At The Helm: Round Two

After any successful endeavor, it’s tempting to sit back and spend your time relishing the victory. We’ve all witnessed great sports teams win a championship one year only to finish in last place the next. Similarly, we’ve seen companies rise to the top of the world only to come crashing down when a start-up develops a better product or service.

At Boating Industry, we’ve realized an enormous success with the launch of the Top 100. Be assured, however, that we’re not about to rest on our laurels and coast through what we merely hope will be an even better second year.

Even before last year’s Top 100 had finished, we had begun working to improve the program. That effort will continue through this year’s, but I thought it appropriate to bring you up to speed on some of the changes for ’06.

• More time for the application. By the time you read this, the application will be downloadable at, and 78,000 copies of the application will be bound into our magazine beginning with the next issue.

• More competition. We’ve already received more than 100 requests for the 2006 application from dealers who did not apply last year. We’re expecting as much as 40 percent turnover on the 2006 ranking. If you made the Top 100 last year, don’t expect last year’s application to give you a free ride; if you didn’t make it, learn from what went wrong last year, and help yourself out by gaining…

• More insight. The Top 100 application changed for 2006. If you want to know the type of information we’re looking for on every question on the application, download the tip sheet from our Web site and read it thoroughly before applying.

• More promotion. The No. 1 reason dealers gave for not applying for this program last year was that they didn’t like to “toot my own horn.” Hopefully these dealers realize that this program isn’t about you promoting yourself; it’s about being rewarded for running a successful business. Let us toot the horn for you in what we plan to be an expanded marketing program for the Top 100.

• More recognition. One way we will improve the presentation of the Top 100 is by recognizing the highest-ranking dealers in specific categories within the overall group. Categories will be broken down by such criteria as number of locations, specific revenue ranges and others.

• More results. As we continue growing the Top 100, you will begin to see further value in helping the marine industry grow. This will be evident through sharing of best practices, benchmarking statistics and company profiles.
That’s because, in the end, it’s not just us trying to make our Top 100 program better. It’s about improving to help make the industry better.

So what are you waiting for?

Go download the application already.

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