Do you want a business with a high earning potential that can double your income every year? Learning how to start a yacht rental business could be the ticket for you. It has proven to be quite profitable despite the high investment it can sometimes require.
Starting a business is never easy, but it works around taking the basic yet crucial steps like creating your business plan and working around your target audience, not just any random people who are not interested in your services.
That being said, it is hard to start this kind of business as it is not usually popular around the United States or, more specifically, in every state. You need to be in a good location and determine whether it is a good idea in your case or not.
From there, make sure you know how to work with the yachts and don’t just rely on how someone is maybe renting them, and you are just the contact, or you have no idea of how to repair any.
It is going to be a lot of work, and although you picked a profitable business, you need to be ready to work hard for it.
Now, are you truly ready for it? If so, let’s get started with some steps:
Create a Business Plan
You will need to create a business plan before you can make your dream of owning a yacht rental business a reality.
This will allow you to define your business’s ultimate goals, which will assist you in accelerating your success. Include financial projections and costs in your business plan to ensure you have a good idea of what you need to do.
All expenses associated with running this company should be listed. These expenses include gas, insurance, maintenance, and payment for the yachts.
List all the equipment you require, such as the boat, fishing gear, and any other items you may need to succeed in your business.
You should also list the hourly rate you will need to make a profit so you can cover your expenses and get your ROI.
You’ll want to include the results after analyzing your market and determining how many people pay for these services.
This step will help you define your vision with clarity. You can then confidently move in your dream direction.
You can also use a well-written business plan to get financing for your company as banks and most lenders request it to know where you are going with this idea.
It’s a smart idea to establish a mentoring relationship with an established yacht rental company if you are new to the business.
You’ll have a mentor to guide you and provide expert advice without having to pay them that much but rather give some advice.
Studies show that 70% of small business owners who seek the guidance of mentors see their businesses survive for at least five more years or just start with the right foot and go from there.
Great mentors will share their vast experience and knowledge with you. You should look for someone with at least five years’ experience in this field and not just an “expert” that barely spent two years in it.
Your mentor must be aware that they may not know all there is about the business niche in which they work, but they can give you the basics and vital points for it.
Your mentor should be able to introduce you to experts in the field who will help you understand how to run a boat business. It is about knowing their own limitations and what they can offer you.
A mentor who is a great example of ethical business management is someone you want to stick to as well. It is not a good idea to have someone tutor you who abandons their moral values in the pursuit of the big bucks.
Start Working on Getting Licensed
You will need to obtain licenses to operate before you can take to the open seas along with your first passengers.
Licenses are required for captains. A license is required for commercial use of your boats as well. You will need to obtain a license for every water jurisdiction you intend to travel to unless you won’t be the captain of those yachts and only focus on renting them.
If you’re still in need of the licenses, these are the licensing requirements applicable to some states:
- When a vessel is to be designated on a license, a current copy of its registration is required.
- A permit that specifies the maximum number of people who can be on it is needed.
- If you are going beyond a specific distance in the area, make sure you can navigate it with the license.
They are likely to be similar to your state’s requirements, but always make sure to check on the government for it as they can vary in every state and even city.
Determine Your Target Market
A yacht business allows you to express your entrepreneurial spirit and still enjoy the sea… unless you don’t get quite through the right clients.
Before you get into a buying frenzy and start to buy businesses or start yours, to begin with, it is important to determine the type of clientele that you are going after.
Are multinational corporations looking to hold corporate meetings right in the middle of the turbulent ocean? Or would you prefer to cater to families who wish to experience the incredible thrill of private trips?
It is important to work around the people who can not only afford the yachts you offer but are interested in them, to begin with.
Not everyone wishes to spend money on this, and some may be interested but won’t do it if what you offer doesn’t appeal to them enough.
It can be hard to determine your target market, but you can get a great idea by looking at demography and who is hiring your competitors.
DO NOT start your business before determining this.
Have a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Once you’ve decided who your target market is, you need a Unique Selling Proposition to set your business apart from the rest.
Your USP is a powerful reminder of all you can do to help your customers in a highly competitive market.
There are an overwhelming number of yacht businesses but also those that are not entirely related to you yet in the same niche, like fishing boat and cruise ship companies around the globe. Each one claims to be the best.
Thus, ask yourself: what is your main selling point?
Determine your competitive advantage and communicate it clearly in your marketing messages.
These are the many benefits of having a distinct USP:
- Emotional connection: a great USP will leave a lasting impression on your prospects’ minds so that when they need the type of service you offer, they’ll think of you.
- Increased renewal: If you have a strong USP, customers will invariably increase your revenue.
- Loyal Buyers: When your USP offers a compelling value proposition to customers, they will buy from you today and for their lifetime.
The question is: how do you make or learn about your USP?
First, determine the customer segments you want to target to create your USP. This includes determining the value that your customers get from your service.
This allows you to find out what your customers want and not what you want.
Next, determine how well your current offerings meet your clients’ needs. This will allow you to spot market gaps and offer solutions that your competitors cannot.
You Can Start Thinking About Your Business Name
You should think up a name that reflects the essence of your company, has a keyword in it that is, clearly, about yachts, and make it memorable.
It should grab the attention of everyone who hears it, sees it, or thinks it. Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and your business plan are key to creating a unique business name.
Consider your target audience and any market research that you may have done.
Think about the message that you wish to send to the world by naming your company, and do not try to go way overboard with it. Sometimes, the most simple and basic ones work even better.
If you want to come up with the right one, start with brainstorming. Let your imagination run wild and unleash your creativity, but not that much either.
You don’t have to do all the brainstorming. You could have a friend or colleague to help you with it.
You need and should write down as many ideas as you can quickly, without stopping.
If you got the name, make sure it is available.
You could be sued if someone already uses the name. To see if the name has been registered, check out the federal database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
To ensure that there aren’t any other companies with the same name, you should do several Google searches.
Registering your domain name is necessary once you know it is available. One easy way to do that is to type the domain name you want to use into Name.com can also be used to verify domain availability.
You will need to register your business if it is a limited liability corporation, a corporation, or a limited partnership. This will allow you to register your company’s name and set everything properly.
You don’t have to register a sole proprietorship, general partnership, or limited liability company with the state if you decide to do so. Instead, register it with the county or municipality where you live.
If you are a sole proprietor, you can file a “doing company as” (DBA name). You can also use another name to represent your boat business than your legal one.
Choose a Business Structure
You will need to choose a business structure before you can register your yacht rental firm with your state.
Choose the one that provides the best balance of legal protections and benefits. Your business structure is more than a name. It can affect your taxes, paperwork, personal liability, and ability to raise money.
These are the two most popular:
- Sole Proprietorship.
It is easy to create a sole proprietorship and have complete control over your company.
Congratulations if you are a business owner but have not registered as a particular legal structure. You are automatically considered a sole proprietorship.
Your assets and liabilities are not separate from your personal assets and liabilities when you own a sole proprietorship, which is a big downside for this.
If you are not familiar with what it means, it is that you are personally responsible for any debts or obligations incurred by your charter company.
Banks are reluctant to lend money to sole proprietorships, making it difficult to obtain funding.
Partnerships are the most common type of legal structure for two or more people. Two types of partnerships are most commonly used: limited partnerships or limited liability partnerships.
Limited partnerships only allow one general partner unlimited liability. The liability of all other partners is limited.
Check out the sensational resources for more information about the different legal structures that you can use to run your company and the structures other competitors are using.
You probably don’t have enough funds for this massive company, which means a third party is needed.
The most costly part of your business is getting the yacht, obviously.
These are just a few ways you can secure funding:
- Bootstrapping is the process of building up your financial reserves. This could be accumulated savings, credit cards, or home equity lines.
- Family and friends are the best sources of startup funding. Now is the best time to ask your uncle if he would lend you money to help you start your business. You’ll likely get it with very little to no interest.
- You can use the Internet to raise small amounts from a large crowd. This is called crowdfunding and is how many companies are funded today.
- You might be eligible for a traditional bank loan. Small business owners will find it encouraging that banks are showing renewed interest in lending to them. You might also want to consider Bank of America or Wells Fargo as possible banks.
Keep in Mind Your Ongoing Expenses
There will be ongoing expenses that you need to pay. You should consider obtaining a line credit to keep your business afloat until you turn a profit.
You must also consider the cost of your initial purchase and all other business expenses.
Usually, your first yacht can cost about $70.000, and then you need to consider the sales tax that goes around 10%. Maintenance is included in this latter.
All licenses, which include preparations for inspections, cost another few thousand you need to consider; then, you need to worry about websites, advertisement, competing, networking, and repairing any damage to your units.
Next, workers. Although you can rent an office and hire staff, this is not the best option initially. You can do everything by yourself in the beginning. Keep it small. You can’t know everything about your job.
Your employees can learn from you when you are the best at what you do.
Where does this leave us? Most people end up investing over $100.000 in this business, or less if they do deep research and find a great offer in their yacht.
Docking Your Fleet
You will need to find a dock where you can park your yacht and then pick up passengers.
You will attract the most clients if you choose a dock near tourist areas. You can specialize in deep-sea trips or just stay in a very specific area and then offer an extra round.
Many ports offer discounts for long-term leases instead of monthly rentals.
You can get one at a local municipality or do your best to rent one that is based on how much you pay for an extended period and not only a month. This will reduce costs and increase profit.
Also, the one you need will depend on your number of yachts as the payment increases based on how many you need to park.
DockSearch.com can help you find a good option.
A slip is a docking area for your boat. You can rent or purchase one. You can save money by finding one that isn’t too costly.
You should assess the water traffic in the area you plan to moor your yacht as well. High traffic areas could pose a serious collision risk.
It will take you longer to sail if there is a lot of water congestion. This can cause delays in your departure time, which could lead to unhappy customers.
Hire Your Crew When Needed
A qualified, experienced team is essential to your business success if you’re going for more than a small start. If you aren’t, or it’s been a while since you have been working on your own, make sure you look into different people and when you hire them, treat them with respect.
It is also important to build a strong team to fill the various roles within your company.
The best thing about starting your own business is that you don’t have to be an expert. The business owner must find the most qualified person for each sector and then bring them together. This is how you build a business that succeeds.
If you can find competent people to manage each area, you don’t have to know everything about your business, but if you do and are hiring them after you have been established for a while, you could teach them.
Get Your Insurance
You can research the different types of insurance coverage available to determine what insurance policies you need. However, there is usually a list with the general ones.
After you have done that, contact your broker to discuss the options. Before you sign up for any yacht rental business, make sure that you are fully insured.
The cheapest boat insurance is not the best option. This could mean that you aren’t fully covered for any eventualities. Even though you may have saved money, you are still putting your financial future at risk.
Before making a decision, make sure you look at the coverage and exclude it. You should make sure that you are covered for these things:
- Your vessel could be damaged.
- Injuries to your employees or guests.
- Insurance coverage.
Market Your Business
A recent survey found that 61% of small businesses do not have a website, and this is something we have mentioned in many of our blogs. So, just in case you missed it: YOU NEED ONE.
Your website should be the pillar of all your marketing strategies. Without one, your marketing strategy is doomed to failure.
Regularly publishing blog articles is a great way to improve your SEO ranking. Google will reward sites that have high-quality content with higher rankings by rewarding them.
Also, connecting your site to Google properties like Google My Business, specific directories, and building properties can boost your chances and who finds you.
But what you need to remember the most is that you should use several marketing channels.
A small business’s ability to market effectively is often the key to its success.
Because it takes savvy marketing to build loyal customers, you want to be more creative with this than your business name.
Consider all marketing channels available and choose two or three you believe might work well for your company.
Facebook ads can be used to place posters on your dock or create blog posts. Advertise in trade and vacation magazines or on T.V.
Print full-color brochures for your customers to pass along to their friends and always use online options as the Internet is everything in this world nowadays.
From here, you’re just ready to go!
The Local Lead Generation Process for Your Yacht Rental Business
All right! So, everything is about building properties and generating leads. But how does the process actually take place? Are there other steps I need to know?
The steps I mention below are what students from our local lead generation program follow to generate leads for businesses like yourself. So I’ll help you see what we do. And how if you join our program, you can simply generate leads for your own business (unless you want to start a side hustle and build a laptop lifestyle business).
Essentially, our lead generation can be divided into four steps:
The first is prospecting. You need to take the time to do market research on a niche (industry) and determine how many phone-driven businesses are there.
Keep in mind that this is local research as you need to know how many companies need leads. For example, you may search for “plumbing services Youngstown OH.”
You will find dozens or even hundreds of businesses trying to get themselves in front of the customers by ranking on Map Listings, organic results, and even Ad.
The second step, building. When you find a niche (plumbing, tree services, a software company, real estate…), you will need to start building your digital properties. You don’t need to be an expert in HTML or coding. It can be easy with the right tools.
The third step is now taking time to rank your lead gen website. With the site done, you need to work on SEO strategies and start dominating those Google search results. If you’re new to SEO, it stands for Search Engine Optimization.
To keep it simple, it consists of the entire process of growing a company’s visibility on search engines like Google and generating organic traffic. And remember this, local lead generation is part of the strategies.
Moving on to step four, once you rank the site, you will start getting your ROI and profits. You only need to rent it out to a local business interested in the leads the site generates. You can offer a couple of free leads to their move on with the actual pay per lead.
To review steps 1-4 above, I described it to a normal student who is building a lead gen business to help local service providers generate more calls. But replace the student with you as the business owner. And replace sending the leads to a business to simply siphoning the leads to your personal business.
By the way, fun fact, about 20% of our students in our local lead gen program are actually business owners who went through the program. And they use the skillsets we teach to generate leads for their own business.
An Example of Lead Generation: Home Advisor
You must be thinking, “if lead generation sounds so good so far, how come I haven’t seen any company?” That’s the thing; there are many out there. You just don’t know they are dedicated to it.
HomeAdvisor is one of the best examples you can find on the Internet as it is a top lead generation company that has spent millions building its brand but also earned even more zeros for this same reason.
They started small as everyone else but invested in building their brand awareness to make people who are looking for home services go to their website and find what they need. They are over 75% of people’s first choice when they need those services.
If you don’t get HomeAdvisor that much or need a refresh, users need to submit their information to request a service and get a professional or expert who can provide it.
HomeAdvisor’s job is to share your information, which makes you a lead, with local companies so they can contact you and offer the service you’re requesting. For sharing this lead information, HomeAdvisor gets paid by the companies. This happens for every single lead they send to multiple businesses.
Business owners who don’t have marketing skills or don’t even know how to have any online presence will always rely on those pages to list their services. They will save time and effort, but companies like HomeAdvisor can make them spend lots of money as leads aren’t exclusive (one lead is sent to multiple companies after all).
Using Facebook Ads aka Paid Ad Platforms: Do They Generate Leads?
They DO generate leads. If not, no one would use them.
However, you need to remember two facts:
- Paid ads or platforms can be expensive.
- They don’t generate “natural” leads.
Whenever someone sees or clicks in one of those ads, over 80% of them did it by accident or are trying to close/report it.
Why? Because they aren’t looking for those services. At least not at the moment.
What those ads do instead is interrupt their time on the platforms. Users aren’t there to find companies or businesses unless they are searching for a specific company’s user, and for that, there’s a search bar. This is why it is hard to convert them to actual customers who will show interest in the companies’ services. Also, you’re limited by a budget.
When using lead generation, everything is organic. You aren’t forcing others to pay attention to your business but rather being there when they need you. This is why Google’s organic traffic will always beat paid ads, and the reason companies continue investing in it, which is a lot cheaper as well.
What Is Local SEO?
Don’t worry… I didn’t get it at first either. Following the short explanation, local SEO focuses on scaling businesses’ visibility on search engines. However, this is only for those who serve their communities face-to-face.
What does this mean?
Experts and professionals like painters, plumbers, and dentists (but not only them) offer their services to their local customers. Why? Because they can’t deliver them unless they are located in the same area of their customers.
To make sure those businesses get more leads, you need to rank them locally by claiming the business listing on Google to place them on Map Listings. Local SEO also involves online reviews, citation management, and how you manage your entire online presence in the local area.
If you are going to bet on lead gen, you need to adapt yourself to today’s world: The Internet.
Keep in mind that although traditional channels and methods like billboards, warm calls, and pamphlets still work, they aren’t part of your tools. Whenever someone needs a service, they go to Google and search for it.
“Dentist in Miami” or “plumbing services in Orlando,” etc. And you can keep coming up with services or professionals people need and look for. Thus, you need to make sure you’re using Google to get the companies in front of their clients.
Users will always click on the first search results (those near the top), and many of them will be either Ad links (people paid to place their websites there), Map Listing, and then you get websites. Almost all of them are your goal and where you should always aim to place yourself.
Can My Yacht Rental Business Utilize a Local Lead Generation Strategy?
If you want customers, you better know you need it. Following the previous explanation, lead gen is all about placing businesses in front of their customers, choosing them over their competitors.
Put it simply – it’s all about closing deals and having clients for those companies to make money. The main difference with the usual methods companies use for this is how lead generation approaches different channels to get them in the right place of the market to get customers.
Those channels are all focused on the Internet as most people are searching for products but also services across the net. The issue is that the Internet is way too broad, and businesses don’t know how to place themselves. They usually try, but they get one common result: losing money and time.
How Powerful Are Organic Yacht Rental Leads from Google?
For companies looking for customers, it’s everything. For you? Pretty much the same. When you build a business with digital properties, you get to make thousands of dollars a month.
This isn’t a “get started today and get rich tomorrow” thing, but it is HIGHLY scalable, and ROI + positive results are guaranteed. Learning a fairly decent and very needed set of skills to create your digital properties and start ranking them on Google is required.
I have invested in several online businesses over the years, and if there’s something uncertain, whether you will get your ROI or not, even more than the actual profit.
However, this business moved my earnings from five figures a year to a month in ONLY passive income while sitting comfortably at home.
On my laptop. Anywhere. Anytime.
You can look at one of the first sites I built back in 2016, and it continues making me over $1.000+ every month. The best part is that I don’t need to touch it or the rest I’ve built over the years, just like this digital property.
What Makes Lead Generation SO Alluring?
Here it goes: you can work from home.
The main issue with regular business opportunities is how much you need to invest in staff, equipment, or rent to have a place to sell your products or offer your services.
We all know the hassles of traditional businesses that involve regular expenses, which are extremely high. Can you afford it? I don’t think so, and even if you can, is it worth it? Now, it isn’t only about the money. You also need to put in a lot of work, and it isn’t only during the first couple of months or years. Usually, it is as long as you continue running it.
You can save yourself those headaches and bone-breaking tasks and expenses with lead gen since it is more about generating leads with digital channels—mainly websites.
Websites can be VERY cheap to build, and with many tools online, you get to do it in a couple of hours instead of days. Any virtual or digital business is scalable and won’t need constant maintenance.
So, let’s summarize this:
- You save money in regular expenses with traditional and most online businesses as what you need is yourself and digital properties (websites).
- You can bet on passive income.
- There’s no need to hire more people to get started.
- You can generate leads in multiple industries, which allows you to work on any niche you want.
How Can I Get Started in the Local Lead Generation Program?
Anyone can start and learn. That’s the beauty of this business model. I knew nothing about SEO, Map Listing, and everything I’ve mentioned so far. It is all about learning the skills, gaining experience, and deciding to take the step.
Remember that this business model will never get old as business owners are always looking for leads. They need to do business and scale their companies. Why not do the same while helping others and still making money?
You can start with this local lead generation course highly recommended for anyone wanting to grow in the business. It is a close training that will take you through each step and make sure you are able to get your ROI, profits and take control of your life.
You will be added to an incredible lead generation family ready to help you 24/7 when asking questions on the group. Anyone is welcome who’s willing to put in the work. Click here to watch the lead gen webinar.