A successful marina community, that manages to attract and sustain each of the components needed to satisfy boater, visitor and residents requirements (repair services, chandleries, sailing schools, provisioning outlets, eateries, transport services, sports and leisure options, etc.), is far better predisposed to optimise the customer experience.
Taken one step further, if these stakeholders are encouraged to collaborate as a community: sharing skills, and enhancing their services through interaction and complementary activities, they are likely to achieve far more than a single unit working alone and will be more resilient to external threats.
Companies and groups based and developed around coastal locations have a shared goal: they are all dependent on the continuing availability (i.e. access to) and health of the existing assets. It is thus clearly in the interest of the group to establish collective objectives and plan strategies to achieve these goals as a harmonious unit.
Increasing the level of understanding of each other’s business culture, aims and methodology, creates a more supportive network and helps identify new synergistic opportunities. From simple actions such as reciprocal promotion, to more ambitious aspirations such as affecting large-scale positive change, should benefit not only the immediate operators, but also the wider community. For this, seeking outside collaborations with those that share similar values, can reap important rewards.
Sharing good practice and connecting with local or regional academic and/or scientific organisations, for example, is an effective and efficient way to start setting up strategies and generating data, which can help to measure and evaluate the rate of progress. Sourcing local providers to supply boating and operator needs, boosts the local economy, can help protect local businesses and reduces environmental impact.
Internally, it helps to ensure that new members of staff are able to benefit from a thorough onboarding process, so that they feel welcome and can easily assimilate company values and better contribute to group projects.
Maintaining a good level of communication amongst the community is key during moments of upheaval, supporting inclusion and connectivity and providing informed updates and inherent reassurance. This increases trust and group affinity. Perhaps one of the most important lessons of the current global pandemic is that cooperation and judicious communication play an essential role in promoting collective well-being and a safe environment.
As we are all aware, managing a community is however far from an easy challenge and the inevitable conflicts will arise and should be permitted take their course. Once in place however, the boating body will be the first to appreciate the effects.
Photo credit: Máire and Andrew Wilkes