- Jul 29, 2005
- Orange County, California
Honestly, most of them focus on the airplane and not the business. A solid business plan can carry a less-than-perfect airplane to profitability. It doesn't work the other way 'round....I just plane dont see why it is so darn difficult to get a kit business up and running. :ermm:
Most of the manufacturers get hung up on what a wonderful airplane they've designed and lovingly built, and expect that the "world will beat a path to their door." Guess what? It doesn't really work that way for mousetraps, either. You have to have a viable business model, great marketing, and sufficient funding to carry you through at least a couple of years without selling much of anything, while still paying for all your bills and all your rents, insurance, vendor purchases, marketing materials and appearances, employee salaries, and - oh yeah - your own salary to boot. That's a lot of money, and most people starting businesses severely underestimate their costs for that period - and equally overestimate their incomes.
Marketing costs alone for a new large-product launch like this are going to be in the tens of thousands of dollars, at a bare minimum. Doing it right has you pushing well into the upper half of five figures. Most small manufacturers, when they hear that, decide to do it themselves or get their cousin's kid to "make up a web site" for them because "he's good with computers." Then they wonder why they're not getting any sales. Like everything else, you get what you pay for. A pro will focus on how to market your product, not just make a slick brochure or pretty web site.
Orion has said all the rest of it here on the forums many times before. Starting a business takes a lot of planning, thought, and resources. Just having a great-looking airplane isn't enough.