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Protect your business’ future at MDCE 2014

By Marine Retailers Association of the Americas

MINNEAPOLIS — Often, dealership principals are so busy working to stay on top of day-to-day management of their respective businesses that they struggle to find time to plan for the dealership’s future.

At the 2014 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, taking place Nov. 16-19 in Orlando, Fla., bestselling author and family business maven Tom Deans, Ph.D. will help dealers kick off the all-important conversation about how to safeguard their business’ future, ensure the health of internal relationships, and set the stage for continued financial prosperity as the dealership marches towards the next generation of ownership.

In his MDCE workshop titled “12 Steps to Protect Your Family and Your Business,” Deans will share with dealers what his family has learned from many generations of owning and operating their own businesses. He’ll guide attendees through 12 questions designed to protect their wealth, strengthen family and key employee relationships and provide a clear path forward for their respective dealerships.

Attendees will walk away from Deans’ workshop with a 130-page guidebook to help them protect their family’s wealth and plan for their dealership’s future. The workshop takes place Monday, Nov. 17 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. ET as part of MDCE’s Pre-Conference Workshops.

“Successfully planning for a dealership’s future is about so much more than deciding who’s going to be in charge,” explains Liz Walz, director of education for the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, which produces the annual event in partnership with Boating Industry. “Tom will give dealers clear strategies for the future, whether they’re considering retirement today or expect to work in the business for another 20 years.”

In 2014, workshop topics will include leadership, sales, digital marketing, succession planning, video production and editing, and the service department. Each workshop will feature takeaways (job descriptions, workbooks/guidebooks, report cards, tip sheets, etc.) to help attendees implement what they learned in the pre-conference sessions without delay upon returning to their respective dealerships.

“Tom is an expert in the field of family business planning, and since so many boat dealerships are, in fact, family-owned and -operated, MDCE attendees have much to learn from his years of experience,” says Boating Industry editor-in-chief Jonathan Sweet. “We are fortunate to have him leading this can’t-miss workshop at the upcoming conference.”

The 2014 MDCE will offer 30 educational sessions in all, the most the event has ever offered, including seven Pre-Conference Workshops. The conference has traditionally included three educational tracks, but in 2014, it has expanded to four tracks: Leadership, Sales, Marketing and Service Plus. A Closing Keynote address also has been added this year.

Pre-Conference Workshop seating is limited and is available on a first come, first served basis. Attendees much select the workshop(s) they wish to attend during the MDCE registration process and pay an additional fee. Discounts are available for MRAA retail members.

The MDCE is scheduled for Nov. 16-19 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. It has attracted an increasing number of dealers every year since 2007. In 2013, MDCE featured double-digit growth in dealer attendance, for a total of 615 marine retail professionals. MRAA’s goal is to grow the event to more than 1,000 dealer attendees. To learn more, visit MRAA.com/MDCE.

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