In 2013, The National Marine Manufacturers Association reported that “the recreational boating industry has a total economic impact of $121.5 billion in the U.S. annually”. According to the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, in 2014 Charleston County alone had 5,600,000 visitors. Now in 2015 with South Carolina leading the nations economy, experts are predicting a record year for tourism in the lowcountry, and charter captains across the nation are preparing for the upcoming season. Here are a few tips for making sure your charter business is as watertight as your boat.
- Get your marketing plan moving. Consumers are taking advantage of the internet and they want to know what they are purchasing. Update your webpage and social media with current pictures and rate plan. Include the make and model of your boat as well as any credentials or affiliations.
- Be efficient and make the most of what you have available. The integration of technology into your business can make your life easier in many ways. Modern cell phones can send and receive email, browse the internet and have a multitude of applications that are designed to help you with your business.
- Create a schedule. Review and know your availability several months in advance. Have a system for scheduling and booking clients planned out so that when the first call comes in, you won’t be writing stuff down on a cocktail napkin.
- Be able to accept credit cards. Cash transactions are becoming a thing of the past because of the convenience that electronic transactions create. Being able to hold a credit card number also creates payment security for you as a business owner.
- Be proactive and stay updated. Learn about current industry trends, latest technology and available resources. Find a credible source of information and sign up for a newsletter. Contact your state or local officials and ask to receive notifications of changes in local regulations.
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