You just started a watersport business? Find out how to make sure that you are always afloat by learning why watersports operators fail [and what you can do to prevent it]!
Hey everyone and welcome to the Weekly Wave Podcast presented by WaveRez. My name is Greg Fisher and today we’ll be talking about why some watersports businesses fail, and what you can do to avoid it.
Every business faces both controllable and uncontrollable events which can play a major factor in closing their doors. No matter what, operators that plan, prepare, and take action can make it out of almost any difficult situation. In this podcast we’ll be breaking down events by controllable and uncontrollable since these are the main themes operators face, so let’s begin!
Your lease and your location is not only one of your biggest decisions when you start your business, but also can be something that closes you down if you’re not proactive. This is the first controllable event on our list. Increased competition, rent hikes, and strait cancellation are common with watersport operators. The last thing you want to do is invest heavily in a location where there is no future, or you are at constant risk of losing your spot. Some might say that this is an uncontrollable event, but you can control the outcome by being proactive, and having a great relationship with the management of the marina. Make sure you are negotiating your lease renewal several months in advance, and try to look for longer periods if you feel like you’ll be doing this for a long time. Losing your location can be devastating, and operators that can find another location have to sometimes start over, which after several years is difficult to do. In a future podcast, we’ll be talking more about your lease, including tips on what to look for in a contract, and how to get a great deal, stay tuned.
Another controllable event is the safety of your operation. Although some watersport activities are safer than others, we should not take this for granted. Safety will also be the reason you stay open, because the more incidents you have, the higher chances of your coverage getting dropped. There are several operators that go out of business due to losing their insurance, and many marinas or launch sites will not let you operate without it. In my experience, if your coverage gets dropped, it’s nearly impossible to get it back, especially if you are negligent. The solution is simple. Make sure you have great policies in place, and follow through with them each and every time. Your insurance provider can be a good resource for putting together your safety plan, especially if you use a maritime provider who deals with a lot of the same companies. It’s also a good idea to talk to other operators for advice, which I did quite often for my own business.
Now that we talked about some events that you can control, let’s talk about what you can’t control.
If you have a business near the ocean, or water, it’s likely you’ll be dealing with mother nature’s fury on multiple occasions. Hurricanes have been a major challenge for operators, which can happen at a moments notice. If your marina gets destroyed and there is no other location to move to, this could put a pause or permanent end to your operation. When hurricane Michael came through Panama City Beach in 2018, several operators never opened back up because the city lost more than half of it’s available slip space. There were also operators who didn’t take the precautions necessary for the incoming storm, and lost a majority of their fleet. If you are in an area prone to hurricanes or severe weather events, have a plan b or c. Come up with a recovery plan if you lose your location and your fleet. Talk with the marina manager to get a better idea how they handle these situations. Have a second location in mind in a neighboring city, or see if you can partner up with a competitor. And most of all, put some money away or start creating a relationship with a local banker so you have the resources to build back up. I have found that operators who are prepared in the recovery phase come back stronger than ever.
We appreciate you taking the time to join us today as we discussed why operators might fail, and what you can do to avoid it. And if you do fail, don’t give up! It’s true that Failure does make us better entrepreneurs, and I personally attest to that.
If you thought this podcast was helpful, hit that like button and share with your network. We appreciate all your comments and questions on social media. Again, I’m Greg Fisher, and thanks for listening to the Weekly Wave.
Thank you for tuning into the Weekly Wave presented by WaveRez! Please share your comments and feedback by connecting with us on social media. If you’re looking for an industry leading reservation software, schedule your free demo today at WaveRez.com. And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more news and feature updates. Catch you next time!