It's not news that almost all of aviation has been drastically and very negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. All airline activity ground to an abrupt halt and for months on end, they stayed grounded. The débâcle which is SAA and other airlines meant that 100's of pilots are without a job, without an income and has been so since March/April 2020.
That’s EIGHT months without any income... Now, if you are anything like most people, you are three months away from homeless....'
Despite all that, a few brave Pilots decided to take life by the horns, instead of sitting at home moaning and complaining, they decided to get out there and do something, they decided to start their very own business and take control of their destiny.
Let's be clear, the odds are very much stacked against them. As a career pilot, you are taught/trained/moulded to think within the lines. Follow procedure to the letter and leave no room for error. You are not taught about the realities of business, the challenges and ups and downs faced and the sheer amount of energy it takes to get a "business off the ground" (Excuse the Pun) and that walking on the line is more or less the new comfort zone.
There are so many challenges, from firstly coming up with an idea, something that can add value to the community, then, how to market, where to advertise, how to streamline, how to scale, how to offer good service, how do I build my product offering, what's my value proposition, TAX, Legalt etc. etc. etc.
These things may come naturally to some of you reading this, a few businessmen and woman who have paid the school fees and walked the road (I need to talk to you), but as a career pilot, more often than not and like most of you reading this, you won't even know where to start
Franz Smit, MD ands founder PilotInsure, being entrenched in the aviation world noticed that these challenges exist for the guys and wanted to do something about it.
Steady Climb has been created especially for that reason, helping the Pilot out who has the "chutzpah" to take on the business world head-on.
Hered are a few areas that have been covered in terms of support for these new businesses:
Marketing and Online content strategy/creation - Leo Marketing has sponsored 3 months free service
Legal assistance - David Swanepoel Attorneys
Text and Audit - In talks with 2 companies to share the load and sponsor their time
Insurance and Investment support - PilotInsure will provide it at cost
The business these guys have started are varied. Some make furniture, some sell and make pancakes, some offer online conference services and even their own brand of coffee! Its exciting times.
We have also received an amazing response from the aviation world in terms of sponsorships, a way for us to generate a little cash to get these guys going on their marketing and branding efforts.
Some of the prizes we will be giving away (Still trying to figure out how to monetise it) are as follows:
AVGAS - 2 X R 2500 vouchers
Weekend away for two at an aviation friendly lodge - R 5000
Freeh electronic logbook to each pilot at the event for 1 year - R 500PA, Per logbook
Complete renewal, Sim + Instructor - R 4000
10 very smart (One of a kind) Aviation Mugs - R 5000
RV flip with one of the Raptors (Priceless)
Skywares - 2 X Grippa tie-downs - All the money :-)
Aviation4SA - 2 X 1 yeart subscriptionst valued at R2000 each
Various cash donations from corporates and private individuals, but we'll keep that to spend on what these businesses need it for.
ALL SPONSORS NAMES WILL BE MADE PUBLIC ONCE FINALISED
What is truly remarkable is how willing and how eager the aviation community is to help each other out. I have not had a single phone call where the person on the other end is not ecstatic to help in any way possible.
Here is how you can help:
1: Please come join us at the event, don't worry, we will still figure out how to get some bucks out of you :-) (No landing fees, very welcome to drive in)
2: Please let us know if you have any aviation mates that fit the description, we would love to help more startups
3: If you are able to donate your money, time, or product, please be in touch we need as much assistance as possible.
4: We need existing businessmen/woman involved to offer guidance, mentorship and support
As we become more familiar with these businesses their Pilot owners and their stories, we will start publishing it so you can get to know the people behind them.
Saturday, 5 December 2020
Rhino Park Flight School, Bronkhorstspruit
Please contact Franz Smit: 0849798632 or Franz@pilotinsure.co.za if you would like more info or get involved.