There are a lot of things on my mind about my industry, but there are a few pointers that I feel like I am being called to address. I will lightly touch the subject today, as I have plans on going into more detail in the future. I just want to get this out to the world right now.
First we are facing the issue of millennials affordability to purchase boats. Even with a full time and part time job, I wouldn’t be able to afford another payment, especially committing to a long term payment for a boat. (And I really do want to live on a reasonably sized boat someday.) So the question arises, how in the world do we get millennials involved in boating? Because, most likely, it won’t be by purchase at a younger age.
Every single business that wants to survive the next several years will need to come up with an interactive plan to not only attract millennials, the people who want to own a boat but can’t afford it and even some sort of plan to catch the attention from people who never even thought of owning a boat.
There’s a lot to be said about the companies people chose to use nowadays–Uber vs. Taxi. What is it that they like better? Yes, the cost is lower, but… I’m thinking the affordable route to go is renting boats, or joining boat clubs. The more and more digital this world gets, the more and more harder it’s going to be to really truly attract someone with so many choices in front of them. Is it affordability? Is it convenance? What is it that will get someone to choose your brand?
The next problem I see the industry facing is hiring young people to be a part of their team. The older employees who have been at the company for many years, or even started the company, are now retiring or will be retiring in the future. Who’s going to take over? Who’s going to be on that future team of the industry? The ones that will fight and survive and overcome all things in this digital world?
Is this lack of interest that I’m seeing? Maybe it’s because it really is a luxurious business, or are (younger) people afraid of this industry? It does take years and years of knowledge to really become a staple in certain positions. So how are we going to take care of that?
I’ve always thought that if high schools had a career day, there should be tons of options, including getting into marine tech school if they are interested in not going to college. Or perhaps other jobs in the field that just need trade school training. That sort of stuff. But we as an industry really need to reach out to millennials because they are the future of this industry. It’s super important to start training them now.
The last problem that I think everyone needs to pay attention to is protecting our waters, sea animals and anything down below.
This is yet another thing, as Boat Show Girl, I want to get involved with. We’ve got to protect our oceans/lakes/etc so that we can keep our boats in the water, because without that, our industry wouldn’t even exist. There’s the fuel issues, there’s the anchoring issues, there’s saving the coral reefs / fish / sea floor, and there’s the environmental issue that came out of where we just recently had the Miami Boat Show. Those are the things that we need to be really smart about—learn, react, fix if there is a problem.
If you’re in the marine industry—what’s weighing on your mind these days?