Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Your Welcome Mat

(1:18) I still find that many marinas fail to provide transient boaters with a good quality Welcome Packet. A Welcome Packet that is pleasing and full of useful information does two things. It projects a positive image for your marina and it helps to ensure the boater has a pleasant stay.

(1:10) I know I have harped on this numerous times in the past but it truly is an important item. There were a series of Minutes several years ago on how to put together a good Welcome Packet. Today's Minute is just an overview. You can find links to the full series here:

(1:02) Your Welcome Packet should include a welcome letter from the owner, marina manager, or harbormaster. It needn't be long but should welcome the boater to your facility and provide a way for the boater to contact you should a problem arise or should the boater need assistance. There is no better way to fend off a negative review than to resolve an issue before the boater leaves the marina.

(0:51) Include a map of your facility showing the location of the harbormaster's office, the bathhouse, laundry, and any other amenities you offer. Don't make the boater wander around trying to find these things. Ideally, provide this dockside when the boater arrives.

(0:44) Make sure to point out services and events occurring nearby. Where are the restaurants, shops, beaches, or hiking trails? Is there a place where my dog can run? Let me know about any special events that might be happening. As I wrote a few weeks back, most boaters want more than the typical tourist traps. I'd like to know where the locals go.

(0:34) Don't forget to include information on those necessities we all need from time to time. Is there a doctor, dentist, or veterinarian nearby? What about people that can service my boat or a local diver? Remember, for many boaters their boat is their home, either full or part time. They need the same things you do.

(0:23) Finally, ensure that you consider what is realistic it terms of distance. A great restaurant or dog park that is miles away may as well be on the moon unless you have a courtesy car or other transportation is available. And of course, all transportation capabilities must be in your packet as well.

(0:12) Once you've created your Welcome Packet, don't forget it. Update the information whenever it changes. And consider putting it up on your website as a tool to attract boaters to your marina. After all, if I know what amenities and attractions are available, I'll be more likely to stay with you. That's good for business.

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