Down-season: How to Audit and Strengthen Your Marina’s Fine Points
In copywriting, a simple mistak is the difference between a credible piece of writing and one easily dismissed.
See what I did there?
A marina that isn’t tightened up like a piece of copy may get away with it, or that small inaccuracy may be the factor that tips a potential customer over to signing a slip contract with your neighbor. As we move deeper into fall, a helpful exercise can be to assess where your marina has weak points in the little things and take action to strengthen them. The time spent will reflect in a customer’s appreciation for your care and respect for your dedication to maintaining a sharp business presentation.
Here are a few of the “fine points” a marina manager can address in the fall down-season to self-assess and strengthen their marina’s brand credibility.
Update your online profiles.
Marinas who utilize a hands-on marketing service (like Hammer & Nail) can simply forward their updates to their marketing team. Managers who are doing it themselves – this is an activity that can be done once or twice a year, takes only a few minutes, and the slower fall season is a great time to do it.
Check your Yelp profile, your Marinas.com profile, your Facebook – any active profiles that represent your business hours and amenities are open for review. Perhaps you changed your hours nine months ago and your office is now open until five p.m. instead of six. But it hasn’t been updated. Many marinas don’t recognize that their information is stored in scores of databases, and marinas can assess where they need to update their current info by using a local business listings audit report. There are many SEO audit tools with a simple but comprehensive interface, and some, like BrightLocal, offer a free trial. If you’re looking for something a little more robust check out MOZ Local Listing Checker.
An alternative scenario might be that you’re under-selling a facet of the business. You may have opened up a pair of Airbnb rooms two months ago, but this doesn’t currently reflect on a Marinas.com profile or your website. Or you expanded your berth capacity by building new docks, or a barbecue pit food truck has set up shop directly next to your marina property.
Assessing your public image for accuracy and amplifying fine points will help to build trust with your clientele and optimize future income.
Complete a marina deep clean.
Many organizations like the Ocean Conservancy hold community cleanup events in the fall that coincide with the off-season. A shoreline littered with plastic bottles and cigarette boxes is like a playground with a used needle under the sliding board. Customers respond positively to an environment that is clean, safe, and feels like a place where they’d want to make a memory.
On the micro level, a marina deep clean doesn’t have to look like an expansive public event. It can be as simple as cleaning out the staff room refrigerator and changing out the can of Maxwell House that expired in 2019. A well-kept environment builds morale and pride for you and your staff.
Send out a boater survey.
A marina can assess where they can improve for the upcoming year with an end-of-year boater survey. It builds trust with your clients and shows that you care about striving for excellence in service, as well as providing you with feedback straight from the people closest to your business – your tenants.
A manager can use a free survey tool like Google Forms to put together a brief survey or engage on a more personal level with direct text messaging. We published a deep dive on the benefits of direct text messaging here.
It’s assessment time.
We’ll call it a marina self-audit – a time of reflection. The marine industry is ever-shifting, as seen right now with more electric boats on the water than ever before and a recreational boating community that has grown by $60 billion in economic activity over the past five years, according to the NMMA.
You might feel satisfied to look over this year’s sales and see the increase in ice, fuel, and bait. Or you might have two empty garage units out in the parking lot just waiting to be turned into lucrative Airbnb rentals. However you choose to assess, there’s a common theme:
A marina that explores areas of potential growth is a marina that thrives.
Article by Hammer and Nail Marketing
WHAT IS HAMMER & NAIL?
Hammer and Nail Marketing is a boutique marketing firm that helps small to mid-sized marinas get noticed by boaters. If you’d like to focus on operating your marina without the additional responsibility of marketing, get in touch with us.
We’re boaters ourselves from a background of operating a family-run marina. From a group of experts who know the water, let Hammer and Nail Marketing help you be the waterfront your local boaters see every time they cast off.
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