Make the difficult decisions

By Marion Goodman, co-owner, Lynnhaven Marine,Virginia Beach, Va.

Surviving in a declining market is always a challenge and sometimes impossible. As the industry shifts, care must be taken when regressing to a smaller plateau. Budgeting is mandatory and almost daily tracking is necessary. Inventory control becomes most important. Difficult decisions must be made. Manufacturers must be kept advised of your market and market share, most will give aid and good advice. If you must change the budgeted order you placed, most manufacturers will understand. If they don’t, be prepared to just say “NO, I can’t.” Expenses must be monitored and cuts made as necessary.

Sales staffs must be managed and trained to ensure that every lead is followed and nurtured until its conclusion. Pricing adjustments should be made only as needed. Staying steady and assured gives the sales staff hope and keeps them optimistic. Our sales are down over 30 percent and yet the sales department is in the black.

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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