Blogs

Boating’s silver lining in the auto crisis

By Chris Kourtakis, Owner, H20 Limos Marine Service — With the recent announcements of Chrysler closing up to 800 dealers and GM a possible 1,500 dealerships, will this hurt of help the marine industry? More people keep focusing on the negative, but as we all know there is a silver lining to everything. The dealership closings and layoffs could give ...

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The power of diversification

Over the past week, it has been hard for the marine industry to avoid the bad news. Genmar Holdings' Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing last Monday - and predictions of more to come - has deflated some of the hope created by recent positive economic indicators. But regardless of the fall-out we're likely to see as the year progresses, we know ...

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A good competitor

In my last blog, I mentioned I'd been thinking about how my martial arts experience translates into the business world, particularly today's boating business. Here's another example. I got schooled by a teenager last night during a sparring class. He happens to be a second degree black belt, one level higher than me, so I went into the match with ...

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A fitting end to a great weekend

Our Memorial Day weekend plans were packed with activities. We took Friday off so that my wife and two girls and I could beat traffic heading north out of the Twin Cities and so we could spend some additional time together. My sister-in-law's family had invited us to their cabin on a chain of lakes for the long weekend, and ...

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How to save industry-wide boat sales

By Mike Hoffman, owner, Marine Center of Indiana — I used to be in the medical business, and back then, I told people that "I sell something that none of my clients really want, but they all need." Now I own a dealership and I enjoy telling people that, "We sell something that everybody wants, but nobody needs." So as ...

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Black belt attitude

Last September, I became a black belt in martial arts, and lately I've been giving a lot of thought to how the philosophies we use in the dojo apply in the business world. I've found, for example, that I'm definitely not in the same shape I was when I first tied the black belt around my waist. Work and home ...

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Renewed opportunity

I love today. I love it because, for me, this is the first day of summer. It's the Friday before Memorial Day. It's the first of a number of more-than-two-day weekends I hope to enjoy this summer. It's the first time I'll be out on a boat this summer. And it's a signal to me that it's time to truly ...

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A customer connection

When my husband called me at work a few days ago, I could hear a smile in his voice. It wasn't long before I found out why. He had spent the past hour talking shop with Dan Barnes, the co-founder of Velovie, an Arizona bike manufacturer. Now, Jason is the kind of consumer who can be either a company's dream ...

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Stimulating discussion

With the news this week that the U.S. Small Business Administration will begin an interest-free loan program that provides up to $35,000 for small businesses facing immediate financial hardship, the federal government has taken a step that could offer immediate assistance to many marine businesses around the country. But will it help you, or any of the businesses you know? ...

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A lesson in customer service

It was the worst of circumstances, at least for a business trip. Up since 4 ... bumpy flight ... forgot to book the rental car ... and the hotel ... and late for two of our three meetings (traffic was horrible). All I wanted — all I needed — was sleep. We Pricelined a hotel from a Starbucks. A four-star ...

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