Provisions and rules under Obamacare that could impact marine dealers and employees continue to be uncovered. For example, we know dealers with less than 50 employees are not required to offer health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
Last week I reported on the success of the industry’s first major fall in-water show at Michigan City, Ind., and, in particular, the sales increase reported by B&E Marine’s Rod Bensz. Here’s some more on how Bensz generated excitement in his exhibit that paid off in sales.
There’s good news for boating in that more than 45,000 lapsed boaters in 19 states returned to boating and reregistered their boats in 2013, according to the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.
If increasing a dealer’s show sales from four last year to 13 boats this time means anything, the Michigan City In-Water Boat Show last weekend signaled that things continue to improve and buyers will respond.
As the Michigan City (Ind.) In-Water Boat Show near Chicago opens today — the first of the major fall in-water shows — the economic news is generally favorable, exhibitors have increased participation, and the expectation is that fall shows will show sales are running high.
Fishing still ranks as the No. 1 boating activity, so when it’s reported that more than 4.5 million newcomers tried fishing last year, it’s good news for the future of boating.
A friend once shared that he went to buy a refrigerator during a “0 percent for 15 months” promotion and got turned down. It seems that a credit bureau had mixed someone else’s bad information in with his. It took more than five months to get it cleared up — and that was fast and […]
The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound has filed a federal lawsuit against the Coast Guard, the latest in a series of suits against federal officials and agencies by groups opposing the planned Cape Wind offshore wind farm at Horseshoe Shoal that will include 130 windmills within sight of the shore.
Selling boats sure ain’t as easy as it once was. Every salesperson who is successful these days has worked harder than ever to close each deal.
If you think the reduction in bank swipe fees from 44 to 21 cents set by the Federal Reserve ended the matter, it didn’t.
The old adage about seeing the glass half-full or half-empty couldn’t be more applicable than it is today. I hope you’re like me and focus on it being half-full.
There has never been a better year for retailers to attend the Marine Dealer Conference and Expo in Orlando, Fla., because there has never been a more extensive choice of educational programs than those being offered this year.
The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation works with numerous groups nationwide, but its biggest alliance ever was made public this morning when RBFF president and CEO Frank Peterson announced a five-year strategic pact with Disney Media Network and Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.
It’s a welcome surprise that the latest attack on the Renewable Fuels Standard mandate was recently launched by the head of Valero Energy Corp, which is the nation’s third largest corn-ethanol producer.
A welcome wave of recent economic signals — record stock prices, soaring home builder confidence, better job prospects and higher-than-expected June retail sales — are reinforcing expectations that the economy continues to grow in ways that can support boat sales.
There hasn’t been much coverage yet of Congress increasing the minimum wage, but it doesn’t mean the idea hasn’t got legs. In fact, it has considerable support, even if the amount of the increases varies depending on the legislator.
We keep our Pursuit at the drystack building at Loggerhead Marina in St. Petersburg, Fla. Loggerhead is a first-class operation with good amenities and an attentive staff.
“Welcome To The Water,” the theme of the current Discover Boating ad campaign, isn’t on nationwide TV yet, but that hasn’t slowed the broad reach and big numbers the campaign is scoring so far this year, revealed in an interim report for fiscal 2013 just sent to the Grow Boating Board members.
People buy when they’re ready to buy . . . not when we’re ready to sell. That doesn’t mean they won’t buy, of course. Many will. But, for the successful salesperson, the goal is to be there — even later — when they do.
Studies by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation show fishing participation increased from 46.2 million to 47 million last year. But within the huge 53-million-strong Hispanic market identified in the U.S. Census, only 1.67 million are reportedly fishing.
Dealers have wanted for years to “level the playing field.” Now, the Marketplace Fairness Act has passed the U.S. Senate and its prospects for becoming law are looking good — or are they?
I pulled into Bob Lee’s Tire Company in downtown St. Petersburg for an oil change and tire rotation. I’d never been there before, but my wife had clipped a discount coupon.
A man stopped to watch a neighborhood Little League game. He asked one of the kids what the score was.
Let’s build a wind farm. We’ll put windmills just offshore of a major city and disfigure the view of a beautiful lake. We’ll see if winter’s ice will knock them over; if they’ll interfere with established commercial shipping lanes. We’ll count the birds getting whacked in the blades. We’ll see if they endanger pleasure boaters […]
Reports coming in from around the country clearly indicate last weekend’s “Welcome To The Water on National Marina Day” was every bit the success that was hoped for by its planners.
If there’s a marine trade association that has run the ball into the end zone for a touchdown, it’s the Northwest Marine Trade Association.
It’s unprecedented. It’s already a success. And it hasn’t actually happened yet.
If you’ve never accepted a Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card from any customer at any time between Jan. 1, 2004 and Nov. 28, 2012, please stop reading the rest of today’s blog. But if you have, you’ll be interested in this:
A new chapter in boater education is set to come online today as the United States Power Squadrons and BoatUS unveil “Partner In Command,” the first in a series of online seminars designed to provide boaters with a convenient way to improve boating knowledge and skills.
Concerns that the Super Bowl would be called for “clipping” the marine industry’s iconic winter boat shows in Miami were benched on Tuesday when the NFL team owners voted to go to a new stadium in San Francisco in 2016 and Houston in 2017.
We’re now in our peak months of selling. While industry sales figures are mixed and somewhat below expectation because of the lousy spring weather in the Midwest, our recovery continues to move forward with increased activity at the dealership level.
It’s as much about the economy as it is the quality of life for a group of concerned Lake Erie stakeholders who are notable for their newly-formed economic interest group called the Lake Erie Improvement Association. And perhaps it’s a good model for others similarly affected.
A well-timed apology to a customer with a problem can save the day. Unless, of course, it ends there.
With representative from all segments of the industry gathered in Washington today for the American Boating Congress, it gives us reason to pause and consider just how boat dealers can really affect what happens to them politically.
We don’t get them because we probably don’t ask for them. We might not always get what we ask for, of course. But if we never ask, we can bet we won’t get what we’re seeking.
Michigan outlawed it. Ohio lawmakers are on course to prohibit it. Arkansas has declared it unconstitutional. If nothing else, the subject of random boarding of the nation’s recreational boaters is finally taking center stage.
We frequently talk about our need in the marine industry to embrace — make that vigorously pursue — diversity for our future growth. If being an industry that’s “inclusive” isn’t a motivator, or if “political correctness” doesn’t spur action, how about recognizing that’s where prospects with money can be found?
Want to keep good employees? Offer good benefits. There’s great truth in that. But the costs continue to rise, pushed mostly by many mandated benefits such as Social Security contributions, Medicare taxes, disability and unemployment insurance (I don’t even want to touch looming healthcare issues).
The playing field might finally be leveling when it comes to taxes on Internet sales, while a renewal fee for documented boats is being sought by the Coast Guard for the first time.
Republicans, Democrats, independents . . . if they’re lawmakers in Washington, it seems they all claim they want to help small businesses. Sounds good.
It seems that fishing is constantly under attack these days. No fishing zones are proliferating. Attempts to ban lead in lures are increasing. Closed seasons based on unscientific data are prevalent. What’s next? Drones watching anglers from above?
I’ve blogged about the importance of good customer service many times. I’ve always focused on the importance of fast response and quick solutions to customers’ problems. However, those factors notwithstanding, could it be that we’re looking at customer service from the wrong direction?
What is the largest demographic segment in U.S. history? Baby boomers.
As we’ve moved into April, the traditional start of our top retail quarter, dealership teams should be pumped by the economic indicators that continue to move in our direction, especially news that Fannie Mae just announced a healthy profit.
There must be several hundred emails in my inbox right now that I haven’t had time to read. Although I think I’ll get to them sometime soon, it probably won’t happen. They’ll just get older until I “clean house” one day without ever reading any of them.
It was a very different world when the idea of turning food into fuel might have seemed sensible. Truth is, it never made sense, except to those who hoodwinked Congress into passing a Renewable Fuel Standard that would pay off big for ethanol producers. Without question, that whole concept has clearly outlived its usefulness.
For those who think Madness only comes in March (hope your NCAA bracket picks are holding up), I have sad news. Madness crops up any time. However, March seems to lead the pack and I’m not talking basketball. Just for some laughs today, check out a couple of random examples:
The headline in a recent edition of USA Today read “Homes are selling lickety-split.” I turned to my wife and said: “Now there’s just one more reason I predict 2013 will be a good year for the boating industry.”
When you participate in WTTW (“Welcome To The Water”) on NMD (National Marina Day) you will have a GWP (Great Weekend Promotion).
Maybe I’m living in the past. I was, many years ago, a PR man in the Johnson Division of OMC (RIP). I remember writing news releases about everything from outboards to the Air-Buoy. (Anyone remember that product? It was neat, but it didn’t sell.)