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How NOT to compete on price

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During the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, there was one phrase from branding expert David Avrin that really stuck with me. “If you’re being hammered on price,” he said, “your customer doesn’t see a big difference between you and your competitors.” That’s never something you want to hear. Some of us may say to ourselves, “I need to train my ...

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At the Helm: Looking forward in 2014

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We take a look at the 2014 industry forecast in this issue and it’s one that points to another year of growth. From industry leaders to the readers of Boating Industry, the industry seems optimistic about what this year holds. With most economists predicting overall growth in GDP this year, steady increases in the housing market and a slowly recovering ...

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Saluting the industry’s best

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There’s probably no better sign of the industry’s recovery than this year’s Top 100 competition. Not only were applications up by more than 15 percent from 2012, the quality was through the roof. We were constantly wowed during the judging by the accomplishments of our industry. We’ve called out several stats about the Top 100 individually and as a group ...

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At the Helm: The Millennial wave

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We spend a lot of time in the marine industry talking about reaching that next wave of younger customers. Just as important, though, as preparing for them outside your company is preparing for them inside. Whether you call them Millennials, Echo Boomers or Generation Y, this generation of employees represents an unprecedented shift in the makeup of the workforce. There ...

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How to do less, better

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Many of us share the same problem. When it comes to our work, we want to do it all. Of course, we’re smart enough to know that we can’t. But knowing often isn’t enough to change our behavior and stop us from trying to do what we know is impossible. We take on more and more because we love what ...

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At the Helm: Your critical edge

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If you’ve never been to the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, this is the year to do it. Simply put, if you care about the success of your business, you need to be there. (MDCE is produced by Boating Industry and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas.) What makes it so important that you join us for MDCE 2013, ...

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At the Helm: Get social

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Way back in 2009, I first started presenting to business owners on the topic of social media. The reaction back then to this new-fangled technology was predictably confused. I was often asked why companies should spend their time worrying about social media. After all, the user numbers were miniscule: Twitter, for example, had fewer than 10 million users in January ...

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Lobbying for a change

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Regardless of political affiliation, I don’t think many Americans that content with the state of the economy or the health of the federal government these days. But there is only so much you can do. You have work of your own, right? Running a marine business is a tough job. A full-time job. Here’s the trouble with that attitude – ...

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At the Helm: Are you paying attention?

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As part of my research for this issue, I recently spent a lunch hour listening to a webinar for small businesses on the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). What I heard surprised and scared me. I don‘t mean the details of the changes in our healthcare system – those I already knew about. It was the questions coming from the ...

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How to be memorable

It was the end of a long, but fun afternoon, and my husband had our youngest son snuggled in his arms as he walked down the hall to our hotel room. Along the way, a housekeeper smiled at them and asked my husband about his day. When she heard that the four of us were on a family vacation, she ...

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