By Sophie Lorre — 2 Sep 2021
Running your own charter boat, fishing or yacht business? You’re living the dream of many as you spend your days by the water. But growing sustainably within the charter industry can be a unique challenge. How should you invest in marketing – and how do you identify promising areas for growth? Whether you offer charter fishing trips or private yacht cruises, here’s the guide to focusing your efforts and scaling up with smooth sailing.
Most charter businesses will set aside an ongoing budget to cover various areas that are key to growth:
While every business is different, many operators allocate anywhere from 5-10% and upwards of revenue towards their growth and marketing strategies. As time goes on, it becomes easier to gauge and grow the best returns on investment.
Let’s dive straight in with 5 key steps to growth within the boat and fishing charter industry.
A first priority should be building strong foundations for a great customer experience, so you can capture every bit of growing interest. This means:
Using a clear and effective guest management system. A quality system should support guest manifests and resource management as well as bookings for your charter business.
Networks can be essential for growth, and few charter businesses go it alone these days. Outside of other charter or boat operators, some of the most valuable partnerships you can forge are with resellers: whether this be local travel agents, online travel agencies (OTAs) or both. If you want to connect with key resellers and offer live availability for 24/7 bookings, Rezdy Marketplace is ideal.
Other partnerships might include working with restaurants, dive clubs, photographers and other local businesses, to drive cross-referrals and enhance your customer experiences.
Who would be most interested in your charter or boat services? Understanding where your business sits within the market is essential to successful growth. Make the most of your booking system analytics, particularly when integrated with Google Analytics, to identify your charter business referral sources and potential new markets. For example, if you’re noticing:
Customer reviews are another invaluable source of insights, highlighting both strengths and weaknesses. Understanding your customer journey can help you optimize the entire customer experience: from initial awareness, to online booking, to follow-up messaging.
Charter companies use a raft of marketing measures, including:
It’s wise to start small, set a marketing budget and continually refine your campaigns based on results. Be sure to build a marketing calendar of seasonal dates when charters might be important to your customers, so you can promote around high-demand dates such as Boxing Day, Easter, long weekends, public holidays and New Year’s Eve.
Equipped with insights from analytics and customer reviews, you can work on expanding charter packages and services. This could range from adjusting the length of your charter bookings based on feedback, all the way up to investing in new boats or equipment.
If you’re currently on the lookout for the best online booking and guest management system to support your growth, start a FREE 21-day trial with Rezdy or book a free demo today.
For more support and tips on how to increase sales in your travel business, follow the Rezdy’s blog.
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