secrets of running a successful boating business

secrets of running a successful boating business

boats on the river Thames

Are you tired of the office jobs and boring life? If the inland waterways have always been your passion, consider opening up a boating business. Sadly, things aren't as simple as seen in movies. There are numerous challenges you’ll face along the way, but that shouldn’t discourage you from pursuing your dreams!

Be the captain of your career, start your boating business and make it successful with these 5 tips. That's how you'll be able to spend every day on the water and get paid for it! So, if you want to make office employees envious of you, here's how to start a boating business.

Business plan and finances

No matter how experienced you are in business, having a plan you’ll follow throughout your journey is essential. Take regular planning on another level. Outline some of the main objectives which will help you achieve the wanted success. This business plan differs from regular plans as it includes expenses you need to cover.

Even though each business comes with investments, boating business requires a list of expenses, such as maintenance, boat payment, insurance, gas, and equipment. According to that, you need to calculate how much you need to charge to make a profit. However, be careful as you can't predict how many customers you'll have!

river boat

Legal issues and licenses

Just like any other organization, you need to get your boating business registered. However, what makes the boating business different is the sole type of business you're starting. You'll need to obtain numerous licences and take care of any legal issues before you head with your passengers to the open waters. So, what kinds of licences do you need?

Firstly, you need to be a licenced captain to sail a boat. Also, your vessel needs to be registered for commercial use. Be careful about the water jurisdictions you plan on travelling to. Depending on the type of boating activities you opt for, you’ll need various licenses as well. For instance, you’ll need a fishing license in case you want to take your customers fishing in the open waters.

Target market and customers

The previous two steps aren't enough if you plan on running a boating business. Customers don't just appear out of nowhere, you need to attract them and spark their interest in your services. So, is there a better way to do so than by researching the target market and your customers?

This part may seem boring, too entrepreneurial, or unnecessary, however, if you want to succeed, you'll need to know your target market and audience extremely well. What moves them? What makes them stop and say wow? Your business needs to induce all kinds of feelings to gain profit. So, promote your business, research the market, your competition, and your customers to create a marketing strategy that will make your business a true success!

narrowboat on canal

Suitable employees and organization

One of the main differences between a successful business and a miserable failure is the quality crew. Finding employees who have the same passion for boats, inland waterways, and wind as you do is quite rare. Therefore, once you find the perfect crew for your boat, treat them well as they are a hidden treasure berried deep beneath the sea.

Even though you may have experienced crew, they still need to keep your businesses organized. So, assign them clear tasks and provide them with distinct guidelines to follow. You can use various apps and platforms that will keep them informed and in touch. Find out more here about such tools to help your business succeed.

Location and docking

Location can be crucial when it comes to boating business success. Who would want to go far away to a boat ride, when there’s a perfectly fine boat right here? When it comes to docking, don’t try to be original. Pick a place where tourists flock. That’s the best way to become profitable and keep your business running!

Think about the finances here as well. Most docks will offer a discount for long-term leasing contacts. So, instead of renting month by month, choose a long-term plan. Also, don't change your location too often. Once tourists and customers get used to your location, finding you in another dock may become a burden!

Wrapping up

As a boat lover, opening up your business is a dream come true. Even though you'll face certain challenges along the way, you'll easily overcome them by following these steps and tips. Now you can merrily enjoy your boat while sailing into the sunset!

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About Lilly Miller

Lilly Miller is a freelance writer, who focuses on the latest business trends, commercial design, and environmental issues. She also loves to experiment on daring new home decor trends and write about it as a regular contributor to Smooth Decorator. Settled in Sydney for the time being, Lilly shares home with two loving dogs and a gecko named Rodney. You can find her hanging out on Twitter.