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Marina diversification strategy: developing non-yachting revenues

“The waiting list for my marina is decreasing, and I see relatively little renewal of my existing customers, what can I do to ensure some form of business continuity in the years to come?”

Each month, Marina Management & Consulting (MM&C) answers your questions and gives you thoughts for reflection in order to review your marina strategy, to better understand your market and daily operation.

We are indeed seeing an aging population in certain marinas and markets. This phenomenon manifests itself mainly when the marina’s clientele is made up almost exclusively of boat owners, and therefore the very existence of the marina and its services is based on this single clientele.

It is then easy to grasp the problem: with an aging clientele, which is gradually giving up boating, and a renewal that does not take place, some marinas are facing a dilemma because their income depends on berth rental only.

Proactively and in order to avoid finding yourself in such a situation, it is essential to anticipate the growth of the marina’s clientele and to understand the market. Our article “Knowing your customers better” (to be published soon) will help you understand this crucial point.


How to correct the shooting?

We offer you some examples below to investigate. On the other hand, it is essential to specify that each marina is unique, anchored in a territory that has its specificities. Copying and pasting a template from one marina to another is no guarantee of success. MM&C proposes to guide you in these changes.

Marina activity diversification

“A marina is for boats!”

This old adage is no longer relevant. A marina is an infrastructure whose purpose is based solely on what you decide to do with it. In order to build a form of resilience in your marina model, it is imperative to diversify your sources of income:

– Integrating a mix of rental income (commercial leases for example) is a good start. On the other hand, be careful about the retail mix: if your tenants are only aimed at the yachting industry, their activity, and therefore indirectly yours, will always suffer from a form of dependence.

– Do not hesitate to “sacrifice” berths in favor of commercial and/or tourist activities which will attract new users

– Activate your property with leisure activities which, in addition to guaranteeing you income, will generate new footfall.

Work WITH your surrounding

Have you thought about involving others neighboring businesses or attractions?

These interactions sometimes appear to be the only solution to ensure the marina’s success. We systematically advise our clients to involve in one way or another all the local players. In addition to creating a feeling of community, great projects often derive from this type of initiative, in particular with the integration of local actors and attractions initially far from the marina area.

It goes without saying that such an initiative requires a lot of coordination work and a strong cohesion by the marina to carry such a project forward.

Once this new offering and identity is in place, the marina will be enhanced. Remember: you need to train and manage your team into this new offering. Their daily job will evolve too, so be sure to help them increase their skills.

Adapt your infrastructures

Within the same market (yachting, for example), identify developments and trends in order to offer adequate infrastructures.

For example, if there is a strong demand for a boat rental (or boat club), it will then be necessary to allow them to berth in a specific area where they will be able to welcome their clients, access the boat easily, store equipment … and of course parking spaces for these new users.

Another example with changing yachting demand, increasing boat sizes, or customers who wish to offer overnight stays on their boat. Here again, it will be necessary to adapt and reorganize your infrastructures to stick to these new trends.

As a backdrop to this approach, consider carefully evaluating the adaptability capabilities of your installation. When making your investment choices, therefore, favor “modular” equipment that can be reused and rearranged during these changes.

MM&C team provides expertise and experience in Design, Construction, and Marina Management in order to protect and enhance your property and train your teams. Do not hesitate to contact us:

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