Now my second post for today is a completely different topic, and I'm curious as to what you think.
Suppose we had a client in the past that used our aircraft on a semi-regular basis. Suppose they decided to go elsewhere for their aviation needs. Suppose I contacted them later on to remind them we would be delighted to have them rejoin us, and asking them to consider us for future business.
Suppose I got a phone call from an angry manager of the other flying service, telling me I was unprofessional in contacting our old clients now that they were dealing primarily with the other flying service.
Am I being unprofessional? My take on it is that we had a prior business relationship with the client, and anyway it's just straight-up competition.
It is kind of a grey area to me - the aviation community is pretty small in Toronto, and we all have to work together even though we all sort of have love-hate relationships with each other. Our lives would be easier if we were the only operation in town, but it's also nice to have other operators to help us out of our plane goes mechanical, or if we need to borrow a pilot etc.
So I'm not sure what the rules are. Is it acceptable to approach past clients who currently use another operator? Is it acceptable to approach clients who are new to us, but who are already being serviced by another charter operator? What if we don't know they are being serviced by another operator and we happen to cold-call them? What if we do know they are being serviced by another operator?
Right now my rule of thumb is that we don't approach clients who are sub-chartered to us from another operator (maybe the other operator's plane is broken, or they are busy that day or whatever, so they have to farm the business out to us), but everything else is fair game.
What do you think? What are the proper ethics? I want to run an ethical operation, but I also want to expand our business.