The Chicken’s new job.

Why does the Chicken need a new job, I hear you ask?

Sadly, the market for my old business has been shrinking for a while.  This comes down to several factors that caused a cascade of business-related problems.

First among these is a change in the nature of ultralight aircraft themselves. The Recreational Aircraft Association has been steadily pushing for higher and higher weight limits on what can be legally considered an “ultralight”.  It’s got to the point that if they get their way with their most recent submission, you’ll be able to register a Cessna 150 as an ultralight.   This means that the tendency is for folks to buy ultralights that are basically General Aviation planes re-badged, and these go fine with standard GA intercoms and headsets which are mass produced cheaply in Asia.  Sure, it’s still possible to build and fly a rag-and-tube ultralight, but peer pressure and other factors mean that these are now a minority.

Then there’s the economic downturn.  My agents tell me that sales of all things discretionary are down across the board.  So the already small ultralight avionics market is contracting.

I could, of course,  start pushing for more retail sales and start selling more stuff like GPS’s and radios that I don’t make myself rather than concentrating on added value.  However, this would put me in direct competition with the agents I needed to keep the business flowing – the flying schools that have the new pilot’s ear when it comes to recommending equipment.  They’ll obviously recommend what they can sell.

And truth be known, I’ve probably been a bit lazy and complacent and let these things creep up on me.

So, it’s time for a change.  The new job, which involves a company that hires out two way radios for events etc… has a technical component in supply and support as well as a need to get out there and sell their services.   The former is easy (well, it does have  its challenges, but I’m comfortable with them) , if somewhat hectic at times.  The latter means direct customer interaction and calls on prospects….  it’s been a while since I’ve had to do that, and it’s a bit of a shock to the system.

It’s the end of week 1.  The manager seems more than happy with performance so far – I’ve picked up the routine tasks, figured out how to get some of their idle inventory back in circulation, repaired some gear that was just lying around broken because no-one knew what to do and I’ve been data mining the customer base for lapsed business and have made some calls drumming up new business.

Plus I’ve been keeping the old business ticking over after hours.

So I’m one pretty much exhausted Chicken!


1 Response to “The Chicken’s new job.”

  1. 1 John Halbrook December 6, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    Congratulations on the new job. Sounds taxing and challenging. Right up your alley. Hope to see you again in February when we get back.

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