Ideas for hire

I’m sitting in the midst of hundreds of Top 100 Dealer applications, all of which are staring back at me with a “pick me, pick me” look to them. And as I turn away, just for a moment, to squeeze in this column and those two feature
articles a few pages from here, I’m reminded of how busy we all are these days.

We’re all just a little bit busier than we’ve ever been. We have more to do with fewer dollars to do it, fewer people to help out and less time than ever before to get it all done. And thanks to technological developments (yeah, you, Mr. Smart Phone) and our seeming need to multi-task, the crunch on our time is only going to get worse.

For three years now, the daunting process that is our Top 100 Dealers review, analysis, questioning, and ultimate ranking of all the applicant companies, has been an incredibly inspiring process. Sure, it’s daunting, but the process’ ability to help our staff know and understand how today’s marine dealers operate, from the inside out, has been the most educational experience I’ve had in my 13-year publishing career.

This year has been no different. In fact, in the midst of incredibly trying times, it’s more inspirational than ever to see dealers growing, improving and gaining market share amongst otherwise depressing mainstream economic news.

As a journalist, believe me: The negative news is equally, if not more, difficult to report than it is to hear or read about. No one likes to be the bearer of bad news.

That’s why we made the decision to deliver you this issue, which is packed with concepts you can use to find success, despite the economic climate. We’ve never compiled an “idea issue” like this before. But we thought it was critical to do so.

If you’re like us, you’re in the midst of planning for 2009 — maybe even finished by the time this issue lands on your desk. No matter where you are in the process, though, if you’re open to new ideas, this issue will deliver them in a way that no other marine trade publication has ever dared.

Count ‘em up. There are more than 150 ideas for you to use to improve your business and to help you overcome the economic challenges in just the three feature articles alone. And don’t be fooled by the fact that we’re highlighting dealers in these articles. In many cases, the ideas and practices we’ve shared can be applied to any business, whether dealer, builder, supplier, distributor or otherwise.

Oftentimes, your success comes down to your ability to plan for improvement and to brainstorm innovative ways to deal with the seemingly overbearing economic challenges. And that’s what this issue is all about. I hope you take the time to not just study it, but to implement some of its ideas into your business. As busy as you may be, your survival may depend on it.

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