Monday, March 12, 2012

Staying personally connected to your customers in the digital age.

As a business owner, staying personally connected with our customers is tough enough with all of the responsibilities that we face. Especially since the dawn of the digital age, more and more people opt to keep others at arms length. Technology advancements in the last decade have made the internet, cellphones and other handheld devices ubiquitous.

Let's face it, the internet and these internet enabled handheld devices are here to stay. The genie is out of the bottle and we aren't getting it back in there. Once people get a sense of freedom from their mobile devices they are off and running. People do everything on these devices these days. The internet has allowed people of all ages to do some of the following on the go:

How can we help business owners embrace technology, harness this power and even profit from it while still providing personal service? is the answer. Our interactive marina software solution provides you with the ability to send personalized email solicitations, personalized marketing emails, a central place for your customers to share their most recent boating and fishing stories and customizable hyperlinks on your boat owners page directing them the resources that they need and use regularly such as local inlet web cams, tides and weather. These resources help provide your marina with that "personal" feel even in the internet age. Lets take a deeper look at each of these items.

Send personalized email solicitations
Our marina software allows you to send personalized solicitations. I personally hate junk mail in my inbox. Our platform give you the ability to add a personalized message on the fly when you attempt to increase sales with interactive solicitations. "Hey Jim, we noticed you have been out a lot lately. Can we fill you up on fuel before you get here?" This is a personalized message with impact from someone I trust! People do business with people they know, like and trust. You are already involved, now it is time to ask for the increased business and sales. Our interactive marina software lets you ask for more business right from day one.

Personalized marketing emails
Our email marketer feature allows you to send personalized email messages to a segment of your customer base. Simply choose the fields that you want to filter with and off you go. You can filter by age and size of boat or motor, or both. You can filter on fuel type, user activity or maybe if they have a facebook page or not. When you have your target customers you can add a personalized message telling them about a boat detailing special or filter change. This can be whatever product or server you want to market your customers with. Seeing this personalized message you customer will think this looks like a coupon or "weekly special". They will see this as a way to save money for products and services they were going to buy anyway. Again, people do business with people they know, like and trust. Your customers already know, like and trust you. Now is the time to ask for more sales. Our interactive marina software facilitates more business right from day one. 

Share their most recent boating and fishing stories
Think of your own favorite personal story. Mine is about my wife catching MY wahoo the day after my birthday. Sharing this story with others is the best part. As a fisherman I like to brag a little when I catch a good fish too. Our integrated forum posts helps create that community feel for your marina customers. Sharing their experiences helps make that bond stronger. Your customers will have more and more incentive to keep coming back. The more they are on, the more opportunity they have to see what you have showcased for them.

Customizable hyperlinks on your boat owners page
As a boater and fisherman myself I have a checklist of websites I hit before each excursion. I look at local marina forecasts, weather, tides and my nearest inlet web cam. You can customize these links for your boat owners to make your boat owner portal pages a one stop shop. Your customers will have more and more incentive to keep coming back. Again, the more they are on, the more opportunity they have to see what you have showcased for them.

Staying connected isn't always the problem either. The quality of that connection and the quality of the experience can be the issue. Taking active steps to enhance the customer experience can be the doorway to creating that personal feel that our customers want.

Our marina software platform can help you, the business owner embrace, harness and allow technology to empower you and your customer base. Used properly, our interactive marina software can help you profit monetarily as well. Partnering with us allows you to provide your customers with a cutting edge product that allows them to make requests on the go, with the personal touch.

Check us out here for more details.

Best regards,

Steve Bowman
and the rest of the team.

Monday, March 5, 2012 can streamline operations for your business.

With this post I want to show the many ways that can streamline operations for your business.

As par for the course I want to define the terms that we will discuss today. Lets take streamline first, then define operations.

You can read the definition at here or at here. Streamline is defined as
1. To construct or design in a form that offers the least resistance to fluid flow.
2. To improve the appearance or efficiency of; modernize.
3. To organize.
Wow, do we have a lot to work with here. There are some key words that pop right out at me. "least resistance", "improve appearance", "improve efficiency" and modernize all grab my attention.

You can read the definition of operations here. Operation is defined as:
1. The act or process of operating or functioning.
2. The state of being operative or functional: a factory in operation.
3. A process or series of acts involved in a particular form of work: the operation of building a house.
4. An instance or method of efficient, productive activity: That restaurant is quite an operation.

There is a lot to work with here too. The words to stand out to me are "process", "instance" and "function".

Extrapolating on these definitions we could define "streamline operation" as "organize and modernize the appearance, efficiency and form of your construct". marina software is perfectly suited to organize and modernize the appearance, efficiency and form of your marina business. Let's break this into categories and drill down.

Organize Appearance
- Give your employees instant access to customer requests through Smartphones, Blackberries or Tablets regardless of vendor or service provider.
- Give your customers instant email notifications upon request submission and fulfillment. Take the worry and wonder out of handling customer requests by letting them know right away.
- Store customer details in our digital rolodex. No more paper.
- Always know who did what, when then did it and how soon it was done with our built in audit and reporting features. Access these features with just one mouse click, from anywhere. Your customers have access to this data as well.

Organize Efficiency or Process
- Give your forklift operator direct access to customer request that they will handle directly.
- Give your receptionist access to directly send interactive customer solicitations to sell products and services on the fly. Turn your receptionist into a sales associate!
- Give your deckhands instant access to customer requests. Allow them to be proactive in fulfilling customer requests. 
- Show your customers how efficient you are by notifying them immediately as their requests are fulfilled.

Modernize Appearance
- All web based, cutting edge technology for use with any Smartphone, Blackberry, Tablet, or PC for you and your customers, regardless of vendor or service provider.
- Your customers have a dedicated portal where they can make requests, buy your products or services, post stories about their latest fishing or boating adventure, find local weather reports and inlet web cams and much more. These links are configurable by the marina manager.
- Link to the customer portal page directly from your website. The portal pages are "white labeled" so that you can add your logo, making it look seamless.

Modernize Efficiency

- Web based technology, you can view what is going on at your marina from anywhere.
- Customer requests are routed to the staff member that will handle the request via smart phone or other mobile device. In particular, the forklift operator receives launch requests on his phone while he is on the forklift. No more walkie-talkies, sticky notes, or phone calls needed. 
- Use any internet enabled Smartphone, Blackberry, Tablet, or PC for you and your customers, regardless of vendor or service provider.

Modernize Form
- We allow you to leverage off the latest technology that we have already built for you and your customers. Use our tools to increase revenue, offer your customers a valuable service and increase customer service and satisfaction.

In conclusion, our marina software can help streamline your business operations. Please stop by our web site here and read more about how our marina software can streamline operations for your business. You can read more details about all we can do for your business here.

Until next time,

The team

Saturday, March 3, 2012

How provides instant return on investment

In this post I want to discuss how provides instant return on investment.

Return on investment is a very popular phrase in the business community these days. While the phrase is not new, with the "down" economy businesses are looking to get a return out of every dollar spent. Businesses are also looking to get that return faster than ever. ROI is defined by as "A profitability measure that evaluates the performance of a business by dividing net profit by net worth". There are more elaborations on this here. You can read more on ROI on by clicking here. There are many more definitions but they all boil down to the same question. Simply put, if I put resources such as time and money into something such as a project or task, what do I get back out of it?

In order to show how provides instant ROI, I want to ask a few questions. 

How do you measure ROI?
What tools do you use to measure if you are getting a return?

How do you measure ROI?

In my mind it all comes down to dollars and cents.

Our web based platform gives you the ability to sell your unique products and services as soon as today. The setup of products from your ship store takes seconds... not minutes or hours. These products can be sold online as soon as you configure them. Fuel sales can be set up in seconds... not minutes or hours and can be sold online as soon as you configure it. Other products or services such as detailing or mechanic services take just minutes to set up and configure. This means you can use our marina software to start selling today! Not tomorrow or next week, today.

This answers the question "if I put resources such as time and money into something such as a project or task, what do I get back out of it?". With our marina software you put in minutes worth of effort and you can increase sales and revenue. All before you even make a payment! If you know that your customers are making purchases such as fuel, ice, drinks, bait and other supplies and you already sell them what would keep you from marketing those items to your existing customers? Why wouldn't you use tools to market these sales? Why would you let those dollars go to the gas station, bait and tackle store? With our marina software platform all of the "behind the scenes" work is already done. All you need to do is log on and fill out a simple form to start selling to your existing customers right now!

 Your customers can begin to use the software on their own immediately. Enter an email address for your boat owners and our marina software platform takes over from there. We will send them an email inviting them to join and when they do we will guide them through the automated process every step of the way. No hard setup and no hard selling, simply an invite to join a wonderful service that their marina has provided to them for free.

You can begin to send electronic solicitations immediately. When a customer makes a request such as a boat launch or fuel fill up, you can solicit them by sending a message offering to provide them with any product or service your business offers. You can begin to use our email marketer feature immediately. Here you can filter your customer base on attributes such as (but not limited to) the age of their vessel, length, motor horse power and number of motors. Maybe you want to send a mechanic special for lube and filter to all boats more than 10 years old. Simply enter your criteria in our intuitive screens and type a personal message if you desire. You can begin to sell products and services your customer never knew you offered.

What tools do you use to measure if you are getting a return?

You can measure ROI with integrated tools built right into out marina software platform.With our reporting features you can query to see all items that are sale or revenue producing with a few mouse clicks. You can see these day over day, month over month or for longer periods.

In conclusion, we offer a marina software platform that can generate instant ROI because it can begin to work for you in minutes, long before your dues is due. Your business can receive increased revenue generation for products and services you already offer. This can start today.

You can read more about how can provide your business with instant ROI by clicking here and here.

If you would like to schedule an in person or online demo explaining more please click here

Until next time,

The Team