You’re closed. Here’s how to make effective use of that time
So, you’ve had to close your marina, albeit temporarily.
It sucks. And, while there may undoubtedly be much worse things going on in the world, if your business has to temporarily close by order of the government, law or those above you, it’s entirely justified to be concerned.
Thankfully, there are a number of things you can do during the downtime to ensure your business sees it through financially and is ready for what will hopefully be a significant upturn in customers when your doors finally reopen.
Things will get better, even if, at the moment, it feels like certain doom is the only thing on the cards for your business.
Providing you have some liquidity and support from the local government (history tells us they’ll often step in at times of crisis), you simply need to remind yourself that there’s going to be a big comeback in the very near future.
A positive mindset will see you through and, crucially, help you keep things in perspective.
Get on top of that admin
You’ve been putting it off for ages, but now is the time to finally make a dent in the admin that’s piling up.
Remember that to-do list? You know, the one that’s forever growing but with which you never seem to make any progress? Go grab it and start working from the top – today.
Accounting tasks, website updates, smaller marketing jobs; use the time you have now to do the things you don’t usually have time for.
Revisit your business plan
Business plans should be living, breathing documents that evolve as businesses mature. Unfortunately, most are left to simply fester after an initial bout of enthusiasm.
Now that you have more time on your hands, why not dig out your business plan and give it a thorough review?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Have you achieved your goals?
- Has the business stayed true to its original mission?
- What has changed in the market and among your customer base?
Revisiting a business plan after a few years of operation is a fascinating task. It’ll remind you of forgotten goals, give you inspiration for new goals and remind you of how far you’ve come.
Stay in touch with your customers
One of the most important tasks during a period of enforced closure is ensuring your customers know that you’re still in business.
You can do this a couple of ways:
- continue to send out your email newsletters or direct customer communication (keep the content upbeat and indicative that you have every intention of reopening soon); and
- stay active on social media.
The latter is particularly important. In order to show the world that you still mean business, keeping the narrative going on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (just to name a few social networks) will ensure your brand doesn’t disappear without trace.
Continue team meetings
Even if your team is stationed temporarily at home, you can still hold meetings. In fact, you should, because it’s an excellent way to keep their spirits up.
Thankfully, there are numerous ways you can do this. Skype, FaceTime and WhatsApp are common choices and enable people to stay in touch no matter where they are.
Normal team meetings or simple friendly chats might be all that’s needed to keep the team’s motivation levels topped up.
Master your management system
It’s normal that after using a marina management system for so long may lead to you eventually forgetting about certain tools at your disposal. It’s easy to get wrapped up in managing so many daily tasks that some of your system’s features may get neglected over time. To keep you and your team sharp, or simply explore ways to improve, you can always get a refresher in certain areas of your software.
Even if customers stop coming through your doors temporarily, your business doesn’t have to come to a grinding halt.
Treat this as an opportunity. After all, how often do you get the time to finally complete your to-do list, revisit your business plan or spend quality time with the team?
DockMaster Software is an industry leading management system for marinas, boatyards, and boat dealerships. DockMaster includes Unit Sales, Prospecting and F&I with fully integrated financial management and numerous integrations with CRM applications, dealer websites and text/messaging services. The Service module includes estimating, labor tracking, and complete parts management with ordering/receiving, subcontractor fulfillment and invoicing. DockMaster Mobile allows technicians to clock on/off jobs from any mobile device. Visual Marina™ management includes storage & billing, occupancy tracking, reservations and dry stack management, including integrations to leading consumer applications for boat rentals, online reservations, concierge/launch scheduling and our new Fuel Integration with FuelCloud. DockMaster also includes Point of Sale, Order Entry with eCommerce and a complete accounting system. Learn more at www.DockMaster.com and follow DockMaster on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org