Finding a location to operate your business might be one of the most important decisions you make early on. Not sure about the best formula for logistics behind it? Tune in to find about the tips on how to do this!
Hey everyone and welcome to the Weekly Wave Podcast presented by WaveRez. My name is Greg Fisher and today we’ll be talking about how to find a location for your watersport business.
Finding a location to operate your business might be one of the most important decisions you make early on. Before you take any other factors into consideration, think about how long you plan on running your business for. If you plan on growing every year, you might want to consider a location that has the ability to expand. If the marina you operate out of is limited on space, you might be in a position where you’ll either have to buy out your neighbors lease, or open up a second location at another marina. Keep in mind that many destinations are limited on the amount of space due to the difficulty of opening up a marina. So again, have a plan beforehand so your future growth is not in jeopardy.
Next, don’t let the cost of the lease be the ultimate factor in your decision. Consider what the lease includes, and where it’s located. For example, you might find a location that provides cheaper fuel, and is near an area with higher traffic for walk up business, but the lease is twice the amount of the marina next door that nobody knows about. It’s likely that the marina that is more popular with cheaper fuel will be the better investment over the duration of the lease. When visiting each location, I recommend creating a spreadsheet that has the following criteria: lease cost, slip size, fuel cost, duration of the lease, additional fees, customer traffic, number of direct competitors, proximity to no-wake zones, and proximity to the pass or main points of interest. When visiting each location, jot down all of the information you gather and compare and contrast them. You might find that the location that has the highest slip cost might be the best value when all factors are considered.
There are also some intangibles that not every operator thinks about when choosing their location. I highly recommend meeting the owner or general manager of the marina and ask what their vision is. If your business goals and objectives are not in line, I’d suggest looking elsewhere. For example, if the marina manager makes negative comments about jet skis and you plan on offering jet ski rentals, your lease might be short lived. You want management to be excited about your business, and look at your operation as a positive contribution, not a nuisance. Another intangible is the concentration of similar operators at the same marina. I recommend finding a location that has an even spread of different operators. Not only will it allow you to build collaborative relationships with your neighbors, but you won’t be forced to play the low price game.
The last thing I wanted to mention is that just because you can’t find a location, this doesn’t mean you should give up. Many watersport operators actually operate remotely. This means you’ll meet your customers at boat ramps or homes to deliver the equipment. Although this is a lot more physically demanding, it might be the only option you’ll have in the beginning. And if you don't have a lot of equipment to start with, It might be the best option financially. Be sure to check with your city and county regarding commercial activity at private or public boat ramps. If you operate without the proper credentials, you could face fines or even get sued if your customers are hurt.
I hope you enjoyed this show and gained some valuable knowledge. Finding a location is one of the most important decisions you’ll make, so take your time, and don’t rush it.
If you thought this podcast was helpful, hit that like button and share. We appreciate all your comments and questions on social media. We also appreciate you reviewing the Weekly Wave on your favorite podcast app. Again, I’m Greg Fisher, and thanks for listening to the Weekly Wave.
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