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

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 can increase marina revenue generation

How can increase marina revenue generation?

One of the problems that small businesses face is increased revenue generation. Sometimes it's hard to keep the prop turning. How can a software product help with that? How is it even related? Software costs me money right?

Not ours. Our software can help generate revenue and not only pay for itself but make you money. This is a bold claim, I know. Please read on....

As always I like to show how our marina software platform addresses and solves problems for real life problems and scenarios. I know the industry not just from the clients we serve but also from the customer perspective. I have a boat. I am a marina customer. This is my marina. I love to go boating.  Here is a picture of my boat.

I love to fish. Click here to read one of my forum posts. Although the picture is of my better half, I dream of cobalt blue water and the sun on my face. Spending time with friends and family on the water is as good as it gets for me. Time is my most precious asset. I like to go fishing on Friday nights. It is my thing... get off work around 6 and head for my boat. By 5:30 the marina staff has already gone home for the day. Before I get there I have to stop off at the bait and tackle store for bait and tackle of course. Then I stop at the station for ice and drinks. Sometimes I have to make a third stop for something special. Before I know it, it's after 7 and I'm just getting to the marina and unloading my truck. Again, by 5:30 the marina staff is already gone for the day. Sometimes when I don't plan very well, or when the fishing has been really hot, I get low on gas and need to make a run to the only pump open after hours. That eats another half hour. Thankfully I am just a hop, skip and jump away from the inlet and offshore.

Wouldn't it be great if I had a place to order ice, drink, bait and fuel ahead of time and have someone else handle those requests for me? As a customer, I have to say I would pay extra just to save some of my precious time to get offshore and find blue water.

Come to think of it, this could be great for the marina as well. On a regular basis I am spending $30, $60 maybe $100 a weekend depending on what supplies I need and who is coming with me. That doesn't include all of the times I need fuel. That gets expensive. I know that the marina sells all of the items I want and need. I have to say that I would rather see my money go to the marina than the guy at the gas station up the street.

This is a real life scenario. This is my experience. In speaking with tons of boat owners and marina staff this is the norm. This is how the industry works.

Our marina software platform allows marina customers to make requests. It allows your customers to buy items you display over the internet. It allows your customers to schedule their excursions ahead of time and it allows them to add goods from your ship store and fuel dock to their order. If you get a request for just a boat launch, with a single mouse click you can send an email soliciting the customer for ice, drink, bait, fuel or other services such as boat detailing or maintenance. All of these operations do the same thing. They upsell and farm your existing customer base for the money that they would have spent anyway. If you know your customers are going to spend the money...  why not give them a way to spend it with you? This is the tip of the iceberg in terms of how can drive more revenue to your bottom line. I invite you to find out more by clicking here.

Best regards,

The team

Monday, February 27, 2012

Improving Marina Customer Service

How can help Improve marina Customer Service.

In the next few weeks we will look at how can help marinas grow their businesses through using our marina software platform. We have solutions to the key problems that marinas face. One of these problems is customer service.

According to customer service is defined as a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation. which you can find here.

Industry experts and novices alike are ringing the bell of customer service and how it can impact your marina business.
Here Jim Frye give a presentation discussing how customer service will be a key differentiator.
Here James talks about customer service and management.

Back to the definition of customer service. While I agree with the first portion of this definition " a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction", I would like to challenge that definition. I believe that just meeting a customers expectation is not good enough. The customer today is savvy. They have a plethora of tools and options readily at their disposal. Wowing customers should be your goal and eventually your expectation.

Let's take a real world example. I love fishing and boating. I am a marina customer. I take my hobbies seriously and in saying that I just admitted that I like expensive toys to go with my hobby. I especially like to go fishing, and I try to get out on blue water as often as possible. Unfortunately as of this writing it has been more than 2 months! Regardless, I spend money on rods and reels. I feel the need for quality equipment. I'm not saying that I am splurging on Penn International 1000's or anything like that but a $120 shimano reel is a sizable investment for me. I happen to use a "Rod Carrier" which hold 4 of my rods and reels. Let's say I left my rods and reels sitting on the hose rack and drove away from the marina. When a dock hand or receptionist found them there would be no way for them to tell that they were mine. Would it be good customer service to wait until the end of the day to find out if someone came back to get them? Would it be good customer service to put them in the office and wait for someone to realize that they were missing? Would it be good customer service to ask around at the marina to see if someone knew who the rods belonged to? What would your expectations be?

I would expect that the marina would ask the receptionist to call customers that had an activity that morning or the previous day to ask if they had forgotten their equipment.

Do you have a process or software that could allow you to easily see who your customer were that had a request submitted today? How about yesterday?

What if you could get the answer with one mouse click? What if the answer looked like this?


If they didn't do that, if they just put them in the office or clubhouse would that meet my expectations? Would that have exceeded my expectation? No. This brings me to my point. According to the wikipedia definition meeting your customers expectations is customer service but your customers all have a large degree of variance of expectations. How can you satisfy their expectations?

Free up time for your staff to concentrate on customer service?
Let your customers serve themselves?
Save your customers time or give them time back?
Instantly notify your customer(s) of any event?

Why not all of the above?

The marina software platform enables all of these and more. We offer a solution that can free up time for your staff to concentrate on customer service issues by allowing customers to self-serve. your customers can submit their own requests and orders via the internet on any web enabled smartphone, blackberry, tablet or PC. Save your customers time by fulfilling requests such as fueling up or delivering ice, drinks and bait to their vessel. Our marina software enables customers to make requests and your staff to receive these requests immediately on any internet enable device.

As a last note, I want to say that quality customer service is a mindset. Your customers are your most valuable asset. Not only do they provide the revenue to keep the prop turning but they also are a resource that can be farmed. If you know that your customers are spending money for products and services why not get into that game as well if it makes sense for your business. In order to do that you need tools. Tools tht can adapt to your business and your customers needs. We offer that solution.

There are many other ways that can help your business. Please take the time to look at all of the ways we can benefit your marina, marine services facility or customer base. You can see the full listing here.

Until next time,


Thursday, February 23, 2012 is at your service.

Welcome to marina operators and boaters alike! is an interactive marina software platform designed to benefit the marina and the boat owners together. Our web based solution keep marinas in contact with their boaters requests, needs and desires. 

Marina operators can benefit from our marina software through instant ROI, increased revenue generation, increased customer service, immediate electronic communication between staff and customer, streamlined operations and much more... all from any internet enabled smartphone, blackberry, tablet or PC regardless of vendor or service provider. Click here to find out more.

Boat owners can benefit from our marina software through direct communication with the marina staff including the forklift operator, immediate email confirmation when requests are made and fulfilled, time saved by marina fulfillment and much more... all from any internet enabled smartphone, blackberry, tablet or PC regardless of vendor or service provider. Click here to find out more.

Please feel free to Contact Dan or Steve directly with any questions.


Best regards,

The Team