If you’re an experienced captain and you love being out on the high-sea, then earning your keep running a boat charter business might sound like a fantastic way to live. It’s the dream of many, but there are few who truly succeed at it. Knowing your boats is only the first step. Here, we’re going to look at how you avoid some of the choppiest waters starting to get your business started.
1. Know Your Niche
You might think that you’re able to offer an all-round set of experiences to your customers, but the truth is that you’re going to need to choose a niche. Whether you set a canal cruise business, a fishing business or a yacht rental will depend, of course, on what boat you have. But it also depends on the market you want to target and where you think you’re going to get the most visitors in the area. Consider your local marine attractions and think about why visitors come there in the first place.
2. Know the Law
Depending on what kind of boat charter business you want to run, there might be different legal provisions you have to follow, too. Most boat businesses are going to have to follow certain health and safety laws to make sure that their vessel is equipped to deal with medical emergencies, for one. If you’re out on the ocean, you might not necessarily need a license, but you are going to need licenses if, for instance, you operate in canals, lakes, or just off the coast.
3. Know Your Suppliers
When you use your boat to run a business, you have to get used to the business’s demands on the vessel as well. You will see wear and tear a lot sooner than you would from recreational use. That means you’re going to run as efficient a ship as possible and get to know suppliers like Bowman heat exchangers in advance. Have a supplier prepared for coolers, engines, transmission parts, hydraulic equipment and more. Consider the vessel an investment from now on and be willing to spend to make that investment is in good enough condition to keep you earning.
4. Know Your Market
When you first enter a market in business, you might think that you’re competing against those who offer the same services as you do. In boat charters, that’s not necessarily the case. You’re competing against all the other attractions and services in the holiday and pastime market for your area. That means marketing yourself as an attraction not just for hobbyists but primarily for people enjoying the destination and looking for holiday activities in the area. If you’re entirely out of your depths with marketing, it’s worth considering help from services like Charternet who know exactly the market you’re diving into and how to sail with the best of them.
Whatever kind of trips you’re offering, you have to get used to the fact that you’ll be working in a competitive environment where you have to put in a lot of effort to really rise to the top. You have to run it like a business, not a hobby you make money off of.