“If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.” Academy Award winning filmmaker Woody Allen said that. And he’s right. We’re all familiar with the fear of failure that prevents some of us from trying new things. But we rarely make the connection that our unwillingness to try new things, to blaze our own trail, to be true to our own creative impulses, is an indication that we are settling for something less than we believe we could be. If only we had the strength to go out and try to be undeniably different—to be unique.
Your flight school business is like no other in the world. At least, it should be like no other. There isn’t any reason a flight school business located in the Arizona desert should look or feel or operate like a flight school business located in coastal New England. The weather is different; the terrain is different; the population of potential customers is different. All those variables should inform your operation and the marketing you do to promote your business and sell your services.
As an experiment, look at the location of your business and the environment in which you operate with new eyes. Rather than seeing limitations, take in the scene while shifting your focus to specifically recognize opportunities. Take note of what makes you different. Are you close to a large population center? That suggests a bevy of potential customers nearby. Are you isolated in a place with good weather but not many inhabitants? That suggests you can market on a regional or national level to attract users who live in congested areas with less attractive weather.
If you look carefully, you will find attributes to your location and your operating environment that give you an advantage. Recognizing that advantage and marketing it properly can separate your business from the crowd. It can shift your business from being just another run-of-the-mill flight school to being a name-brand flight school, a unique facility that appeals to customers for a specific reason.
Muhammad Ali said, “I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.” The Champ knows a thing or two about being unique, transforming himself into a name brand, marketing that brand, and coming out on top. Maybe it’s time to give the idea of being unique some serious consideration. It sure worked for Woody and the Champ.