We spent five minutes with Alex and asked him some questions about running a business
How do I engage and motivate employees and keep them?
Through direction, engagement, empowerment, and progression. Each of our employees has a personal development programme, with the aim of releasing their potential aligned to our strategic goals. We also encourage any ideas for job or business improvement.
How do I maintain and enhance margins?
With difficulty! Our business is highly competitive and price increases are hard to achieve. We aim to increase value and ultimately our relationships with existing clients. We also look to improve engagement with our supply chain so that we can reduce costs and/or improve services received.
How can I put my prices up and keep my customers?
By focusing on quality and identifying value added services.
I’ve got this great idea – what do I do with it?
Try it! It’s easy to talk about ideas too much and get overly concerned with the fear of failure. However, there’s no substitute for market feedback.
How do I protect my reputation and enhance it?
We do it by setting our own standards and holding ourselves to them.
How do I network to my advantage?
I don’t like networking for the sake of it. However, finding forums for like-minded individuals in different businesses can be very rewarding for developing partnerships, new ideas, or creating wider collective opportunities.
How can I shut off from the business?
By doing just that. When I’m off, I increasingly make myself uncontactable. The business should be able to run itself without me on call 24/7. My downtime is usually immersed in something completely unrelated, such as family, or playing and watching sport.
How can I move my business to the next step?
By always evolving. Standing still in business is for me the greatest danger. You should be turning threats into opportunities, as well as constantly assessing how changes to the business can create new possibilities.
Alex Durand has over 25 years’ experience in business aviation and for the last seven years, he has been CEO at SaxonAir, which is part of the Klyne Aviation group of companies headquartered at Norwich Airport. From its purpose-built Business Aviation Centre and hangar facility, SaxonAir offers a range of corporate aviation services, from worldwide jet and helicopter charter, to offshore passenger handling and office and hangar rental. Alex is also Vice Chair of BBGA, a non-profit corporation which is the UK’s National Trade Body representing companies operating and trading in the General & Business Aviation Industry.