Raising prices is always tricky. We want fair prices for our products and services, but we don’t want to lose customers as a result. It makes for worrisome decisions for all dealers. So when and how do we do it?
The United States Power Squadrons has taught more than 4 million boaters during the last 99 years, but that number is expected to rapidly increase when a new, soon-to-be-announced program begins this spring. Moreover, the value of the Power Squadrons to marine dealers will become more evident, too.
The announcement by the National Marine Manufacturers Association that Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., will join Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., as co-chairs of the Congressional Boating Caucus was welcomed news. It’s timely, then, to look at what the caucus means to all of us in the […]
“Those guys are kicking our butts,” Ed McKnew said to me last week, citing the fact that the RV industry appears to be doing much better in its recovery than the marine industry.
As already reported, the Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail was another success and the Detroit Boat Show that runs until this Sunday racked up a very big first weekend.
A recent email from MarineMax reminded me that the time is now for dealers to plan customer events during the upcoming boating season. In this case, MarineMax was promoting a trip for its trailer-boating customers to Mount Dora in Florida and an antique boat show. MarineMax puts a lot of stake in its customer events […]
Key boat shows at opposite ends of the country — one up north in the Great Lakes’ second biggest market of Detroit, and two monsters in Miami that cover everything the industry has to offer — will open doors today and Saturday and give us a pretty clear indication of just what to expect for […]
What do housing prices, gourmet coffees and boat sales have in common? They all recorded gains in 2012.
“It’s sure not fun anymore.” Sadly, I’ve often heard that during this recession, from dealers to salespeople to association directors. All agree they once were having fun. But, the length and depth of this downturn seems to have pounded the fun out of them.
It’s not the lack of rain, snow or ice cover that has the Great Lakes Small Harbors Coalition “making noise.”
In what should have been the ruling in the lawsuit against E15 mandates, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has finally called out the Environmental Protection Agency for using “an unreasonable exercise of agency discretion.”
It’s called the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s not surprising. If you have, but you’re really not sure what it does, no surprise there either. That’s because this organization “quietly” goes about its work, calling little attention to itself while doggedly pursuing a goal of bringing more people […]
I spent last weekend at the Cleveland Boat Show and watched it swell with visitors. For the first time in 65 years, the show was cut from 10 days to a 5-day event, but the 10-day attendance figures still poured in.
“Play the game, not the score.”
In case you missed it, there’s good news from the National Marine Bankers Association. It recently reported increased loan activity for 2012 through the third quarter, with 92 percent of those reporting expecting the final quarter will prove the same or better than a year ago.
“It was insanity. We are at a record pace,” said Mark Biasco of Munson Ski & Marine, describing the Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show.
If you see the attendance numbers (down 19 percent) at the New York Boat Show last weekend as a bad indicator of the industry’s show season ahead, you’re missing the real picture. Facts support our expectation that the shows will see improved results in 2013.
Now that the media frenzy about the deal to avoid the fiscal cliff has calmed down, details of the bill are being discovered. After all, who reads a 1,800-page bill before voting for it these days.
“Give one hour of your time (or contribute $10 dollars) and join us in packaging 100,000 holiday meals,” the sign read in the service department at Crown Automotive Group.
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.