The question now is how does the owner/operator compete in this environment and coexist with the corporate ownership of marinas? The question is not that difficult to answer as long as the owner/operator has a mind open to change and views himself in a slightly different light. Your role as owner/operator is no different from the hired manager at the corporate-owned marina, with two exceptions. As owner/operator, you have the ability to change operating policy at will. However, you probably do not have the financial resources at your disposal that the hired manager does. The key is how you use these differences to improve your operation.
Entries in 1996 (6)
The following is a six-step, straightforward, systematic approach to making a sound business decisions for your marina. When applied objectively, it achieves the desired results in the least amount of time with the minimum amount of risk.
I have heard presentations and read articles on the attributes of adding dry stacks, or valet boat storage as I refer to it, at marinas as an alternative to increasing berths. The theory behind this is that it is both less expensive and more environmentally sensitive to add racks and move smaller boats into them. Doing that makes slip room available for larger boats and sailboats that can not fit into racks, thus reducing the need to increase the water surface area of the marina. I am not about to challenge that thinking but I do think it is appropriate to look at the economic impact of that decision in order to make an intelligent choice as to whether it is right for your marina.
This article, by Dennis Kissman, was published in Marina Dock Age - July 1996. In recent months, I have worked with a number of clients who are in the process of buying or selling a marina. The one thing they all have in common is that they want to know the value of the real estate and the value of the business. Everyone seems to recognize that the income generated from the business must support the investment in both the real estate and the business.
Whether your marina employs two people or 52 people, their importance to the success of your business should not be underestimated. Every employee wants to respect and look to his employer for direction, and you have an obligation to fulfill that role. The important question for marina operators is, “How do I motivate and retain my employees?”