Boating Industry editors visited Grand Bay Marine, Traverse City, Mich., in January to get the dealership’s perspective on the year ahead. Here is an interview with dealership president Liz Carney.
Boating Industry: How do you expect the boating industry to perform in 2011?
I expect the boating industry to experience an increase over 2010 by at least 5 percent. This is based on a much more optimistic consumer, coupled with eager bankers looking to make loans, along with a slightly growing economy.
Boating Industry: What is your company’s strategy for finding success in 2011?
Our strategy is to employ the very best team, training each other to be very knowledgeable and confident in our product lines. Our success will also be greatly influenced by the right amount and right mix of inventory.
Boating Industry: What is the mindset of today’s consumer, and how should the boating industry respond to that mindset to find success in today’s economy?
Today’s consumer is very optimistic and excited about boating. We need to treat these consumers as though they are the only ones who exist in the world, giving them a first class product demonstration along with fair pricing.
Boating Industry: How should members of the boating industry adjust the way they work together to be more successful in today’s market?
We should work together to service all boat customers, whether we sold the boat or not. We have the opportunity to seize this new market and really impress and satisfy them.
Boating Industry: What is the industry’s biggest challenge in 2011? And how can we overcome it?
There still seems to be so much pessimism in our industry. We need to turn off any negative news stations and focus on the things we can control ... that being ourselves, our facilities and the experience our customers have when they walk through the door. We can train more in all departments to give our customers the experiences they deserve. We can develop stronger relationships with the folks who come through our doors and buy from us, as we don't have the numbers we had in the past. Those relationships will help us grow new relationships as we enter this new phase of our industry. Now is the time to grab ahold of your future success.