Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Taking Stock

(1:15) Early in our marriage my husband and I started a tradition. Some time during the first week of the new year we would sort through all of our paper files from the previous year. We would discard, organize, and store the mass of bills, canceled checks, and other items we had received the year before. It was amazing how much paper was there. Of course, that was before most of these things were done electronically.

(1:00) Not only was it a way to keep things from getting out of hand, it was a time to look back at what has transpired and use that information to plan forward.

(0:56) When was the last time you took stock of your marina?

(0:55) Every business should have a time when they can go through a similar exercise. If the new year is your busy time then pick a time when you typically have a lull.

(0:50) Gather the statistics you have collected over the year. It should include the more traditional measures such as revenues, assets, and costs. But just as importantly it should include boater feedback, events and highlights, changes in boater profiles, and insight from your staff. Don't forget one of the most important statistics, how are boaters finding you?

(0:36) By looking beyond the traditional accounting numbers, you will find new opportunities that are emerging and stop expending resources on areas not providing a return.

(0:31) Items that are often overlooked are:

(0:30) - Boater Reviews. Are they improving, declining, or holding steady? What are the most common complaints and compliments?

(0:25) - Boater Demographics. What type of boats are you seeing - trawler vs sail vs sport fish, etc.? What size boats? Where do they come from? You should even look at boat manufacturers. Have the ratios changed in any significant way?

(0:17) - Boater length of stay. What are your nightly, weekly, monthly, seasonal, and annual ratios? How does this change by season? What percentage are return boaters vs first time visitors?

(0:010) If you can't produce some of this data then now is the time to put procedures in place so that you have them for next year.

(0:06) It is only after you know where you have been, that you can look forward and plan for where you are going.

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