Five Business Rules to Live By
Whenever people talk about successful businesses, they talk about the importance of passion — of loving what you do, of believing in what you do, of holding true to your values and vision, no matter how tough the road gets. And it’s true, passion is important. It’s that intangible quality that keeps us going during turbulent times and propels us to take the risks necessary to grow enterprises.
But passion will only get you so far. (At the risk of over-extending an aviation metaphor: it might get you to the airport, but it won’t get that bird in the air!)
That’s why at AirStart, we take passion as a given. We’re all self-professed aviation fanatics who could marvel over the engineering of everything aviation all day long: from the incredible physics of an integrated drive generator (IDG) to the millions of line of code that are directly related to science, math, geography and weather that go into the Flight Management Systems (FMS). And if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you are too.
So if not passion, what do we focus on?
In another seven-letter word: respect.
Here’s how that focus shakes down throughout every aspect of our offering to help us define, operate and grow our business.
1. Respect for our Industry
We didn’t thrust ourselves into the MRO landscape without showing due respect for it. We found our niche through loads of on-the-ground research: learning what airlines valued, determining how we could fulfill their needs better than anyone else, researching alternate distribution channels, investigating operational inefficiencies, etc. We’ve now been in operation since the year 2000. From the smartphone revolution to the emergence of big data, so much has changed for us — and for aviation. One thing that hasn’t, however, is our deep respect for the complexity of the industry we serve, and our determination to stay ahead of the curve.
2. Respect for our Clients
There is no substitute for time spent listening to clients. We make a point of meeting with clients on their home turf so that we can truly understand their pressure points. We respond to RFQs immediately — no matter the time zone. Every time we attend a tradeshow (and we attend a lot!) we do our due diligence before, during and after the show to ensure our interests and objectives are aligned with our clients’ needs. What all this adds up to is a deep respect for the fact that, in this industry especially, time is money. When one damaged component can equal potential losses of over $300,000/day, we have no choice but to move at the speed of (F)Light!
3. Respect for our Business
There is simply no aspect of a business that you can “set and forget.” Our business plan is reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure we are always in the best position to capitalize on current economic and industry conditions. We commit ourselves to safe, sustainable growth so that we can continue to offer top-flight service. We proudly wear our “Best Managed Company” and “Profit 500” designations. We think carefully about everything we put out in AirStart’s name, from our website to our marketing materials to our social media posts, and ensure that we are always living up to our promises.
4. Respect for our Crew
We treat our team members with respect. How? We encourage them to speak up. We listen to their ideas. We support ongoing education. We promote work-life balance. What’s more, we realize that “our crew” extends beyond the four walls of our corporate HQs, and includes everyone from our partner airlines and aircraft manufacturers to outsourced agencies we work with. We respect the expertise every team member brings to the table and we lean on their collective experience so that we can offer the best possible service experience to our clients. In short, we partner with the best, and we treat them well.
5. Respect for our Community
We take our dedication to service well beyond our services. We are proudly bilingual. We make it a priority to give back to the communities where we live, work and do business. We show respect for our community by embracing our large social responsibility, whether it’s giving critical financial support for education, food and shelter in rural Africa; sponsoring teenage rugby in South Africa or minor hockey in the Greater Toronto Area; or partnering with amazing organizations like Dreams Take Flight and Women In Aviation. In fact, 1% of our net profits are earmarked for charitable initiatives.
More Respect, Better Relationships, More Lift
When we start with a deep and abiding respect for what we do and who we serve, we remember the human connection at the core of what we do as aviation professionals. We may not be the ones piloting passengers to their families, jobs and adventures, but we are a critical resource, ensuring that safe, efficient arrivals remain de rigueur. It’s a tremendous responsibility — and a pretty incredible privilege.
At the end of the day, cultivating a culture of respect leads to better relationships and more productive partnerships, which is what our business, and this industry, is all about.