The growth of the aviation industry in East Africa has created many opportunities, not just for employment, but also for new businesses offering services to the larger airlines and airports, or delivering charter services on a smaller scale. For those with the ambition and dedication to create a new business, there are plenty of opportunities to succeed.
Gaining Industry Experience
Even if your ultimate goal in aviation is to set up your own business, it can be useful to gain some experience as an employee first. Seeing how different companies work, even the larger airlines, can enable you to build a stronger business when you are ready to take that step, whether it will be an engineering company building aircraft components or a charter service with its own fleet of planes. The more you can learn about how the industry works, the easier it will be for you to make the right decisions about your own business and to recruit the talented people you need to help you succeed. Recruiting the right people is the key to building a successful business, particularly when you need people with specific technical skills and qualifications.
Managing People and New Responsibilities
If you do make the shift from being an employee to running your own business, you will have to learn new skills and take on some significant new responsibilities. You will have to make decisions that affect the people who are working for you, including hiring and firing decisions, as well as everyday budgeting and management decisions that will shape their working environment. This means that you will need to learn how to manage other people to ensure that they are working to the best of their abilities, even when they are working at a distant airfield. Working in aviation, you will also have a responsibility towards your clients, not just to ensure that they are getting a high quality service, but also potentially to ensure that they can travel safely. You will need to maintain the highest standards in your business, while also ensuring that you are protected against any potential problems by obtaining liability and business insurance. Becoming a business owner means taking responsibility for all of the important decisions you will be called upon to make.
Opportunities in East Africa
If you are involved in the aviation industry at all, you will have seen the growth that is occurring in this sector in East Africa. As this expansion continues, it is creating many new opportunities for businesses of all sizes. Few new businesses can begin operating on the scale of the larger airlines and engineering firms, but there are plenty of opportunities for businesses to work with these large companies, or to find their own niche in the industry. For example, the growth of tourism in East Africa means that there are plenty of opportunities for charter services ferrying people and cargo out to remote locations. A business like this can be started with just a single small aircraft, with potential to expand and build a larger fleet as the business grows. At the same time, there is increasing demand for the services that these companies need, including aircraft maintenance or even training of airline staff. If you can spot an unmet demand in the industry, it could provide a superb opportunity for becoming your own boss and building your own new business.
Creating a Business Plan
A well-written business plan can provide a strong foundation on which to build any new business, whichever area of the aviation industry you are hoping to enter. Your business plan should provide enough information to help potential investors, business partners or lenders decide to work with you. It should also set goals for the future of the business that will help you to make business decisions. Your business plan should include a budget setting out how much capital you have to start up your business, the expected costs for at least the first few years, and how much money you will need to obtain from other sources, such as bank loans. You should also include plans for how you will market your products or services, and details of the licenses, insurance, permits or other documentation that you have or will need to obtain. It can be helpful to set out a timeline showing the work you need to do and the results you hope to achieve during the first months and years of operation. It is important to be realistic about costs and profits, as well as the amount of time it is likely to take to complete tasks and achieve goals. It is when you write your business plan that your ambition of being a business owner turns from a dream into a reality, with a timeline of specific steps that you need to take to make your business succeed.