There are a lot of reasons to build an aircraft hangar, but the most important factor is obvious; for the love of it. You’ve already dedicated time and money to aviation as a hobby or even a small business. It matters to you. Building a hangar is going to feel great. It will be one of the most rewarding things you can do.
The list of benefits is long:
- Avoid weathering (paint condition, motor condition)
- Avoid sun damage to interior.
- Protect against damage by others.
- Perform your preflights indoors
- Keep your equipment in a safe, accessible place.
- Make the space your own.
But it really comes down to that feeling of owning your own space for your own aircraft – it’s the dream you’ve had since you were a kid.
If you’ve decided to build a hangar, there are a few things you should keep in mind when you do:
- Understand your relationship to the airport.
This is a slightly more complex question than it seems. You’ll need to know what the payment structure is (do you lease the land, or give up ownership of the building and rent it back?). You’ll need to know how long your contract with the airport will last and how likely conditions are to change. You should also consider what services, if any, the airport offers.
Find a current hangar owner and talk to them. A lot of them will have been there a long time and will have valuable advice.
- Do your builders have experience with aviation buildings?
You can get a cheap shed thrown together, but everything aviation-related needs to be exact. Find a company that will build the hangar to your specifications & your needs. Make sure they’ve build hangars before. If possible, visit their previous builds.
- Will the build be well organised?
Make sure that the company you build with has their own installers or consistently works with installers they know. The less friction there is between engineers, designers & installers, the less likely you are to have problems.
- What kind of door do you need?
Access is something you’ll need to consider, especially if you’re planning on storing more than one airplane.
Your door design needs to maximise accessibility. If you’re lucky enough to have access to the back of your hangar, it’s a great idea to have two doors so you can get planes in and out from either end.
- What strength is required?
A lot of airports and councils have very strict regulations on these kinds of things. If you have an experienced engineering/building company to work with, they will be able to sort this all out for you, especially if they’ve done it before.
- Do you want Australian steel?
Australian steel is a better quality than international steel and is less likely to be problematic down the line. If it’s in your budget, Australian-steel is a great idea.
- Have you planned for lighting?
A good rule of thumb for lighting is to draw out a rough plan, then double it. You can never have too much, and the size of hangars often requires a deceptively large amount of lighting.
Where you can, install skylights to make use of natural light. You’ll also need to consider how you’re going to access lights when they need to be replaced (hangar ceilings aren’t easy to reach).
- What concrete are you putting on the floor?
Make sure your concrete doesn’t have a shiny-finish or poly coat. It’s much more effective to install a concrete that has some grip. This will help you get your planes in and out.
- Are you going to rent out positions in your hangar?
Air hangars usually have relatively stable prices, but they won’t get you a big return unless hangar space is limited. One of the best ways to capitalise right from the start is to offer some of your hangar space for rent. This money will subsidise some of the rates the airport is likely to charge you.
- Are you going to be operating a business?
Another great way to get some of your expenditure back is to offer flight lessons or run some kind of small aviation business. If this is something you have the license and inclination for, you’ll need to make sure that your hangar can hold everything you’ll need.
To download a brochure of our past hangars and aviation buildings, click here.
Branding Your New Horse Business
Starting a horse business, as a hobby or full-time, can be as much fun as it is hard work.
Part of the appeal of starting a business is getting to build up a name and a brand. All of your efforts will be poured into your new brand, so you’ve got to make sure that it’s something you love and are proud of.
Branding is all about being recognisable and having a good reputation. So as you build your new brand, continually ask yourself these two questions:
– Will people remember my business?
– Will people feel positively about my business?
Recognition and positivity means returning customers and a thriving business.
Let’s look at the 5 steps it takes to build a great horse business brand.
1. Visual branding.
Often, when people think ‘branding’ they think of a company’s logo. It’s an important way to make your business recognisable.
A good brand does the following things:
– Means something to the customer.
A logo needs to ‘click’ with a customer – it needs to make sense. A customer should know what industry you’re in when they look at your logo.
– Means something to the business owner.
Sometimes a logo means something special to the business owner that isn’t obvious to consumers. The Apple logo, for example, represents the story of Isaac Newton discovering gravity. It has a connection for employees. Your own logo should have a special meaning to you that reminds you why you do what you do.
– Looks good.
This is an obvious one! You want people to feel positively when they see your logo. Make it look nice.
– Is easy to recognise.
Clients need to be able to distinguish between your logo and the logo of competitors. You can’t use a standard horse image. A good test is the ‘squint test’. If you can still recognise your logo when squinting, you’re doing it right!
Here are some really great examples of horse-related logos.
Websites are absolutely necessary. Even if you find a client face-to-face, they’ll use the internet as a reference for your business. Need to find a number? Check out your website. Need to know when you’re available? Check out your website.
A website needs to include these things (and they need to be clearly visible) :
When people look you up, they want to know how much you charge. Even if you can’t give an exact figure, you need to offer an estimate. When they call, you can clarify further.
– Your location.
It’s also worth registering your business with Google My Business.
– Your contact details.
3. Word of mouth.
Horse communities are usually very tight-knit. That means word-of-mouth is really important and will help you get loyal customers.
Generating good word of mouth comes down to going the extra mile. Make sure that everyone who engages with you (clients, suppliers, peers), feels great about having met you and interacted with you. Be generous and kind.
4. Build your reputation.
Your value as a business comes down to your reputation. A brand is a reminder of that reputation. If you have any awards or qualifications, if you’ve achieved any milestones, that can be a great start for building your brand. People want to know they’re getting quality.
This also means that everything you do affects your reputation. Make sure that you protect it well.
This is a really important part of branding that a lot of people overlook.
After an interaction with a client, it’s a good idea to leave them with something special and nice. If you’ve taken a student through a course, give them a framed certificate, for example. Anything you can leave behind that reminds people of your business will be worth the investment.
Imagine you’ve spent a year studying with a horse riding instructor and have decided to take a year off riding. When you get home, some hand-made muffins are left for you with a note thanking you for being such a great student. When you return to riding in a year, you’ll remember those muffins.
They’re some of the important basics to branding. Invest in your brand; it is the value of your entire business. Love it, and make it loved.