This article includes a few practical bits of advice on starting an aerospace consulting firm.
Industry Essentials in Aerospace Consulting
Aerospace has historically been considered one of the nation's largest industries and with good reason. Globally, the aerospace industry generates annual revenues of several hundred billion dollars, making it an attractive target not only for manufacturers, but also for consulting firms that advise industry players how to overcome technical challenges and capture a larger share of the market.
Aerospace consulting firms cover a broad range of fields and specializations. While some firms specialize in engineering, systems design or technical analysis, others focus on market analysis, opportunity screening and business-side activities.
The outlook for aerospace consulting firms is strong, especially for startup entrepreneurs prepared to offer value-added incentives in the global marketplace. With China preparing to spend as much $340 billion in aerospace over the next decade, the prospects for firms with capabilities in the Asian market are particularly strong.
Key Ingredients of Successful Aerospace Consulting Firms
The sheer size of the aerospace industry has resulted in an extremely competitive business environment, especially for consulting firms and other businesses eager to engage the limited number of manufacturers in the aerospace industry. Getting started is easy but succeeding will require attention a handful of best practices.
- Talented Consultants. Hiring is one of your most important roles as an aerospace consulting startup owner. Whether or not you have personal aerospace consulting skills is largely irrelevant. The key is to hire the best possible consultants, preferably individuals who are known as thought leaders in their fields and are already well connected in the industry.
- Aggressive Marketing. Marketing is another important ownership skill you'll need to master. The best aerospace consulting firms feature aggressive sales and marketing divisions that are keyed into industry opportunities and extremely capable of converting customer prospects into long-term clients. If marketing isn't your forte, consider investing in professional marketing services to jumpstart the process.
- Healthy Networks. In some ways, aerospace consulting is as much about who you know as it is about what you know. Business networking is a fundamental requirement for aerospace consulting startups, regardless of whether you plan to sub-specialize or offer consulting for a range of specializations. Membership and active participation in the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) in a good start, but to be effective, you'll need to make networking a regular part of your firm's routines.
How to Write a Top Quality Aerospace Consulting Firm Business Plan
A business plan is the skeletal framework for your aerospace consulting firm's mission, goals and strategic vision.
In contemporary business culture, business plans are also litmus tests used by external interests to assess real world viability and marketability.
Early in the process, it's worth your time to learn how to write the market analysis section of a business plan. It includes the identification of your target market and in many cases, the inclusion of supporting research to back up your claims and sales forecasts.
Don't Ignore Competitors
Before you open an aerospace consulting firm within your community, it's essential to find out how many competitors you have. Try our link below to generate a list of competitors near you. After following the link, enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of aerospace consulting firms in your area.
Gain a knowledge of how existing firms have positioned themselves in the marketplace, and then design your business in a way that sets you apart from the others.
Getting Advice from Experienced Entrepreneurs
If you want to open an aerospace consulting firm it's a smart move to speak with somebody who is already in the business. Local competitors are not going to give you the time of day, mind you. Why would they want to educate a future competitor?
However, an entrepreneur who owns an aerospace consulting firm on the other side of the country may be more than happy to give you a few tips, provided that you won't be directly competing with them. Many business owners are happy to give advice to new entrepreneurs. Our estimate is that you may have to contact many business owners to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
Do you know how to find an aerospace consulting firm owner outside of your area who is willing to talk?
Here's how we would do it. Try the useful link below and key in a random city/state or zipcode.
Getting Started in Aerospace Consulting Firm Ownership
There are two ways would-be entrepreneurs can gain entry to aerospace consulting firm ownership: A startup or a business purchase.
We understand why a startup may sound appealing. A new aerospace consulting firm will definitely be more reflective of your personal business philosophy. Yet startups are also more difficult to finance because their nature is inherently risky.
Acquired aerospace consulting firms are known quantities - and are less risky for lenders. On the whole, buying a business minimizes uncertainty as well as many of the objections lenders use to disqualify startup entrepreneurs from financing.
Explore Franchising Options
Your odds of making a success of your new business are greatly increased if you buy a franchise and leverage their successful brand and track record.
Prior to starting an aerospace consulting firm, you would be wise to assess whether franchising might make your life much easier.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you already are in business and came here to learn about growing an existing aerospace consulting firm, try these useful resources:
If you sell to aerospace consulting firms, you're in the wrong place. Try these resources instead:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.