Entrepreneurial Spotlight: Southwest Airlines

As an entrepreneur, it takes a great deal of courage to implement an innovative idea and transform it into a successful business venture. Transferring the idea from paper and turning it into reality comes with trials and tribulations, especially when it’s an idea as revolutionary as Rolin King’s and Herb Kelleher’s. But instead of paper, the co-founders of Southwest Airlines created the company’s business model on the back of a cocktail napkin (Must be a common trend in entrepreneurs: See Entrepreneurial Spotlight: Taking A Leap Of Faith).

The co-founders’ vision and business model for Southwest Airlines called for utilizing secondary airports in order to offer the lowest fares in the industry. Not only did they want to ensure that their passengers arrived at their destinations on time, but they also wanted them to have a good time while flying.  Competitors knew that this unique vision would be a game changer and did everything they could to keep the airline grounded. But after overcoming years of legal troubles, Southwest Airlines was ready to operate.  And with more than 3,400 flights per day and constant profits since 1972 – I think it’s safe to say that they have definitely become a powerhouse in the airline industry. The entrepreneurial spirit of King and Kelleher has led to Southwest becoming the fifth-largest airline in the United States.

They also valued the importance of company culture and customer service. The mission of Southwest Airlines is to foster the “LUV” between employees and customers. They adopted their unique spelling of love in honor of Dallas Love Field Airport, where Southwest operations began. Kelleher encouraged his employees to have fun and adopt a “LUVing” attitude towards their customers and jobs. He would sometimes even help his employees by handing out donuts or unloading baggage. Talk about a true entrepreneur who knows how to talk the talk and walk the walk.

At Far West Capital, we value the importance of company culture and customer service. Like King and Kelleher, we love our employees and customers and want nothing more than to help them unleash their potential.

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