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You may not realize it, Mr. and Mrs. Boat Dealer, but the “experts” suggest that your days are numbered. They know, for instance, that summer is over and your days of positive cash flow are dwindling. And they’re quick to remind you that, to make matters worse, the most fiscally draining six months of the year are just ahead of you.
Throughout the industry, there’s talk of your pending demise and some suggest that the marine industry could lose anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of you.
On the other end of this downturn, they conclude, marine dealers will operate a completely different type of business, and those companies that don’t adapt to the changing landscape will be among those that will disappear.
Now we’re not in the business of spreading doom and gloom here at Boating Industry. Our mission is to help you strengthen your business, to adapt to the ever-changing market conditions, indeed, to help you prove those pundits wrong. You can see it in the pages of this very issue, where you’ll find in-depth coverage of how you can adapt to the new demands of boat shows and how you can recover and grow (yes, GROW) through this downturn.
But what’s more, we have amassed an unprecedented line-up of leading dealers and experts — the kind that will advise you on how to stay in business, as opposed to predicting when you will go out of business — to create the biggest and best national marine dealer conference this industry has seen in years, perhaps ever.
There’s no question that the days ahead will be tough ones. With the right knowledge and tools, though, they don’t have to be so tough that the future of your business will be in jeopardy. The 2009 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo (Nov. 16-18 in Orlando; promises to deliver you the tools and knowledge to make your future prosperous.
While there are more than 15 educational sessions for you to attend at this single event, I would like to call your attention to four of them in particular, each of which will help you combat the general threat from the changing landscape: Leading Through Turbulent Times, by the Disney Institute; The Dealership of Tomorrow, by Noel Osborne; The Dealer’s Guide To Recovery & Growth, by Joe Verde; and Moving On: The Survivor’s Edition, by John Spader.
These four topics alone will provide you with the step-by-step processes necessary for securing your future and adapting to whatever this economy throws at you.
Further, many of the individual sessions wrapped around these topics will drill down into such specifics as managing inventory, making more money in service, the future of selling boats, finding the financing you need and many more.
This is a pivotal time for the marine industry and, more specifically, for your business. It’s critical that you take the necessary steps to ensure your survival and your ability to grow as the market recovers. If you want the answers to what it will take to survive, you should be there.

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