If you aren’t tired of hearing it just yet, tolerate me for one last moment as I remind you that the marine industry is down. As if you need me to tell you, right? There’s a certain amount of distaste for this message these days, and I have to admit, I understand. I’m sick of hearing it, and there are many others like me who feel the same way.
Consider, for a minute, the words of Phil Dyskow, Yamaha Marine Group president, who said at the most recent Yamaha Marine University Symposium that the media has painted a picture of doom and gloom in the marine industry, but that regardless of market conditions, “strong brands and strong dealers can significantly outperform the industry, regardless if it’s up or down.”
I agree. In fact, there are a number of companies out there who have echoed what Dyskow has to say. And it’s that success that we here at Boating Industry strive to recognize and celebrate on an ongoing basis.
Take our Top 100 Dealers program, for instance. The average dealer on the 2007 list of the Top 100 increased its year-over-year revenue by 12.8 percent, on average. No wonder such a small percentage of the industry’s total dealers can make up such a sizeable sample — more than $2 billion — of the industry.
The most interesting thing about these dealers, however, is that they’re seemingly immune to the rash of doom and gloom stories circulating these days. They aren’t bogged down by the reports of a downturn; heck, most of them will tell you that they haven’t even heard of such a thing. That’s because they’re battling their way to success through both innovative initiatives and proven methods.
In this case, difficult times call for not-so-difficult measures. Many businesses simply find themselves adapting to what their customers desire. They’re changing business processes, focusing on new indicators and changing their ways from what many consider an old-school mentality to a generation-now frame of mind. It doesn’t take a lot. In fact, many businesses are relying on their networks to help them do it. They’re using 20 Groups — 63 of the Top 100 Dealers belonged to one — or certification to help them learn and genearate new ideas, improve upon old systems, and, yes, grow during these “down” years.
At Boating Industry, we’re dedicated to delivering you such ingredients for success. Dyskow and his team at the symposium shared with us both proven and innovative ways that you can develop competitive advantages for your business, and you can find tips along those lines right here in this issue. Also, our cover story takes a more innovative bent, featuring a dealer who recognized an industry problem and took it upon himself to deliver a solution. Every issue of Boating Industry seeks to assist you in achieving the results you’re looking for.
It’s this type of approach to our businesses that will help us not just survive any perceived dip in our sales numbers, but to thrive in a time when many others are struggling to stay alive. We hope to be a conduit to helping you achieve that.