Reassess Your Plans for the Second Half

You are officially on the back half of 2022. Chances are this year has been different than what you expected. So how will you adjust in the second half of the year to hit and exceed your goals — and successfully prepare for 2023?

It is time for a quick reassessment. MRAA’s Spotlight on “change” and “adaptability” can help.

Bookmark this page now, and check in regularly to see what blogs, vlogs, resources, courses, and more are here to guide you as you adapt to the disruption and uncertainty facing your dealership and the market. We have tools and insight to help you manage:


   • Change throughout the dealership
   • Change in the workforce
   • Change in new and preowned sales
   • Change in service, parts & accessories
   • Change in the customer

You can know which resources you have membership access to by referencing the FREE « BRONZE+ « SILVER+ « OR GOLD+ « next to each resource title. If you have questions about your membership level contact Sherri Cuvala at sherri@mraa.com or 763-333-2420.

CHANGE THROUGHOUT THE DEALERSHIP 

John Augustine, Huntington Private Bank and Matt Gruhn, MRAA.

Dealer Conversations: Augustine on Economic Indicators to Watch

This month’s Dealer Conversations, MRAA President Matt Gruhn talks with John Augustine, the Chief Investment Officer at Huntington Private Bank. This discussion explores changes in the industry and key economic topics to look out for as a Marine Dealer and more. You can also download a free resource from Huntington Private Bank/MRAA “5 Macro Items We Are Watching” related to this video below. 

MRAA Resource: A Guide to ABC Scenario Planning – BRONZE+ « 
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.

DEALER WEEK: Prepare Your Dealership for the Disruption Ahead, by Sam Dantzler, Wheelhouse College 
The past two to three years have presented you and your team with a number of disruptions. It’s now clear that while some areas of your business may have returned to normal, others have not and will not, and new disruptions are likely ahead. That why we’re inviting you and your team to join us and Sam at Dealer Week this December to:

• Discover what market and dealership data to watch to prepare for 2023;
• Create a personalized dashboard for your store;
• Learn three triggers for change execution;
• And gain insight into three areas to begin working on immediately.

ARTICLE: 11 Tips to Prepare You for What’s Ahead
By Liz Walz

Like most marine business owners, you’ve weathered your share of ups and downs, but you’ve been “up” for a while. With uncertainty ahead, caused by continued supply chain disruption, inflation, rising gas prices, continued workforce challenges, war and now talk of a possible recession, there is discussion about what’s next. Here are 11 tips to help you prepare, regardless of what floats your way.

Prepare Your Dealership to Satisfy This New FTC Rule 
MRAA Vice President Liz Walz wrote a short article about why it’s important for your dealership to be compliant with the new FTC Safeguards Rule. MRAA Education Champion 700Credit has provided a free two-page resource that will help you better understand your needs and next steps.

Trade Only Column by Matt Gruhn: The Other Side of the COVID Bubble
The mood among boat dealers is shifting. Two years on from the historic, Covid-fueled rise in demand for boats, the tide is beginning to turn. Catch up on marine insights and industry trends with Matt Gruhn in his Soundings Trade Only article, “The Other Side of the COVID Bubble.”

 
VLOG: Managing Change Through Processes

By Liz Keener
In the video blog, MRAA Certification Manager Liz Keener discusses how the Marine Industry Certified Dealership Program is designed to help you create a culture of continuous improvement and a business that is ready for anything. 

MRAA Mini Guide: Dealership Owners — Time for a Mid-Season Checkup
By John Spader and the Spader Business Management Team
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. 

WEBINAR: Halftime Adjustments
With Sam Dantzler from Wheelhouse College
The changes in the economy and industry have had countless effects on your dealership. And now you’re halfway through the year and starting to think about how to prepare for the rest of 2022. It is time for some halftime adjustments.

Sam Dantzler of Wheelhouse College, and this year’s Dealer Week Leadership Pathway Education Host, has been taking the pulse of the industry through his 20 groups, dealer conversations and industry contacts. Through these conversations, he’s identified three key changes dealers should consider to meet and exceed their goals for 2022.

Time: 11 a.m. CDT / 12 p.m. EDT
Date: July 20
Registration

MRAA’s Training ‘N’ Tactics Series — Season 2, Episode 7 «  SILVER « GOLD
MRAA’s TNT course for July features speaker and dealership master trainer Jim Million of Million Learning. In his recent Dealer Week course “Boost Efficiency by Navigating Dealership Change,” Jim shares with you some tools that you can use to navigate the fog of change, improve your efficiency at work and achieve your individual, department and dealership goals by using the principles of adult learning and the dynamics of winning teams and personal self-development.

We know how difficult it is for you to come up with a training plan for your team. We also know how difficult it can be to sift through more than 200 courses in MRAA’s catalog to find the one that would be best for you at this moment. That’s why MRAA created Training ‘N Tactics, or TNT, a monthly educational program for our Silver and Gold members. On the first business day of each month, MRAA introduced a moderated version of the most timely and relevant course that can impact your business. The opportunity for you is to use that course to educate your team. Watch it and discuss it as a group; or assign it out, watch it separately, and then gather to discuss what was learned and what you can improve upon.

Future Proofing Your Dealership « SILVER « GOLD
With Troy Hazard
In the world we live in t oday, the influence of politics, economic forces, technological developments and workforce trends seem to point to one sure thi ng: Change, change and more change. To care for your family, your team, your business and your customers amid this change, you must be ready and able to adapt to what’s coming .

Troy Hazard, experienced entrepreneur and author of the Amazon best-seller “Future-Proofing Your Business,” provided the Closing Keynote at the 2018 MDCE. With years of experience as a boater, business owner and consultant to some of the world’s biggest brands, Troy has learned crucial lessons on predicting potential business issues before you experience them.

CHANGE IN THE WORKFORCE

Workforce – Word in Red Color Surrounded by a Cloud of Words Gray. Wordcloud Concept.

MRAA Spotlight: Hire Better
One of the steepest hills you have to climb as a marine business is the one adorned with a workforce flag at its peak. That’s right, recruiting and hiring new team members means change. Filling the gaps or covering for those gaps NOT filled also requires change and adaptability. Your team’s success is critical to your dealership’s success, so it’s extremely wise to focus on the change(s) in workforce.


While there’s no crystal ball or magic potion for solving all the workforce shortages or to help you overcome the challenges that arose with the rise of the “Great Resignation,” you do have access to the MRAA free and member resources, tools and education for improving your approach to recruiting, hiring and retainment and the many obstacles out there. Visit mraa.com/Hire-Better and set your team up for more success.

Understaffed & Busy: Doing More With Less
By Wendy Mackie
It was Winston Churchill who said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Whether we are headed for a recession or are chronically understaffed or some combination of both, there is opportunity, a silver lining to be found.

Outdoor Rec Drives Jobs — Careers in Recreation Economy
From Outdoor Recreation Roundtable
ORR released a new report showcasing the wide breadth of outstanding career opportunities in the $689 billion outdoor recreation sector to help industry leaders, policymakers and prospective workers understand how these jobs provide outstanding quality of life, support conservation goals, strengthen local economies, and connect Americans to the great outdoors.

TechForce Foundation’s ‘Women Techs: Solving the Tech Shortage Problem’ Whitepaper

TechForce Foundation®, an MRAA workforce partner, recently released a critical new whitepaper addressing the role that women techs can play in solving the ongoing technician workforce shortage.

“Women Techs: Solving the Tech Shortage Problem” deeply explains how the automotive, aviation, diesel, collision, motorsports and other transportation industry (marine) sectors can recruit and retain women technicians, and offer professional growth opportunities throughout every phase of their careers. TechForce Foundation interviewed women technicians across multiple sectors from the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK. The interview group spanned every career stage, ranging in age from 19 years old to 60. Download a copy of this new TechForce Foundation whitepaper today.

CHANGE IN NEW & PRE-OWNED SALES

MRAA Spotlight: Drive Success In Your Pre-Owned Boat Business

The June 2022 Pulse Report reported that survey participants described the used boat inventory is very lean, with 74 percent of dealers responding it is “too low” and just 5 percent responding “too high.” The thing is, the pre-owned boat business is one of the most significant opportunities to fuel your bottom line. But in order to it effectively, you need a solid system in place that will help your team secure, service, market and sell pre-owned inventory. If and when you do that, you can boost your dealership’s revenue and profitability while also creating more stability for your team and your business. We built an entire page dedicated to the pre-owned boat market and packed it to the gills with tactics, tools and resources, including the “MRAA’s Ultimate Guide to the Pre-Owned Boat Market,” which is designed to be your shortcut to success. MRAA Members can download the guide here.
Get started with improving your pre-owned business today: www.mraa.com/pre-owned-success

THE MRAA CERTIFIED PRE-OWNED BOAT PROGRAM

The pre-owned boat market can seem like a mystery that’s difficult to solve. It’s hard to find good, quality used boats. It’s hard to know how to properly evaluate them. It’s hard to buy them right, market them and sell them for the margins you deserve. Sound familiar? It turns out that your customers find themselves in the same predicament … it’s hard to find good, quality entry level boats at a price they can afford. It’s hard to know what they’re worth. And it’s even more difficult to have the confidence that they’re buying something that won’t sink the first time they back off the trailer.

The all-new MRAA Certified Pre-Owned Boat program has been designed to deliver you and your customers the confidence you deserve in buying (and selling) pre-owned boats. It provides a proven process, quality third-party inspections and analysis, and direct pathway for you to both differentiate your inventory AND make a sizable margin. Check it out here: www.CPOBoats.com

Discover Boating Dealer Finder Tool
The new Dealer Finder on the Discover Boating (powered by NMMA and MRAA) site is a convenient tool to help site visitors search for — and connect with — nearly 3,600 new boat dealers across the country. It features easy search and mapping functionality to quickly locate local dealers through zip code or city search, as well as a one-touch option to visit a dealer’s website or call the dealer directly. Click here to visit the new Dealer Finder tool on DiscoverBoating.com

 

CHANGE IN SERVICE, PARTS & ACCESSORIES

MRAA Spotlight: Improve RECT

Repair Event Cycle Time (RECT) is the amount of time it takes to get boats repaired and back on the water. The quicker turnaround time means a happier customer, especially when the work is done correctly and clearly communicated to the customer the first time! In addition, you give your shop and your service department a competitive advantage over the competition when you can create a successful roadmap to follow in a diligent effort to improve RECT.

However, we know it’s not as simple as that, with parts and product delays and with the emergence of the hyper-informed, demanding customer of today. Don’t worry, our March MRAA Spotlight page on “Service Efficiency” is your pathway to success, one complete with resources, tips, tools and expert advice. Visit MRAA.com/service-efficiency to take full advantage of perhaps your biggest opportunity your dealership has in today’s market. 

COMING IN AUGUST

MRAA Spotlight: Service, Parts & Accessories

For August, the MRAA team will narrow its focus on the service, parts & accessories portion of your business. Ideally, you want to be able to have your service department and your parts and accessories group working in tandem to build a better experience for each specific customer based upon their needs, wants and desires in terms of the overall boat ownership journey. And, with summer winding down in some parts of North America, it’s important to prepare for success this fall! We’ll shine the MRAA Spotlight on processes related to winterization, storage, upselling, customer communication and marketing. We’ll also look as key strategies for keeping techs employed all winter long, building your inventory levels (pre-owned boat buying events) and more.

CHANGE IN THE CUSTOMER

Change in the Boating Customer

In this guest MRAA Blog by Kevin Williams Vice President of Marketing of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), you’ll learn about the four major generational shifts happening in society today, as well as the three key segments [Traditional Boaters, Growth Segment and Emerging Segment] identified by a recent NMMA survey study and how it will impact boat dealers’ approach to business, customer messaging and marketing to customers. 

Boating Business: Expectations vs. Reality

As part of the July Pulse Report, a monthly survey down with MRAA and partner Baird Research, we took a look into the health of the marine retail and industry trends with the goal of gaining some half-time perspective from actual dealerships! Here’s a highlight of some responses to what’s working, what’s not and how dealers’ expectations for their first half of 2022 faired. An MRAA blog by Jerrod Kelley.

VLOG: 5 Tips for Shooting Better Video With Your Phone
By Soua Vang
Fifty-four percent of consumers want to see more video content, and video marketers are getting around 66 percent more qualified leads per year when they use video as part of their content marketing mix for lead generation. MRAA’s Video Specialist, Soua Vang, takes you through five helpful tips to capture the best videos for your dealership’s marketing. With these tips, you will be able to better engage your customers and prospects through video. Soua is happy to help bring your dealership’s marketing to life with better videos! Contact Soua at soua@mraa.com.

The Next Generation of Boaters Research — Discover Boating

A recent strategic effort to heighten awareness of and the pertinence of Discover Boating — powered by NMMA and MRAA — included a refreshed brand voice and look and a new campaign, both of which launched in 2020. Additionally, understanding the boating consumer and the potential boating consumer to be, especially in a post-pandemic world, was a top priority. Discover Boating partnered with Cutwater, to do research that looked at everything from the feelings and mindset of long-time boat owners, first-time boat owners and potential boat owners to be, to their interests, and key demographics.

The research showed three key segments: Traditional Boaters, Growth Segment and Emerging Segment. To learn more about the Next Generation of Boaters Research from Discover Boating read the accompanying infographic here. And Ellen Bradley’s, Chief Brand Officer, NMMA, recent Soundings Trade Only article: “Future Boaters are Different” details what makes future boaters different and explores the three key segments identified by the research.

MRAA BENEFITS

Dealer Week 2022 Registration

MRAA’s Dealer Week 2022, to be held Dec. 5-8 in Austin, Texas, has everything you need to prepare yourself, your team and your business for whatever lies ahead. The marine industry’s only dealer-focused conference and expo, Dealer Week provides dealerships like yours with the ideas, insights and inspiration to make the business decisions necessary to succeed in the market place of today and tomorrow.

Featuring more than 20 education and training sessions for dealership managers and their teams, Dealer Week also highlights the marine industry’s leading manufacturers, suppliers and service providers through an enormous expo hall and several networking events. Register today to save big!

MRAA Members save up to $900 per Dealer Week registrant and gain access to a host of member benefits.