Ruthless efficiency is always the key to success. No matter what scale your business is on, you must have a tight control over its direction, flow and lines of profit. This is truer than ever in the charted boating industry, where the scale of your original investment means that you have a lot on the line. If you channel your energy appropriately, however, the scale of your outlay can really focus your mind. Here are my four tips to ensure that this focus is kept, making your chartered boating business a success:
1) Carve Out an Exact Business Focus
It may sound simple, but once you start a business it’s easy to let it run away with you. Due to this, you must define a business offering and stick to it. It may be best to offer both skippered and bareboat charters as part of your business plan because this allows you to maximise your potential client base to both skilled sailors and those looking to be entertained.
2) Get the Correct Licence
Before you start your business, you must obtain a captain’s licence because you can’t charter a boat if you don’t have one. In addition to this, always ensure that you know the exact legislation for your area. If you carry a large number of passengers, it’s likely that you may need a mate or a master licence as well as a first aid certificate, a CPR certificate and a physical test. Like we said, it’s far from easy, but once you’re through it all, the rewards are great.
3) Make Sure Your Insurance Covers Everything
Remember, because you’re now running a business, you’ll need comprehensive business insurance that covers all of your assets. The amount you’ll pay is entirely dependent on your business but, if you’re building an empire with incredibly expensive vessels, it can be as high as £16 million!
Of course, this isn’t a normal level and the lowest level is around £16,000. Much like with home and car insurance, there are also ways of reducing the outlay. Something as simple as cladding your decking using utra deck to prevent slips and trips.
4) Make Marketing the Key to Your Success
Once you’ve sorted the essentials, you’re ready to market your business. Always remember that marketing is what sets your business apart and your pricing structure will be what generates your custom.
On average, you may charge £205 for a three-hour trip or £820 for a weeklong trip. If so, your deposit should start at around £195 and insurance would start at about £19 per day, and this would make you competitive. However, as was mentioned at the start, you must be ruthless with your budgeting, so be aware that in the high season you’ll be able to charge more.