Why Pilots Don't Turn Off the Engines to Save Fuel

Our attitude has everything to do with our future success. Consider this saying; “A bad attitude is like a flat tire. If you don’t change it you’ll never go anywhere.” Here is the story of the two shoe salesmen who were sent to Africa to open up some new markets.

The first shoe salesman arrived in Africa and in less than an hour quickly phoned back to his headquarters and requested the first flight out and back to the states, explaining to his boss “I can’t sell shoes here! Everyone is barefoot!”

When the second shoe salesman arrived, he was thrilled with what he saw. He quickly called back to headquarters and said “I can’t believe what I see. Send me an assortment of ten thousand pairs of shoes immediately! Everyone is barefoot over here!”

Two different people looking at the very same opportunity come up with two different perspectives on the future potential.

As you look at your future plans, it is important to realize that there is a difference between focusing on winning instead of thinking in terms of not losing.

When business is tough, many business owners mistakenly cut back on their advertising thinking that it won’t hurt to cut back for just a little while. Cutting back on advertising provides an immediate expense reduction and it improves the short term cash flow.

If you were flying a jet at 35,000 feet and needed to save money on fuel, you could turn off the engines and the plane wouldn’t immediately plummet to the earth. You would lose altitude gradually. The jet would glide for miles and miles before reaching the ground.

When a business cuts back on advertising, the sales don’t usually plummet immediately. Like the jet, the sales will slowly decrease as the business glides down from its peak.

Before cutting back on advertising, the small business owner should recognize that in order for the pilot to regain the jet’s previous altitude, the pilot will have to burn many thousands of pounds of fuel. It will take more fuel to climb back up to altitude than it would have taken to maintain that altitude in the first place. The pilot would have burned more fuel. He wouldn’t save any.

Here is something else the small business owner should think about before cutting back on advertising. It’s not safe to turn off a jet’s engines at any time in flight because it is not always a certainty that the pilot will be able to restart them again. The pilot needs those engines operating properly at all times, especially for a safe landing at the airport.

Once you cut back on advertising, it may be impossible to restart your advertising engines without an auxiliary power unit, lots of extra money in other words.

Branding your business so that you maintain your mind share among consumers requires that you keep your advertising engine turned on at all times, even when you hit bumpy weather like a difficult economy. Advertising is the force that drives your business through the rough times just like the jet engines power the jet through the air. Without your advertising power, your business is adrift subject to whims of the winds and weather.

Even when a plane is forced to land due to some kind of in flight emergency, the pilot would prefer to maintain engine power for last minute maneuvering to take advantage of all of the best possible options. The odds of a safe landing are much greater with the engines on instead of a dead stick landing.

That isn’t the same thing as cutting off your advertising today and then turning it back on next year for your going out of business sale. By then, your business has already crashed from the lack of advertising fuel.

Advertising is your invitation to consumers that you are ready and able to help them with their needs. When you advertise you are building market awareness that helps people decide who is best to help them with their needs and desires.

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