Evaluating the Business

Evaluating the Business Independent assessments of FBOs, other businesses are on the rise as owners look to sell or expand BY Michael L. Dye, Senior Analyst/Consultant, Airport Business Solutions August 1999 With an increasing...

Consider the effects of such inadequacies on the perception of value. Since knowledge is power, it is much easier to manage a company when commonplace financial resources are brought to bear, whether they be through the effective use of accounting personnel, computer software and hardware, or key management and supervisory personnel. Some owners have yet to accept this concept.

When analyzing any operation, a quick review of the financial assessment checklist should confirm the following:
• The presence of accurate internal financial statements which are regularly produced on a monthly basis. Statements must include revenue, cost of sales, and expenses for all departments.
• An organized process for monthly, mid-year, and annual review of the company's financials, on a department-by-department basis.
• The presence of an internal budgetary process which encompasses all departments and lines of business.

The Training Dividend
For fixed base operations and other aviation service companies, the most common inadequacies often exist in the training of line service technicians and customer service personnel and their supervisors.

The good news is that there are a number of good training programs available that provide an adequate basis for training of both line and customer service personnel, and a basis for showing supervisory skills. The bad news is that many times the training program is sitting on the shelf, collecting dust. Too often, FBOs make little attempt to correctly administer the program or fail to appreciate that a line service training program can become an important tool for elevating performance from the very beginning of employment, and a method of measuring performance over the long term. The loss of airline and freight fueling accounts, damage to aircraft, and personal injury as a result of inattention to training are all quantifiable, and relate directly to the company's ongoing value.

When administered properly, training programs can be used as an integral part of a larger effort to immerse every new entry level employee into a company's culture.

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Although the general aviation business is fundamentally a people-oriented one, some owners or managers minimize the importance of such, and choose to concentrate on more comfortable areas of expertise. Many things, including relationships, management style, areas of expertise, and the background and interaction of people within an organization, can all affect the continuity and ultimately the value an FBO's business.

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