Last summer, Republicans took aim at financial reform by proposing legislative action to replace Dodd-Frank with the Financial Choice Act. The proposal included a repeal of the hard-won debit-card swipe fees reform that more fairly set what’s paid by retailers. Should we expect it to happen this year?
I addressed the annual meeting of the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association last Friday during the Progressive Mid-America Boat Show in Cleveland. I was happy to see the show going well, but my real pleasure was getting to talk to many dealers I have known for years. Their conversations and outlooks always give me perspectives […]
I’m not suggesting that Russian President Vladimir Putin will order someone to hack into your computers, but the current media feeding frenzy over hacking brings into focus the fact that cybersecurity is a real risk for small businesses, including boat dealerships.
If the opening weekend for the Houston International Boat Show is any indicator, the winter shows are going to see robust business. Meanwhile, there’s speculation that changes coming at the Environmental Protection Agency could have a positive impact on the ethanol debacle that’s hounded America’s boaters for years.
After having produced more than 125 boat shows during my career, it should be no surprise I’m never far from the subject. With our important winter show circuit starting Friday in Houston and Denver, today I can’t help but focus on some thoughts for the show management staff.
A rising tide lifts all ships and the economic news surrounding the opening of the industry’s winter boat shows is the best in a decade.
Oh EPA, Oh EPA
Here’s an early Christmas present to open. As you do, you’ll learn that boaters are leaving faster than we can replace them. Fifty-four percent of first-time boat buyers in 2005 have bailed out. Between 2000 and 2015, first-time new-boat buyers dropped from 175,000 to 69,000.
Dave Anderson, who has written 13 books on leadership, offers timeless advice for becoming an effective leader.
I like to write about something Congress does that we can applaud, although it happens about as often as Colin Kaepernick is named “Patriot of the Year” by the local VFW. However, sometime this week President Obama is expected to sign the Water Resources Development Act of 2016, legislation that holds some provisions that can […]
The Advisory Council of Marine Associations will be sending a list of issues and actions to the board of the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas as a result of a meeting held Tuesday in Orlando, Fla.
As an avid boater and angler, I’m a conservationist and an environmentalist, albeit not one of those raving activists that are more unconnected from reality than Willy Wonka in a chocolate factory. Still, I am one to applaud the good news of actions that can legitimately protect our oceans and waterways.
What was once an iconic venue for events ranging from Jimmy Buffett concerts to powerboat races, the venerable Miami Marine Stadium is closer today to restoration than ever before with the recent Miami commissioners’ vote to put up $45 million.
When it comes to the future of boating and fishing, Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation president Frank Peterson was on point when he said “The boating and fishing industries must focus on the three Rs: recruitment, retention and reactivation.”
Take four days of Chamber of Commerce-type weather. Frame it with the city’s beautiful Harborside Center & Yacht Basin. Recognize it’s become one of the largest such events on Florida’s Gulf Coast and you have the Southwest Florida Marine Industry Association’s Fort Myers Boat Show.
The Advisor Council of Marine Associations set Dec. 6 for their annual meeting, while the Recreational Fishing Alliance has told its members what it sees in the recent election results.
We’re now a little more than two weeks away from the new federal regulations that will affect more than 4.2 million paychecks. And it’s likely that dealership owners have been procrastinating, focused instead on the Northern winter haulout, fall boat shows and the like consuming their days.
With the successful Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show now in our wake and the opening today of the popular United States Powerboat Show in Annapolis, eyes are already focused on the iconic Progressive Miami International Boat Show and Strictly Sail, as well as the revamped Yachts Miami Beach.
You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do – Carl Jung
Your customers exhibit the loyalty for which every dealer hopes. However, when you seriously analyze your sales results, you don’t really love your numbers. They’re flat. What’s up?
Who wouldn’t like a piece of the $16.2 billion-plus expected to be spent on this year’s Small Business Saturday, which occurs on Nov. 26?
“You don’t need a title to be a leader!”
Kudos to the fishermen in Michigan for speaking out and winning the day, but boaters nationwide could be the losers in the continuing march of ethanol.
You’ve made a genuine effort to clearly define a customer-centric culture in your dealership and introduced it at a special all-team presentation. But they just don’t seem to get it and the truth is you were bound to fail.
Dealership profitability or customer loyalty: which is more important? Also, major changes announced by states surrounding Lake Michigan are an example of the double-edged sword that invasive species can be to fisheries.
I must be living in a vacuum. I thought performance-enhancing drugs were mostly for the Russian Olympics team. I’ve never thought about them in the context of our colleges … or boat dealerships?
There’s more than one reason that boating is struggling to attract millennials, but the problem of student loans is high on the list. Is it a crisis? Yes.
It’s just eight weeks and counting down until dealerships will have few choices when the new overtime rules proposed by the Obama administration go into effect on Dec. 1.
The opening of the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference this morning in Tampa was surrounded by good economic news and an anticipation of large show crowds.
We need more first-time buyers. Is there anyone in our industry that disagrees with me on that? But let’s be clear: to get them will require an understanding of who they are and how they roll.
Last weekend I joined others from my church to paint a house as part of CareFest USA, a community service day that unites businesses, churches and community organizations with hundreds of volunteers to beautify and repair homes and beautify neighborhoods.
If you sell fishing boats of any size and style and you’ve never taken time to look over www.takemefishing.org, you haven’t seen one of the most comprehensive consumer campaigns that directly supports our industry and offers dealers great content.
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting pretty tired of TV reporters and presidential candidates trying to convince us the economy offers us less opportunity than a Somalian smuggler. And, while we’re at it, let’s hear it for those so-called economists (cough, cough) that claim the economy could tank at any minute.
In a first step to jettison parts of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act, the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday voted for the Financial CHOICE Act of 2016. Dodd-Frank, you’ll recall, was Congress’s response to the 2008 financial debacle.
The Tampa Boat Show knocked it out of the park last weekend. But, most importantly from an industry perspective, it’s a solid indicator that the fall shows slated for the next two months will see bigger crowds and more sales.
The completion of an economic impact study by the Marine Industries Association of Florida is a model for others, while the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas will be tackling the new overtime regulations in an upcoming webinar.
A regular reader of Dealer Outlook once commented: “Norm, I can’t believe you are for more regulations.” He was right. I’m definitely not. But when it’s becomes necessary to get less talk and more action, regulation could be the best answer.
Concerned that July’s disappointing sales are a harbinger of things to come? It appears the drop will be more of a blip than a trend if the early successes at the August boat shows on the Great Lakes are indicators.
Dealers who know the importance of investing some time and money to stay ahead of their competition will find themselves heading for the Sunshine State twice before Christmas.
I had to call my bank the other day to resolve a problem I thought would be quick and easy. When I finally got a human, my expectations for fast resolution started downhill.
Many cities and counties along the Gulf of Mexico from Texas to Florida are having a good time deciding how to spend the money they’re receiving in settlements from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster of 2010.
I get it. You’re thinking: “Norm lives in Florida. It’s called the Sunshine State, except during hurricane season when it’s better called the Plywood State. So he’s become paranoid about hurricanes.”
“There is no way we could have talked to so many people without being here,” said Rod Bensz, director of sales and owner of B&E Marine, while winding down his exhibit at last weekend’s Progressive Chicagoland In-Water Boat Show. He captured the importance boat shows play in every dealer’s marketing plan.
As you read this, salespeople on the docks for today’s opening of the Progressive Chicagoland In-Water Boat Show are likely grappling with this very issue. Let’s face it: we’re not an industry that builds cheap boats. So what’s a salesperson to do?
A new brand and major upgrades will be the highlights when the Progressive Chicagoland In-Water Boat Show at Michigan City opens for four days this Thursday, starting off the fall in-water show circuit.
If you’re a dealer in Massachusetts, you now have new restrictions on your ability to make employee compensation decisions. Simply, you can no longer ask a prospective employee about their salary at their current or previous jobs.
Florida has taken the lead in assisting local businesses impacted by the presence of blue-green algal blooms in local waterways.
Reagan Haynes’ report yesterday on MarineMax’s experience that the middle class is a dwindling part of its customer base is disturbing, especially when viewed in the context of the sluggish recovery from the sales plunge of 2008-09 for our industry.
The 2016 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo added a key session on marketing to its growing educational offerings. Meanwhile, the serious national problem of algae blooms in our waterways continues to get worse.
How do you gain new prospects? The simple answer is: Get in front of them.