I became a videogame junkie on the Atari system long before I graduated to the high-tech Commodore 64. Despite what a couple of my disgruntled neighbors and siblings might claim, I was the best in my neighborhood at Pac Man, and I enjoyed that fact.
I worked hard at being the best. I’d stay in my room for hours, stressing, indeed, sweating it out while on the run from those little blue ghosts. When I took a wrong turn or things didn’t go as I had planned, and my shot at the new high score was in peril, I’d change my outlook by hitting the reset button — a simple yet effective strategy for not wasting time while striving for the title.
On a much more serious note, the thought of resetting our approach to doing business in the marine industry has been on my mind a lot lately. In fact, ever since mid-October when industry vet Vinton H. “Slim” Sommerville used the term to explain the current state of the marine industry to a group of interested IBEX attendees, I’ve been inspired by the simple word’s relevance to what our economy and industry are experiencing.
Think about it. Our economy is resetting the fair market price of our homes. It’s resetting the amount of available credit. As consumers, we’re resetting our expectations for the costs of living. And right now, our beloved marine industry is resetting the number of builders and dealers it needs as our potential customers reset their expectations for not only how much to invest in recreational pursuits, but also what to invest in.
This isn’t your ordinary economic downturn. This is a game changer. This period of reset has changed the economic landscape, indeed our lives, forever.
When it’s all said and done, the marine industry, as we know it, and the methods marine businesses currently employ for attracting and satisfying customers must change. Those businesses that choose not to reset the way they conduct business, the ones that fail to identify and meet new customer needs, will be left behind. It’s a simple equation for an incredibly difficult scenario. But the truth is, it’s a high-stakes game you can’t afford to lose.
Many of the keys to success used by leading companies today are found in the preparations they made prior to the downturn. The companies that are thriving are those that budgeted properly and had financial review systems in place before the economy soured. They’re the ones that had an inventory management system in place before credit froze and retail traffic fell. And they’re the ones that laid the groundwork for the future of their companies by developing the right people into leadership roles.
Maybe you’re not there yet. Maybe you haven’t been spending the past few years preparing yourself for this, and you’ve found yourself in a more difficult place because of it. Well, now’s your time. Now is the time to begin solidifying yourself for growth. Now is the time to put the right systems and processes in place. Now is the time to raise the bar for your company and emerge as one of the best to do business with.
Now’s the time to reach for that reset button. Do it now while you still have the chance.

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