6 Habits Top Commercial Marina Property Owners Swear By
August 20, 2018
Learn the powerful secrets of the super successful marina owner. Integrate his habits into your marina business and obtain extraordinary success.
How many do you already have in place? Which ones do you need to pick-up?
1. Prudent, realistic planning
It is often said that a failure to plan is a plan for failure. The root cause of nearly every business disaster is mistakenly pursuing short-term goals ahead of long-term ones.
Stop operating season to season and bring the bigger picture into focus.
Most marinas have a tendency to react to yesterday’s problems but top performing marinas keep their focus on the 10-year horizon. Sure, they fix problems when they come up, but they don’t let the little things distract their focus from the big picture.
A solid, long-term plan will help you maintain focus on your goals rather than on any minor setbacks. It will also help keep you organized and on task.
2. Commitment to long-term property health
Nobody wants to pay slip fees at a marina that is outdated and falling apart. Even the best quality facilities require maintenance and periodic refreshment.
Marina owners who take measures to intelligently enhance and improve their facilities on a year-to-year basis effectively safeguard their businesses against the impact of a recession.
3. Sound financial management
Don’t believe the lie that avoiding spending money is the same as good financial management. It is important to know when to save money, but equally important is knowing when to spend or invest it.
Research shows staying relevant is the single most important thing a marina can do to keep their current tenants happy and to attract new ones.
Top marinas know this and strategically reinvest in their facilities and amenities. This doesn’t mean you have to add new amenities to stay relevant. It is just as much about keeping your existing amenities in top condition.
Those who neglect their docks in an effort to keep slip fees low or to grow short-term profits will find they have initiated a long, slow death spiral.
4. Invest in the long term
You’ve heard it before, and I’m going to say it again – Property should be treated as a long-term investment. There is really no better way to maximize your profits and avoid losses.
When you adopt short-termism you expose yourself to potential losses due to high entry and exit costs.
5. Consideration of location
Location is a key element of marinas. We all know in real estate the three most important things are location, location and location.
With marinas, the nature of the marina must fit its location and be market sensitive. What many marina owners and operators often fail to recognize, is that a marina’s mission and target market can shift over time.
What once was predominately a sailboat market may now be a market full of pleasure cruisers and mini-yachts. Or, maybe, a market once defined by a high population of transient boaters is now dominated by individuals looking for permanent moorage.
Whatever the shift, the important thing is to be aware of changes taking place. Be open to the idea that you many need to adjust your operations to meet the current day market.
6. Set high expectations
A prevailing question at top marinas is “how can we do this better?” Adopt that attitude and your marina will be positioned to succeed.
Develop a program to convert ideas for enhancements and improvements into actions. Good intentions are not enough; build accountability into the equation.
A clearly defined road map will break your ideas down into manageable steps and lead you straight to your end game.
What are your short, intermediate and long-term goals? Do you have a capital improvement plan?
If you don’t know where to start, a facility condition assessment of your marina is an important first step. A condition assessment will provide you with the hard data you need to develop a capital improvement and strategic operational plan.
Learn from those who have done it already and take the first step in positioning your marina business for extraordinary success.