Do you have a love of sailing and the drive to start your own successful business? It’s not surprising that you’d think of combining the two, in a yacht charter business.
But as with any new business, there are several important factors to consider beforehand. So today we look at what you need to know when starting a yacht charter business.
Doing The Research
Do the necessary research. The most crucial step in starting any business is to know your niche and understand your customer. Yacht charter businesses like Nautal are as successful as they are because they do the research first. And if you want to make it in this industry, you need to do the groundwork too.
You might have set ideas about your desired location. But is there a gap in the yacht charter market for the location you wish to operate in? Are there unique laws in that area that would affect your business operations? These are important questions that you need the answers to.
Establishing Your Niche
Establishing your yacht charter business in a niche category will set you apart from the rest. There are several niches in the yacht charter business world. Corporate charters, ecotourism groups, weddings, and other celebrations are just a few of these.
You may already have a niche in mind. But do you know what your target market expects from a yacht charter service? Do some digging and find out the facts first. Your vessels may need certain amenities depending on the clientele you target.
Raising Start-Up Capital
It’s not as easy as “have a yacht, will sail”. Besides the cost of the vessels, there are several expenses involved. Maintenance, berthing fees, crew salaries, and insurance are a few examples of these expenses. But these are not the only costs you’ll incur.
When raising the capital to start your own yacht charter business, you need to factor in all these costs. And remember that it takes time to establish a profitable business. And whether you have bookings or not, these additional expenses remain.
So consult a qualified financial adviser to calculate how much you’ll need. A lot of hassles can be avoided if you start with a sound financial plan. Determine your budget, look at financing options, and above all, be realistic in your expectations.
Marketing Your Business
Of course, any business, including a yacht charter one, requires marketing. With everything online these days, you’d be wise to become more tech-savvy and learn the ins and out of online marketing. And don’t underestimate the power of marketing on social media.
Create an engaging website and if necessary, get an expert to set it up for you. Include colorful photos of your vessels. Encourage client testimonials. You could even include a blog featuring sailing-related topics. A client referral program can give your business a real boost from the outset.
Businesses that provide a service, like a yacht charter, often also depend heavily on other forms of marketing. The traditional method of handing out business cards to suitable potential clients is still an effective tool. Pay attention to details, and keep your target market in mind when designing your cards.
Partnering With Others
While the thought of sailing to exotic islands fills your mind, don’t forget the old adage: “ No man(or woman) is an island. When starting a new yacht charter business, establish a network of people in the tourism industry. Forge strong business relationships and you will enjoy many benefits.
You will gain valuable insights from successful entrepreneurs. No matter what your concerns are, they’ve been through it already and can guide you through potential pitfalls. You will often learn far more from your peers than you can in any course of study.
These partnerships also allow you to widen your client base through tailored deals. An example of this is recommending a tour company, and that company, in turn, referring their clients to you. This is a win-win situation and will help you when starting to build your business. But always keep your niche in mind.
If you are new to the world of yacht charters, take a relevant course in sailing, or tourism in general. Subscribe to an industry-related publication. Do whatever you have to do to get and stay informed about your business sector.
But this doesn’t stop once your yacht charter business is afloat. The most successful entrepreneurs know that to stay in the game, you have to keep things current. So keep abreast of changes in maritime law, stay on top of developing tourism trends, and update your website regularly.
Stay up-to-date with trends in the tourism industry. In this way, you will build a solid reputation for yourself in this competitive industry.