Clipping coupons was once the domain of the budget conscious. But, in this recession, it has become a ritual for the new frugal consumer.
My letter to Santa last week raised some interesting issues. But, as usual, the real intriguing ideas came from the comments by readers. That’s exactly what this blog is for.
Dear Santa: Last year, I sent you my Christmas wish list. But, with all do respect, sir — you really failed to deliver the goodies! Well, tis another season to be positive, so here’s the list and we’re counting on you to come thru this year:
The current issue of SmartMoney magazine includes an article offering tax planning tips to readers. Under the heading “Stimulus Savings,” the author wrote: “the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program may be over but consumers can still get a break on new vehicles.” That’s true advice . . . but only half a loaf.
I know it’s the season to be jolly! Yes, we have some great Christmas and New Year’s holidays just ahead. But for some reason, I don’t have visions of sugar plums dancing in my head. No, instead, I’m getting pictures of boat shows stirring around!
I recently read an article by Emily Maltby in the Wall Street Journal, and it hasn’t stopped resonating with me, yet. Usually when something sticks with me like that I know it’s worth sharing.
I’ve always liked observing what top dealers do to . . . well, be top dealers. The most common denominator: they never stop going after business, even in a supposed dead month like December! Cases in point from last weekend come from three of the industry’s top 100 dealers: Lakeside Marine, Galati Yacht Sales and South [...]
Creators of music like the Meow Mix jingle and the Barney theme song have filed a Freedom of Information Act request to determine if their songs were used during interrogations at Guantanamo. The way I see it, given the choice between hearing the Barney theme and waterboarding, the terrorists would pick the latter every time!
There isn’t a boat show manager alive who isn’t searching for ways to increase attendance at this winter’s critical round of shows. Enter Phil Dyskow, president of Yamaha’s marine group, who may have laid out a good roadmap worth studying.
It’s not too often we can be thankful at Thanksgiving for some new federal agency rules. But, the Environmental protection Agency has just issued a final rule aimed at reducing water pollution from construction sites. And, while I suspect the agency officials were not thinking about benefits for marinas and boating when they promulgated these rules, [...]
A dealer once said to me: “The only bad boat show is the one I’m not in.” Of course, that was back in the late ’80s, as I recall — a time when virtually every boat show produced big attendance and lots of sales. Oh, how things have changed.
Ethanol and fishing were top of mind for association executives at yesterday’s annual meeting of the Advisory Council of Marine Associations in Orlando, Fla.
Customer loyalty . . . two of the sweetest words in retail. But, is it really still out there or are we now in a time when everyone has become a free agent?
Actions taken this week by two associations – the Recreational Fishing Alliance and the Michigan Boating Industries Association – represent bold initiatives that merit support and duplication.
Have you noticed . . . the economy is looking better? Positive economic reports are coming out faster these days. That’s encouraging. After all, we know the boating industry will not lead out of this recession but growth in other sectors will signal what is ahead for us.
The impact of social media is all the rage these days. Often simply referred to as “the buzz,” it’s also now formally called consumer-generated media.
Yogi Berra once said: “It ain’t over till it’s over!” If he was saying that today, he might be referring to the SBA’s 7(a) dealer floorplan program (DFP). Yes, it’s been a bust to date, but it ain’t over . . . at least not to groups like the auto dealers (NADA), RV dealers (RVDA), [...]
If ever there were examples of inherently political economic decisions, the current recession has brought them out. Take Cash for Clunkers, for instance. Bottom line: $2.877 billion cash pumped directly into car dealerships.
Looking at today’s promotional landscape — magazine ads, billboards, newspapers and so on — e-mail continues to stand out as a cost-effective way for dealers to reach customers and prospects. But it must be used correctly.
We all know the feeling. Something isn’t right. We don’t like what we’re hearing. We’re getting angry. We’re about to utter those familiar words of resentment: “There outta be a law!”
Employees know what the company normally charges customers. For example, in the service department the street labor rate is often posted, in accordance with local ordinances. Employees also know what’s being charged for parts, shop materials, environmental fees and the like. And they certainly know that their pay is only a fraction of all that.
I try not to get political with Dealer Outlook, but this Administration is starting to scare me. It appears the only speed they know is breakneck … no facts, just speed.
Indiana – where basketball is sacred and a movement to return schools to a post-Labor Day start is gaining real momentum. And it should!
I’ve about had it with this freaking economy! I’m sure you feel the same. I read everything in sight, searching for positive trends. I watch those financial TV shows looking for good news. And while I am hearing more positive than negative reports these days, it’s obvious the boat business didn’t, yet, get Fed Chief [...]
We know boat sales are being made at the fall shows. That’s the good news! But, they’re driven by lowering our prices and killing our margins. Hey, these days dropping price is more prevalent than President Obama on TV. That’s not good news (lowering prices, I mean!)
I don’t pay proper attention to medical warnings. I should be more tuned in – we should all be. But this H1N1 (Swine Flu) thing has now grabbed my attention and I think it needs yours, too. That’s because 26 states are currently reporting widespread influenza activity.
Ever heard of a Neuroeconomist? Not me, either. Not, that is, until I read a recent article by Maggie Fox, Reuters’ health and science editor. I found what she learned fascinating and informative, and it led me to think there’s some knowledge there that marine dealers can use right now.
I believe in trends. They usually predict what’s ahead. That’s why we’re all watching the fall boat shows so closely. The results are now in from four early shows on the Great Lakes and East Coast, and they’ve produced an interesting trend.
Kudos to the Recreational Fishing Alliance for voicing dismay over the latest appointments to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, calling the process used to select appointees a clear violation of the spirit and intent of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
The Tampa Boat Show finished an excellent run Sunday night, confirming once again that boat shows still have drawing power that will put dealers face-to-face with big numbers of prospects.
So, you say, you don’t really have any expectation that you’ll sell boats at your upcoming in-water show. Believe that and you can make it your reality. But it will take some effort to avoid making sales. So, here are some sales avoidance techniques you can use:
Looking back, it was one year ago that our sense of financial security was shocked in the same way September 2001 shook our confidence in our national security. In September 2008 we were already experiencing a housing meltdown and a less-than-robust economy when . . . zap! The free fall of ’08 hit. Lehman Brothers [...]
To “tweet” or not to “tweet”? — That is the question. A year or so ago, most of us didn’t even know Twitter existed much less if it might be a business tool. Today, the picture is better albeit still cloudy.
After opening in two days of rain and poor attendance, the just-ended Michigan City In-Water Boat Show (outside Chicago) came roaring back under sunny weekend skies to clearly signal there’s still “life” in the marketplace.
The traditional round of fall boat shows kicks off today with the opening of the 30th annual Michigan City In-Water Boat Show just outside Chicago.
We’re pushing a year since the industry’s national ad campaign for Discover Boating had to be beached because of the state of industry sales. Hope was to have it return this past June along with an anticipated turnaround in the economy. Neither happened, of course.
I took up guitar playing as an undergrad at Indiana University. As I recall, someone told me that if I strummed the guitar and brought along a six-pack of Bud, coeds would fall at my feet! Unfortunately, the latter didn’t happen, although they did down all my beer!
Just when we think there isn’t much to laugh at in the news these days, we can always count on the wing nuts at PETA for a gut-buster. PETA — that’s the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, as opposed to People Eating Tasty Animals — has offered to pop for $15 million to [...]
In spite of the ongoing recession and general belt tightening by consumers, the fact remains people will still pay more for better customer service. But, even a good experience has a price point. So, just how much more would they be willing to pay?
Have you noticed that customers and prospects seem more difficult to deal with these days? It seems they want to challenge our sales presentations at every turn. They act tough, adverse and suspicious. Why, you’d think they don’t trust us. Fact is, they probably don’t!
On Tuesday, I touched on some of the good and bad in the recently announced SBA floorplan loan guarantee program. If you didn’t see it, please go back and read it, along with the reader comments, some of which I’ll refer to here.
NOTE: This is Part I of a two-part look at the SBA loan program. Exuberance echoed throughout the marine industry when the Small Business Administration announced it would begin using TARP funds to guarantee dealer floorplan loans under its 7(a) program. It was an overdue action, to be sure.
Think Tom Cruise, screaming jets, FighterTown USA and “I feel the need for speed!” It’s the movie “Top Gun,” right? Now, imagine you’re watching the movie under the stars, in the middle of a lake from your anchored boat. You’re at the “boat-in” movie.
I often sit back and reflect on why our industry is in such an economic mess and, even more, how we’re going to recover from it. I recently read “What McDonald’s Can Teach Us About Recovery,” by Mats Lederhausen. It’s posted on HarvardBusiness.org and it offers some applicable and thought-provoking insight for us as boat [...]
This blogging thing has come a long way, baby! As I reflect back, it doesn’t seem like we’ve been doing it for this long, but Dealer Outlook is now entering its third year at Trade Only Today. Who knew there would be so much content that could be posted?
Our current focus is on President Obama’s push for health care reform and the tax increases small business owners and others will likely be paying for it. Unfortunately, our attention is also conveniently being drawn away from another tax increase that could be the largest since the income tax.
In the midst of the recession, it’s easy to think boating will never be a vibrant business again. Well, I’ve got some reassuring news. It’s “show & tell” time. I want to show you why we’re assured of a return to prosperity in our industry.
A quick survey of major fall in-water boat shows indicates deposits for exhibit space are running behind last year’s pace. No surprise there, given the state of business and concerns for cash flow. But with the first of the major fall shows (Michigan City, Ind.) now just six weeks away, it’s time to revisit the importance [...]
Is anyone feeling what I’m feeling? The unprecedented level of deficit spending in the name of “stimulus” has us headed for huge troubles?
Yesterday’s MRAA Dealer Alert to all members, especially all Genmar dealers, announced a Webinar slated for Wednesday, July 8 at 3 p.m. EDT being presented by Bellavia Gentile & Associates, the law firm representing dealers in the Genmar bankruptcy case. I urge all Genmar dealers to view it. For specific directions on how to do that, [...]