By Mike Davin, Online Editor, Boating Industry — Every month, we publish the results of Info-Link Technologies Inc.’s Bellwether Report, which shows a rolling change in unit sales for various powerboat categories. (See the most recent report here or view the charts here.)
Looking at the chart really does give a sense of where the industry has been and where it might be headed — and not just in a “my gut says” kind of way. (If you think your gut alone can predict the market accurately enough to run a business, then I suggest you get out of boating and go make your fortune on the stock market … you have been granted a rare gift!)
Info-Link’s numbers (right) suggest that we have begun to recover from the worst of the recession. They also show just how much the marketplace has changed in a few short years — have your business plans changed to match?
I don’t know how many times I heard at the recent Marine Dealer Conference and Expo that successful dealers need to have a plan based on realistic expectations. That means doing some research and really making an effort to understand the numbers that are available to you.
We try to provide some of the resources you need with regular reports from Info-Link and Spader Business Management as well as publications like our Market Data Book. Take advantage of this and any other data you can get your hands on because it will serve you a lot better than vague guesses or blind hope.
Dealers have told me in the past that they got into the marine industry because of their passion for boating and mastering the business aspects of their job has been a challenge. Well, you may not be a numbers person, but numbers may be the life preserver that will get you through the next year.