Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Are You an Ant or a Grasshopper?

(1:00) We've been liveaboards for over 12 years now and running ActiveCaptain for about 8 of those years. When we started, the waterways were full of boats and if you wanted a slip for the night you needed a reservation. We all know that changed after 2008. We could pull in anywhere no matter how late in the day and have our choice of slips.

(0:53) Some marinas weren't able to weather the downturn. Not only was there less business for all, but boaters now had more choices which meant they could easily bypass marinas who weren't offering the same level of service and amenities as their competition.

(0:47) We began seeing a few more boaters a year or 2 ago but this past year we saw a dramatic increase. The waterways are busy once again. Marinas are fuller and we've even encountered a few marinas that were unable to provide us a spot because they were full. That makes me smile.

(0:40) If you haven't felt the change yet, I'm confident you will soon. You'll see fewer empty slips and more transients coming and going. Financial pressures will ease while you and your staff will become busier. How will you handle this good fortune? Will you be the ant or the grasshopper?

(0:33) OK, I'm not a complete Scrooge. Take a moment, thank your staff, maybe have a small party. Then you've got work to do, because right now is the best time to prepare for the next downturn.

(0:27) No, I'm not making a political statement or buying into those who thrive on doom and gloom. I'm simply being pragmatic. Everything happens in cycles with good and not-so-good times. Make sure you're the ant, using your good times to ensure you are prepared for the next not-so-good time.

(0:20) Now is the time to make those repairs you may have put off, upgrade your existing amenities, or add that new amenity boaters have been asking for. Make sure you are in prime shape before another downturn occurs.

(0:15) Study your reviews to find where you can improve. From the beginning, the number 1 reason for a boater deducting a star is poor bathrooms. More recently, the number 2 reason is poor WiFi. Use your increasing revenues to make your facility a premier one. That way when the next downturn comes, yours will be the marina that boaters choose. This will better prepare you to weather the storm.

(0:05) A little extra work and effort today will pay off in the future.

(0:02) And that's the marina minute.