Make a plan

By Lucile Capo-Miller, co-owner, Cannons Marina, Longboat Key, Fla.

Looking back on 2007 and ahead to 2008, I feel the main challenge to the boating industry in general and to Cannons Marina specifically is the struggling economy, which has and will continue to have a negative impact on sales and profitability. However, we believe this presents us with a need and an opportunity to evaluate how we do business both internally and externally and institute changes to improve every aspect of our operations. We also believe that improved processes will not only help us weather the current choppy waters, but will position us for continued long term success.

To that end we engaged a consultant with a long track record of proven success in corporate strategic planning. Working together, our goals are to increase sales and profitability by objectively identifying our strengths and weaknesses, instituting processes to build on what we do well, create plans of action to overcome our challenges, increase the effectiveness of our internal processes by installing and utilizing a comprehensive new operating system, and to challenge and empower management and every one of our employees to do their very best and reward them proportionately for their efforts.

We understand that attaining our goals will not be realized through hastily made decisions and are committed to placing trust in and working as a team with our consultant to take the time necessary to carefully examine all aspects or our operations, make sure our exceptional employees (many of whom have been with us for over 10 and some over 20 years) have the necessary tools and training to effectively carry out their responsibilities to the best of their abilities, to exceed our collective expectations, and to have fun being successful. We all must remember that the boating business is not just about the bottom line, it’s also about having fun and feeling good about the work we do.

At Cannons Marina, we’re taking a long term approach to maintaining and improving upon our successes and we recognize the need to constantly examine where we are, where we want to go and how best to get there, and beyond. Our mission is to provide products and services at a fair value that exceeds our customer’s expectations for a pleasurable boating lifestyle. Our guiding principal is to provide a work environment for our employees that fosters creativity and encourages an entrepreneurial spirit and achievement of the strategic plan.

To everyone in our industry: best wishes and great success during the coming year.

Cannons Marina is a family-owned and operated business located at 6040 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, Florida, and can be contacted at 941-383-1311. Cannons specializes in new and used boat sales, boat and motor service and boat rentals. Cannons features Grady-White Boats, Scout Boats and Yamaha outboards.

This contribution is one in a series of solutions to the industry’s challenges as offered by female boating business professionals for the March 2008 issue of Boating Industry magazine. To view the article, Leading the way, including links to the entire list of solutions, click here.

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