Corporations with private jets have been under fire for wasteful spending. How do you work around a company’s reluctance to lease or purchase a plane given potential public backlash?
The most important thing is just showing them the facts. You show them a spreadsheet of how an airplane can actually save them money, save executive time, improve quality of work life for their employees—whether it’s senior level executives or a mid-level manager. The reality is, owning an airplane can actually be more cost-effective than flying on an airline.
If you’re travelling to multiple cities in one day with multiple people for meetings, a lot of the time, commercial airplanes only go to about 500 airports throughout the United States. There are over 5,000 private airports throughout the entire country. If I was flying myself privately, I could fly directly from my home airport, whenever I wanted, to a local, general aviation airport that’s typically [closer to my destination] than commercial airports. I could go to my meetings and leave when I wanted to leave.
Tip for young entrepreneurs: Make the most out of every opportunity and every meeting that you have. Ever single time you get the chance to meet someone, see if there’s anything you can pick up and learn and apply to your life or your business.
Check out our behind-the-scenes footage from Black Enterprise magazine’s January 2010 BE Next cover shoot here.
Renita Burns is a staff writer at BlackEnterprise.com.