets.
Commercial flights generate the most demand for aviation and piloting services; therefore, flying schools are typically located close to metropolitan hubs as well as popular regional airport hubs. States with significant military bases also draw flying schools, for military aviation training.
The report further stated that areas of the country with fair weather are typically attractive for industry operators, as it provides students with a safe environment to test flying skills. Therefore, the Southeast region houses more flying schools than any other region, at 30.4 percent.
Please note that the flying school industry has high barriers to entry. The majority of the businesses in this industry are corporate operated, and there are few major players that control significant portions of the industry’s total market. In addition, classroom facilities and equipment can be rented on an as-needed basis, resulting in relatively moderate initial infrastructure costs.
The main factors that may prevent new players from joining the industry include course development and accreditation costs, as well as a high level of regulation.
Among flight schools, rapidly changing technology can be costly. Operators must balance the benefit of offering up-to-date courses with the cost of producing such coursework. Additionally, reputation is important and it takes time to build.
The tough part as it relates to start-up costs most likely is the need to secure a standard and well – positioned facility and licensure. Regardless of high barriers to entry, the competitive nature of the industry makes it very difficult for new operators to break even within a short period of time in the industry.
So, if you are looking towards making money from the flying school industry via running your own flight school, you should first meet up with the requirements in your country before launching the business. The truth is that if you do not secure the required license and accreditations from the appropriate authority before starting your flying school, you stand the chance of having your school shut down before it even takes off.
2. Executive Summary
The name of our company is Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC; we are a registered and accredited flying school that will be located in Frankfort – Kentucky.
We are registered under the United States’ Government. We are well equipped to train people on how to fly various types of aircrafts both for vocational and recreational purposes, and also re – training of professional pilots to meet with international best practices as it relates to flying aircrafts commercially.
Although our intention of starting our flight school is to offer only the above stated services, but we will not close our doors to diversification (additional services) as long as it does not affect our core services. In the bid to maximize our intended position as the leading flight school in the whole of Kentucky, we will ensure that we regularly update our teaching approach to meet up with the trend in the industry.
At Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC we are passionate in the pursuit of excellence and financial success with uncompromising services and integrity which is why we have decided to start our own flight school in Frankfort – Kentucky; we are in the industry to make a positive mark.
We are quite optimistic that our values and quality of service offering will help drive our flight school to enviable heights and also help us attract the number of students that will make the business highly profitable. We will be dedicated to establishing good business relationships with our students by giving them value for their money and reasons why they should continue to recommend their family members and friends to us.
We are in the Flying School Industry to compete with other leading brands in the United States. Our corporate business goal is to be among the top 5 flight schools in the United States of America.
As a company, we are willing to go the extra mile to invest in some of the finest professionals we can find and also, we have put processes and structures in place that will ensure that we are always at the top of our game when it comes to impacting knowledge.
We are quite aware that in order to become the number one choice in our city, we must continue to deliver quality and safe flight training.
We are open to the use of latest technology in the commercial flying school line of business. Our excellent customer service and of course the testimonials from our students will surely help us to welcome new students on a regular basis.
Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC is owned and managed by Elias Brownstone and other members of his investment club (High Flyers Investment Club). Elias Brownstone has over 15 years’ hands on experience in the flying school industry in the United States and he is a certified flying instructor.
3. Our Products and Services
Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC is a standard commercial flight school that offers a wide range of services that revolves around the flying school industry and other complementary services. These are the services we will offer as a commercial flying school;
- Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate training
- Private certificate training
- Commercial certificates training
- Student certificates training
- Other certificates training
4. Our Mission and Vision Statement
- Our Vision is to become the number one government approved commercial flight school in the whole of Frankfort – Kentucky, United States of America.
- Our mission as a government approved commercial flight school is to develop a highly successful and profitable commercial flight school which provides quality training in our community and to become the standard for an ideal commercial flight school not only in Frankfort – Kentucky, but also throughout the United States of America.
Our Business Structure
Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC is aware that the success of any business lies in the foundation on which the business is built on, which is why we have decided to build our flight school on the right business foundation. We want to build a business of dedicated workforce who will go all the way to ensure that our students are satisfied and they get value for their money when they enroll in our flight school.
We aware that it takes a business with the right employees and structure to achieve all what we have set to achieve, which is why will be putting structures and standard operating processes in place that will help us deliver excellent trainings and run the business on auto pilot.
The success of our flight school will be anchored on the team not on any individual. Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC will employ professionals and skilled people to occupy the following position;
- Head of The School/School Coordinator
- School Administrator
- Flight Instructors
- Marketing and Sales Executive
- Client Service Executive
5. Job Roles and Responsibilities
Head of the School/School Coordinator:
- Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results; developing incentives; developing a climate for offering information and opinions; providing educational opportunities.
- Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
- Responsible for providing direction for the business
- Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
- Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
- Evaluates the success of the organization
- Reports to the board
- Designs job descriptions with KPI to drive performance management for tutors (Flight instructors) and other staff members
- Regularly hold meetings with key stakeholders (students and member of the school board) to review the effectiveness of the schools’ Policies, Procedures and Processes
- Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
- Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
- Defines job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
- Carries out induction for new team members
- Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
- Responsible for arranging travel, meetings and appointments
- Updates job knowledge by participating in educational opportunities; reading professional publications; maintaining personal networks; participating in professional organizations.
- Oversees the smooth running of the daily activities of the school.
- Responsible for handling core flight trainings such as Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate training, Private certificates training, Commercial certificates training, Student certificates training and other certificates training et al
- Accesses the progress of students under their care
- Ensures that students abide by the rules and regulations of the regulating bodies in the United States of America
- Contributes his/her quota towards growing the school
- Receives complaints from students and channel it to the appropriate quarters
- Handles any other duty as assigned by the school coordinator.
Marketing and Sales Executive
- Identifies, prioritizes and reach out to new students, and business opportunities et al
- Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts; participates in the structuring and financing of projects; assures the completion of development projects.
- Writes winning proposal documents, negotiate fees and rates in line with organizations’ policy
- Responsible for handling business research, market surveys and feasibility studies for clients
- Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the student’s needs, and communicate with clients
- Develops, executes and evaluates new plans for expanding sales
- Documents all customer contact and information
- Represents the company in strategic meetings
- Helps to increase sales and growth for the school.
- Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
- Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports; analyzes financial feasibility for the most complex proposed projects; conducts market research to forecast trends and business conditions.
- Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
- Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting for one or more properties.
- Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
- Responsible for administering payrolls
- Ensures compliance with taxation legislation
- Handles all financial transactions for the organization
- Serves as internal auditor for the organization.
Client Service Executive
- Welcomes students and visitors by greeting them in person or on the telephone; answering or directing inquiries.
- Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
- Through interaction with students on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
- Manages administrative duties assigned by the school coordinator in an effective and timely manner
- Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the schools’ services promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to students when they make enquiries
- Distributes mails in the organization
- Handles any other duties as assigned by the school authority
6. SWOT Analysis
In the United States, a flight school is one of the many businesses that can easily generate business deals with little stress as long as they are well positioned and equipped to carry out their trainings. We are building a standard flight school which is why we have decided to subject our business idea to SWOT Analysis.
Ordinarily we can successfully run a normal flight school without the stress of going through the required protocol of setting up a new business including writing a detailed business plan, but because of the nature of the kind of flight school we want to establish, we don’t have any option other than to follow due process.
We hired the services of a Business consultant with bias in startups to help us conduct SWOT analysis for our company and she did a pretty job for us. Here is a of the result we got from the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC;
Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC is centrally located in an area with the right climatic conditions and demographic composition for the kind of business we want to run; our location is in fact one of our major strengths because we are in location with the right demography for the kind of business we run.
Another strength that counts for us is the power of our workforce and management. We have a team that are considered experts in the flying school line of business, a team of hardworking and dedicated individuals.
Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC is a new business and we may not have the financial muscle to acquire the latest aircrafts, assemble our team of maintenance engineers and also to sustain the kind of publicity we want to give our business.
We are centrally located in one of the busiest areas in Frankfort – Kentucky and we are open to all the available opportunities that the city has to offer. Our business concept and staff strength also positioned us to accommodate over 20 students per time.
The truth is that there is no flight school within the area where ours is going to be located; the closest to our proposed location is about 10 miles away. In a nutshell, we do not have any direct competition within our target market area.
Some of the threats that are likely going to confront Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC are unfavorable government policies, seasonal fluctuations, demographic/social factors, downturn in the economy which is likely going to affect consumer spending and of course emergence of new competitors within the same location where our flight school is located.
7. MARKET ANALYSIS
- Market Trends
The trend in the flight school line of business is that the key to attracting students is the ease at which students learn how to fly different types of aircrafts. The truth is that any flight school that has good records and loads of positive testimonials from students who have passed through the school will always thrive.
Another common trend in the flying school industry is that in the bid to survive global economic melt down and to ensure steady flow of income to effectively run the business, most players in the industry engage in other related services.
Some of them even go as far as establishing agency services to provide professional and certified pilots for clients and some also offer specialized training for executive students.
8. Our Target Market
Before choosing a location for our flight school, we conducted thorough feasibility studies and market survey and we were able to identify those who will benefit greatly from our service offerings. Those who will benefit from our service offering are professional pilots, aspiring pilots and people who want to learn how to fly planes for fun. This group of people and establishment cuts across different sectors of the economy.
Our Competitive Advantage
The fact that a flight school business scales huddles before establishing the school does not mean that there are no real competitions in the industry. The truth is that no matter the line of business that you are involved in, as long as it is called a business, you will definitely face one form of competition or the other and flight school is not an exemption.
So, if you are looking towards setting up this type of business, it is advisable to do your due diligence before launching the business if indeed you want to succeed.
Our competitive edge is that we have the ability to quickly adopt new technology, we have access to highly skilled workforce and as a standard flight school that is centrally located in Frankfort – Kentucky; our location is in fact one of our major strengths because we are in a location with the right demography for the kind of business we run.
Another strength that counts for us is the power of our team and management. We have a team of experts in the flight school line of business, a team of hardworking and dedicated individuals.
Lastly, all our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry. It will enable them to be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and objectives.
9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- Sources of Income
Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the flying school industry and we are going to go all the way out to ensure that we do all it takes to attract clients on a regular basis. Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC will generate income by offering the following services;
- Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate training
- Private certificate training
- Commercial certificates training
- Student certificates training
- Other certificates training
10. Sales Forecast
The fact that people are learning how to fly aircrafts for various reasons means that the services of flight school will always be needed.
We are well positioned to take on the available market in and around Frankfort – Kentucky and we are quite optimistic that we will meet our set target of generating enough profits from our first six months of operation and grow our flight school and our student base.
We have been able to critically examine the flight school line of business, we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. The sales projections are based on information gathered on the field and some assumptions that are peculiar to similar startups in Frankfort – Kentucky.
- First Fiscal Year: $375, 000
- Second Fiscal Year: $650, 000
- Third Fiscal Year: $1 million
N.B: This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the flight school line of business and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and there won’t be any major competitor offering same services as we do within the same location. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.
- Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy
The marketing strategy for Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC is going to be driven basically by excellent customer service and quality training.
We will ensure that we build a loyal customer base. We want to drive sales via the output of our jobs and via referral from our satisfied students. We are quite aware of how satisfied students drive business growth especially businesses like flight schools.
Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC is a business that is strategically located and we are going to maximize the opportunities that are available to us which is why we spend more to locate the business in a location that will be visible and accessible to our target market.
Our sales and marketing team will be recruited based on their vast experience in the industry and they will be trained on a regular basis so as to be well equipped to meet their targets and the overall goal of Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC.
Our goal is to grow Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC to become the leading flight school in Frankfort – Kentucky which is why we have mapped out strategies that will help us take advantage of the available market and grow to become a major force to reckon with in our line of business.
Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC is set to make use of the following marketing and sales strategies to attract clients;
- Introduce our flight school by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to schools and other key stakeholders in and around Frankfort – Kentucky
- Print out fliers and business cards and strategically drop them in offices, libraries, public facilities, train stations et al.
- Use friends and family to spread word about our business
- Post information about our flight school and the services we offer on bulletin boards in places like schools, libraries, and local coffee shops et al
- Place a small or classified advertisement in the newspaper, or local publication about our flight school and the services we offer
- Leverage on referral networks such as agencies that will attract students who would need our customized services
- Advertise our flight school in relevant entertainment magazines, newspapers, TV and radio stations
- Attend relevant expos, seminars, and business fair to market our services
- Engage in direct marketing approach
- Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing from loyal and satisfied students
- Join local chambers of commerce and industry and other relevant groups to market our services.
11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy
Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC is set to create a standard for the commercial flight school line of business not only in Frankfort – Kentucky, but throughout the United States of America which is why we will go all the way to adopt and apply best practices to promote our business.
Good enough there is no hard and fast rule on how to advertise or promote a flight school business. Here are the platforms we intend leveraging on to promote and advertise Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC;
- Encourage our loyal customers/students to help us use Word of Mouth mode of advertisement (referrals)
- Advertise our business in relevant aviation magazines, local newspaper, local TV and radio stations
- Promote our business online via our official website
- List our business on local directories (yellow pages)
- Sponsor relevant community programs
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, twitter, et al to promote our brand
- Install our billboards in strategic locations all around Frankfort – Kentucky
- Direct coupon mailing approach
- Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas
- Ensure that all our staff members wear our customized clothes, all our mini – aircrafts, and official cars are customized and well branded.
12. Our Pricing Strategy
For skills training and coaching businesses both per hour billing and flat fees on a weekly or monthly basis applies. As a result of this, Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC will charge our students flat fees except for few occasions where there will be need for us to charge special students on hourly basis.
At Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC we will keep our fees below the average market rate by keeping our overhead low and by collecting payment in advance. In addition, we will also offer special discounted rates to all our students at regular intervals. The prices of our services will be same as what is obtainable in the open market.
- Payment Options
The payment policy adopted by Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation in the United States of America.
Here are the payment options that Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC will make available to her clients;
- Payment via bank transfer
- Payment with cash
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via mobile money platform
- Payment via Point of Sale Machines (POS Machine)
- Payment via check
- Payment via bank draft
In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our client make payment for registering and services rendered without any stress on their part. Our bank account numbers will be made available on our website and promotional materials to clients who may want to deposit cash or make online transfer for our training services.
13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)
If you are looking towards starting a flight school, then you should be ready to raise enough capital to cover some of the basic expenditures that you are going to incur.
You would need money to secure a standard facility, to acquire different types of aircrafts, acquire license and permits, relevant software apps and you would need money to pay your workforce and pay bills for a while until the revenue you generate from the business becomes enough to pay them.
The items listed below are the basics that we would need when starting our flight in the United States, although costs might vary slightly;
- The total fee for registering the business in the United States of America – $750.
- Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – $1,500.
- Marketing promotion expenses (8,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of – $10,000.
- The total cost for hiring Business Consultant – $5,000.
- The amount needed for the purchase of insurance policy covers (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $30,800.
- The total cost for the purchase of accounting software, CRM software and Payroll Software – $3,000
- The total cost for leasing facility for the business – $150,000.
- The total cost for the purchase of mini training aircrafts (fairly used) – $500,000
- Other start-up expenses- $1000
- Phone and utility deposits – $3,500
- Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $40,000
- The cost for the purchase of furniture and gadgets (Computers, Printers, Telephone, TVs, Sound System, snooker board, tables and chairs et al) – $4,000.
- The cost of launching a website – $600
- The cost for our grand opening party – $15,000
- Miscellaneous – $5,000
Going by the report from the market research and feasibility studies conducted, we will need about seven hundred and fifty thousand (750,000) U.S. dollars to successfully set up a medium scale but standard commercial flight school business in the United States of America.
Generating Funds/Startup for Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC
Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC is a business that will be owned and managed by Elias Brownstone and other members of his investment club. They are the sole financiers of the business which is why they decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital for the business to just three major sources.
These are the areas we intend generating our startup capital;
- Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings and sale of his stocks
- Generate part of the startup capital from friends and other extended family members
- Generate a larger chunk of the startup capital from the bank (loan facility).
N.B: We have been able to generate about $350,000 (Personal savings $300,000 and soft loan from family members $50,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $400,000 from our bank. All the papers and documents have been duly signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited.
14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
The future of a business lies in the number of loyal customers that they have, the capacity and competence of their employees, their investment strategy and the business structure. If all of these factors are missing from a business, then it won’t be too long before the business close shop.
One of our major goals of starting Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without the need for injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running.
We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to offer our flying training services a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in the market and we are well prepared to survive on lower profit margin for a while.
Eagles Wings® Flight School, LLC will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner.
As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of three years or more. We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.
- Business Name Availability Check: Completed
- Business Incorporation: Completed
- Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts various banks in the United States: Completed
- Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
- Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
- Securing a standard facility and reconstructing the facility: Completed
- Purchase of reliable and easy to operate mini – aircrafts: Completed
- Application for business license and permit: Completed
- Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
- Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
- Generating part of the startup capital from the founders: Completed
- Writing of Business Plan: Completed
- Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
- Drafting of Contract Documents: In Progress
- Design of Logo for the business: Completed
- Printing of Promotional Materials: Completed
- Recruitment of employees: In Progress
- Purchase of the needed furniture, office equipment, software applications, electronic appliances and facility facelift: In progress
- Creating official website for the business: In Progress
- Creating Awareness for the business: In Progress
- Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement: In Progress
- Establishing business relationship with vendors and key players in various industries In Progress