The MRAA Guide to Onboarding

Explanations, directions, checklists, links, and resources to support the creation of a thorough 4-stage onboarding process for your dealership


Additional Onboarding Resources:

Download 7 Steps to Get Started Onboarding

Download Onboarding Checklists

This guide will arm you with the guidance, strategies and tactics you need to gain confidence and make good decisions to help fuel you and your team’s success.


Not an MRAA Member? Get a Special Preview to Guide to Navigating 2024 here.

As a special feature of this guide, we’ve assembled a dedicated web portal for you with tools and resources related to each of the strategies we recommend so you can take immediate action to apply what you’re learning.

Some of those tools and resources are available to all MRAA Retail Members. Others are only available to MRAA’s Silver or Gold Members.

Guide to Common Workplace Challenges

An engaged staff is one that is motivated, customer-focused, happy to be at work, and committed to their company. These employees are more productive, loyal, and less likely to leave.

Does your dealership thrive in all the above areas? Find out how you stack up against others!

Download this Certification Mini Guide to Common Workplace Culture Challenges that includes solutions to the top 3 workplace culture challenges.


Guide to Fraud Detection & Prevention in the Marine & Powersports Industries

You need to be aware of potential threats to your dealership. The advent of technology has contributed to an increase in the sophistication of identity fraud. Without the proper tools and training, you could end up wasting time and losing money on thieves instead of investing in your business.

We’ve partnered with 700Credit, an MRAA Education Champion, to help your team identify and combat the types of fraud most likely to affect your dealership today. “Fraud Detection and Prevention in the Marine & Powersports Industry,” will provide your team with preventative solutions so you can mitigate risk and avoid hits to your company’s profitability.


Marine Dealer Guide to Optimizing Your Google Business Profile

Your dealership simply can’t afford not to have a great Google Business Profile. This guide gives you easy steps and helpful checklists to get your profile in shape to increase leads — and increase sales!

Google Business Profiles are an outstanding source of quality organic traffic for your website. Quickly optimize the most important aspects of your Google Business Profile using insights from this new guide.


This guide is an extension of MRAATraining and Dealer Week 2022 Course, “Why Aren’t We Doing That? The Low Hanging Fruit of Digital Advertising” with Octane Marine’s Tim Schmidt.

MRAA Silver & Gold Members Only:

Not a Silver Member? Become one today!

Guide: Test Your Dealership’s Readiness for Peak Season

When customers start rolling into your parking lot or pulling up to your dock, you want to provide the best experience possible right out of the gate, whether you are making a first impression on a prospective buyer or welcoming an old friend to a new boating season.


Guide to ABC Scenario Planning

A tool to prepare your dealership for the future in uncertain times, the MRAA “A Guide to ABC Scenario Planning” by Kendall Rawls (The Rawls Group: A key Partner in the MRAA Succession Planning Toolkit) helps your team gain confidence to successfully navigate and prepare for a range of different scenarios.


Guide: Dealership Owners – Time for a Mid-Season Checkup

This free, five-page MRAA mini-guide provides you with some direction and topics for doing your own mid-season checkup at your dealership. Writer John Spader and the Spader Business Management Team, explore the topics of Your Budget, Your Inventory, Your Cash Position, Your Delivery Process and Your Family, and the key questions surrounding each.


Guide: Mastering the Interview at Your Dealership

Great management begins with hiring great people. And it is this skill – recruiting and hiring great people – that can turn your business from an also-ran to market leader. A critical element in bringing this to life is found in-between recruiting and hiring in the oh-so-crucial skill of interviewing. This free MRAA mini-guide on hiring and interviewing has been real-world tested, as it is largely built on the process use by our team here at MRAA.


Guide: Dealership Valuation

MRAA’s “Guide to Dealership Valuation” is a 10-page guide designed to help marine retailers, like you, understand the factors that drive dealership valuation. The sooner you know the true value of your dealership, the sooner you can work toward aligning it with your long-term goals for success and succession.


Guide: How to Build a Pre-Qualification Program

Adding a pre-qualification program as part of your dealership’s consumer financing strategy can deliver better results for you and your customer. That’s why MRAA partnered with 700Credit LLC to share their expertise in this step-by-step guide. Not only does it provide best practices that any dealer can learn from, but for those interested in building a pre-qualification program, it also spells out exactly how to put one in place.


Guide: Staffing Your Sales Department

Different dealerships have different philosophies and ideas about the optimum number of salespeople needed to staff a marine dealership. The MRAA Guide: Staffing Your Sales Department was created to help retailers debunk sales staffing myths that may limit future business growth.


Guide to Creating a Compliance Process

MRAA’s “Guide to Creating a Compliance Process” is a 30-plus page publication to ensure that marine retailers have the information, tools and processes in place to protect their businesses, team and customers.


Guide: Why Your Dealership Needs and Org. Chart

Being great at workforce recruitment and retention often comes back to mastery of the basics: things like creating crystal clarity for your employees about what success looks like and how to work with your team to achieve it. This can be made easier by developing some simple resources like job descriptions, an employee handbook, and yes … a dealership organizational chart. The MRAA Guide was authored by Valerie Ziebron of VRZ Consulting.


Guide to Boat Show Success

The MRAA Guide to Boat Shows will walk you through how to have a successful show season, whether your show is in-person or online.


Marine Industry Guide to Growing the Workforce

MRAA worked closely with the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association to develop this 10+1 Strategy guide. It includes local initiatives you can consider in developing your workforce.


2023 revised MRAA Operation: Keep Your Customers Boating Guide

Guide to World Class Customer Experience – Keep Your Customers Boating

With 50 pages of best practices, strategies, insights, downloadable resources, course recommendations and much, much more, this Operation: Keep Your Customers Boating publication is the boating industry’s go-to guide for boat dealers to use in an effort to ensure a world-class customer experience. Revised for 2023.


Guide: 7 Things Every Dealer Needs to Know About Succession Planning

Succession planning is an essential topic for owners – whether they just acquired the business, they’re preparing to exit it or they’re somewhere in between. And it’s even MORE essential to consider when times are tough or the outlook becomes uncertain.


Guide to Opening your Boat Business Safely

This 58-page guide walks dealers, marina operators and boatyard owners through running your business safely under new COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines.


Ultimate Guide to Dealer Solutions

The MRAA’s Ultimate Guide to Dealer Solutions was produced to showcase the all the tools, resources and education that the MRAA has available help support the marine retail community.


Guide to Phone Skills

The Guide to Phone Skills was developed, in conjunction with the Marine Industry Certified Dealership program, to provide marine retailers with tips on hiring and training staff members, auditing a dealership’s phone responses, advice on scripting calls, and how to market a phone number.


Guide: Job Descriptions that Amp Up Productivity

Job Descriptions That Amp Up Productivity was developed, in conjunction with the Marine Industry Certified Dealership program, to empower employers to craft internal and external job descriptions that create a more productive, accountable and satisfying work environment.


Guide to Apprenticeship

The Guide to Apprenticeship was created by MRAA education team to provide marine retailers a step-by-step manual on how to design, recruit for and evaluate an apprenticeship program for marine dealership’s service department.


Guide to Realign Your Website

Realign Your Website was created by MRAA, in partnership with Dominion Domains. This guide was designed to help marine retailers set goals and clearly define the ultimate purpose of their website.


Boatline Email Marketing Guide

Getting Started With Email Marketing

From MRAA Education Champion Boatline comes this 12-page guide on email marketing. This guide provides your dealership with everything you need to know to engage your customers digitally.


Guide to Building a Foundation for Accountability

MRAA Guide to Building a Foundation for Accountability leads dealers through the fundamentals of developing a culture in which employees are held accountable for fulfilling their responsibilities and meeting their goals.


Defining the Customer Experience: An In-Depth Look at the Ingredients for Pre- and Post-Sale Success

This Guide to Defining the Customer Experience was created by MRAA, in partnership with AVALA,Inc., a Rollick Company. The digital publication seeks to provide marine dealers with a deeper understanding of the basics of delivering a more rewarding customer experience.


Guide to Evaluate Your Website’s Domain, Design and Digital Content

Evaluate Your Website’s Domain, Design and Digital Content was created by MRAA, in partnership with Dominion Domains. This guide was designed to lead marine retailers through the process of evaluating websites in order to identify the areas that could use improvement.


Guide to Customer Relationship Management

This Guide to Customer Relationship Management was created by MRAA in partnership with CDK Global Recreation and DockMaster.


Ultimate Guide to the Pre-Owned Boat Market

The pre-owned boat market represents a $10 billion opportunity that is ripe for helping you build your bottom line. This largely untapped market place can deliver you a competitive advantage, the most unique product line in your territory, and the best possible link to attracting first time boat buyers into your dealership. But there are many questions and hurdles to succeeding in the pre-owned market. MRAA’s Guide to the Pre-Owned Boat Market will help you navigate all of the unknowns and capture the business you deserve.


Guide to Dealership Improvement

This Guide to Dealership Improvement was created by MRAA in partnership with Barletta Boats. It has been designed to fan the flames of dealer’s desire to be the best by exploring why you and your dealership should pursue continuous improvement, what kind of improvement you might pursue, where in the dealership you might pursue it, and how to pursue it to generate the maximum return on your investment of time and money.


Guide to Federal Regulatory Compliance Guide

There are eight federal financial regulations that affect boat dealerships. You’re either compliant with them or you’re not. NOT being compliant could cost you thousands or even millions of dollars — it could cost you your business. And the worst part is that the federal government is ramping up enforcement of these regulations. This incredible 40-plus-page resource will further your understanding of these regulations and help you maintain your compliance.