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Thanks for the response.

Our industry is quite broad “General Aviation” is what it is commonly known as and most of my competitors are a jack of all trades.

GA (General Aviation) covers the following activities.

– Charter (non scheduled passenger services)
– Freight Charter (non scheduled freight services)
– Aerial Work (Aerial photography, survey, spotting, surveillance, mapping, technically anything that is not carrying passengers or freight)

– Business Aviation, this is where a company owns and operates the aircraft but utilises a professional operators expertise to manage everything. Very similar to property management in many cases as they lease the aircraft out when they are not using them.

We decided to avoid the route of being average at everything and instead want to develop individual, self sustaining modular companies that specialise in each area. We have started with Aerial Photography as it is one of the least competitive area’s and in WA alone accounts for over 21,000 flight hours per year ($12m – $15m p.a).

My strategy is to split Aerial Photography into 2 phases which we will progress through over a period of time.

Phase 1 – We market directly to existing photographers and photography business’s who currently use or would benefit from our aviation services. In phase one its important to understand we are not taking the photo’s, we are simply providing the aircraft and crew for the freelance photographer or photography company to take the photo’s which they are free to do as they please with after the flight.

Phase 2 – We market to a consumer base who are buying the actual photo’s (digital media) themselves and now use an in-house photographer and equipment to obtain the images for sale. This is not necessarily taking random photo’s to sell but target at mining companies who require regular vertical photos for examples to map their expansion progress and surveys etc.

The reason behind this strategy was to avoid the expense of directly marketing to consumers (my understanding is B2B is considerably simpler and more cost effective than B2C).

It would look something like this:

Aerial Service –> Photography Company/Photographer –> Photo Consumer

By working through the photography company we are obtaining access to a large number of consumers at a much lower risk than say advertising direct to the consumer in the short term.

Now direct marketing seems to be efficient for my business model, its low cost per lead and its effective.

My sales team consists of 1 freelance salesperson who is working on a 8% of revenue commission basis to keep my cost/risk as low as possible. This is about where my experience of sales ends, I have developed a quite in-depth database for him and access to any resource that he requires to make the process work.

The aviation service we provide for these photographers is exceptional and very specialised compared to my competitors who all tend to focus on Passenger Charter. One of my clients is Nearmap.com for example so our quality and standards are at a level which multi million dollar public companies are choosing to do business with us over our competitors.

I look forward to the criticism and ideas! This is as far as I have ever ventured with a business and its a bit of a challenge at 22.