The news came as a surprise. It was in a video to constituents in which Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., proposed dumping the mortgage interest deduction for boats that qualify as a second home.
Tis’ the time of year when we like to recognize employees with Christmas parties, bonuses and/or gifts. But according to author Cindy Ventrice in her book, “Make Their Day! Employee Recognition that Works” (Amazon), it really doesn’t work. The problem is this: Christmas gifts and bonuses are considered by most employees as some “entitlement” rather [...]
Retail dealers shouldn’t need a lot of reasons to be members of the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas. The fact that the MRAA is the exclusive national flag for the retail segment of our industry is reason enough.
This is a great time of year. It’s a point when the boating business typically slows down enough to allow time to reflect on thoughts and ideas that, while not earth-shaking, might be helpful going forward. Here are three purely random things worth thinking about:
While the Boating Associations of Ohio spars with the Ohio Department of Taxation over the latter’s decision to renege on a decade-old deal with Ohio’s dealers concerning the application of “use tax” (see Tuesday’s Dealer Outlook for details), two Florida associations took on the issue of “sales and use tax” and hit a home run [...]
A recent report that the Ohio Department of Taxation is going back on a deal it made with the marine industry immediately grabbed my attention, because I was the one who agreed to the deal a decade ago. This new dilemma, compared with a similar, though not identical, situation in Florida, gives us a great [...]
The election is settled and Thanksgiving is behind us. It’s the season to be jolly. And jolly it might be if we look at encouraging reports of positive economic activity and consumer attitudes.
“It is absolutely absurd,” NMMA legislative director Jim Currie told the National Marine Trades Council when describing EPA’s recent approval of a model E15 “Misfueling Mitigation Plan” developed by the so-called Renewable Fuels Association.
What a round of meetings last week in the White House about solving the looming “fiscal cliff.” Union leaders came there Tuesday. CEOs from big corporations were invited in on Wednesday (no small businessmen invited). Why, I’ll bet there was even a delegation from Hollywood packed in there one day.
There’s no more time to put off your active support of The Sportsmen’s Act of 2012. The bill (S. 3525) is scheduled to come up for a vote tonight after 5:30 p.m. in the U.S. Senate.
If you’re looking for some optimism in our industry, there was plenty of it at the National Marine Trades Council’s two-day meeting, which wrapped up Monday in Orlando.
There’s good news these days from the industry’s Discover Boating national campaign. A report on this year’s results will be discussed this weekend in Orlando at the annual meeting of the National Marine Trades Council. Then, attendees at the 2012 Marine Dealer Conference and Expo that opens Monday will get a first look at the [...]
I suspect that there isn’t a dealer alive who doesn’t take pleasure in any opportunity to talk about their company and its products. It can have a positive influence on a listener’s perception of the firm. But, as good as that is, it pales in comparison to a customer sharing his or her experience with [...]
The U.S. Postal Service has been losing about $42 million per day ($11.6 billion this year). It recently defaulted on a $5.5 billion payment for retiree health benefits. In spite of a penny increase in postage this year, it will still lose big bucks next year.
“We feel you had to wait too long for your lunches, so they will be free,” our waitress, Maggie, told us as she refilled our beverages and cleared plates. “Wow, that’s a surprise,” my friend Chuck said to her.
I caught the debate Monday night between Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama. For me, it was sort of a yawner. That is, until the President blurted out “it will not happen,” referring to the coming automatic cuts known as sequestration.
The fight to reverse the EPA’s waiver allowing E15 hasn’t been lost despite the disappointing court decision in August.
Is an educated boater more confident at the helm? Is he or she more likely to use the boat more often and go farther? Are they more prone to stay in boating and even buy up? Are there many current boaters that would respond to more education and training if available?
Fishing isn’t just for men anymore. For the first time in several years, fishing gained more participants than it lost and it’s primarily because of women taking up the sport.
We’re not getting any complaints so we must be doing things right … right? Not so fast, according to Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas, co-authors of “Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business and Influence Others.” Sobel is recognized as a leading authority on the strategies and skills needed to earn customer loyalty.
From all accounts, last week’s International BoatBuilders Exhibition and Conference produced another strong showing as one of the industry’s two biggest educational events. Next up from Nov. 11-14 is the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla.
I couldn’t believe it. I was rounding the aisle in a Target store when there it was: a whole section of Christmas decorations. It made me stop and ask myself: what month is this? It’s only October and I haven’t even taken my grandsons trick-or-treating yet (and help them eat all be best candy they [...]
It might not be by design, but during the last few years it seems like the NMMA’s Tampa Boat Show has become the event where new ideas are paraded out to gauge public response. And last weekend was no exception.
Customer-loyalty schemes have probably been around forever. I grew up with the S&H Green Stamps program — remember that one? Participating retailers rewarded customers with stamps that we carefully pasted into booklets. When we got enough booklets filled, we traded them in at a redemption center for a variety of goodies.
The Great Lakes water levels might be dropping, but the level of resentment over increased random boardings of pleasure boats on Ohio’s waters has apparently hit a record high. The result is a call to the Ohio General Assembly for a change in the law.
When we’re buying something, we like to think that we’re logical creatures. Sorry, but most of our decisions are not based on a logical process at all.
“No Fishing” signs are popping up more frequently than ever as the National Marine Fisheries Service has identified so-called “overfished” saltwater stocks, albeit using mostly unreliable science.
Have you ever asked yourself that question? That assumes, in the first place, you are already a member of a national and/or state marine trade association.
Last Thursday, I urged getting behind a petition under consideration at the Environmental Protection Agency to reform the Renewable Fuels Standard. It prompted some great dialogue, as the subject of ethanol always does. And while there was some disagreement about any real environmental benefits from ethanol, there was full agreement that it can destroy hundreds [...]
So we think we have problems with E10 and E15? How does E30 or E40 grab you? It’s certainly being kicked around at the Environmental Protection Agency, according to Marine Retailers Association of the Americas’ Washington-based lobbyist Larry Innis.
The International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition and Conference ain’t what it used to be.
If you tune into the Republican National Convention tonight, you’ll likely hear a call to reduce taxes — something we all might like to see happen. Will it? Perhaps. But there are potential tax increases that aren’t getting much attention.
Tuning into the incredibly negative political campaigns these days reminds me of the game rock-paper-scissors i.e. economy up, economy down — who really knows?
Can a salesperson lose a good prospect without saying a single negative word? Absolutely.
NMMA president Thom Dammrich calls the court’s decision on the industry’s suit against the EPA’s E15 waivers “disappointing.” That’s because he’s too much of a gentlemen to call it what it really is — a freakin’ cop-out.
We’re in business to sell things. I get that. But giving things away can be an important part of a good marketing plan for every marine dealer.
If you think that because you’re a small business, hackers won’t seek your data, consider this: a hacker can steal bank account and/or credit card information from your computer, package it with similar information from a hundred or more other small businesses and sell it on the black market for big bucks.
Would you like to lose some customers? Perhaps I can help. If you’d like to watch a customer’s face turn red and smoke come from his ears, here are three surefire suggestions that will likely have him heading out the door at warp speed to the dealer down the street:
Gotta love Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa. He’s drawing the attention of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals away from fish and onto cows.
The decision to step up the industry’s Discover Boating campaign to appeal to a more diverse prospect base was reinforced with the announcement that Asian immigrants have surpassed Hispanics for the first time in U.S. history.
There’s no other way to look at it: boating in California has taken a huge hit. And it should sound an alarm in other states where boating programs funded solely by boaters could be raided and diverted.
When I first started writing Dealer Outlook, I practically had to look up the meaning of “blog.” I recall that I told the Trade Only editors I’d give it a try for a couple of months to see how it worked out. That was five years ago this month.
Are large banks safer than small community banks? Should the Federal Reserve adopt Britain’s new plan for small-business lending?
When Grow Boating president Carl Blackwell predicted in February that the industry’s Discover Boating campaign could get 500,000 fans on Facebook this year, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one in the room who was thinking “that’s a reach.” Oh, me of little faith.
In our lifetime, there has been no technological advancement that’s made our business life more efficient than the computer. Our record-keeping is streamlined. Our access to knowledge is unparalleled. Our communication accelerated. Our responses to inquiries can be automated. We can even be “open” around the clock and don’t need an employee manning the counter [...]
I read Flying magazine. No, I’m not a pilot. I’ve just always been fascinated by airplanes. But this month, I found an unexpected parallel between flying and boating.
The long-awaited transportation bill emerged from a House/Senate Conference Committee last Thursday. In order to get it passed and signed by President Obama by a Friday deadline, the House waived its three-day “reading requirement” and the 599-page bill, with whatever the conferees decided to put in it, became law.
As we approach the midpoint of the traditional summer boating season, a tip of the hat to the National Safe Boating Council on their newest safe boating public service video.
I wasn’t really familiar with the term “psychographics,” until my daughter, Kristin DeGraff, a consumer insight analyst at Pepsi, told me it’s good information if I want to speak the right language to the right people. I also realized it might provide valuable insights for members on our dealership sales teams. So I looked into [...]
The last time Congress passed a long-term transportation bill was in 2004. It expired in 2009 and, since then, Congress has kept programs going through a series of nine short-term extensions with the current three-month extension set to expire Saturday night.