Owning a fishing charter may sound like fun and games, but if you have been in the business for more than a day, you know there is a lot to it. Spending your time out on the water entertaining guests and clients is exhausting, and when your boat is back at the dock, there is still a ton of work to do.
The good news is that there should be enough profit in the fishing charter industry to be able to outsource some of the daily tasks. This outsourcing can quickly pay for itself when you see how quickly you can grow your business.
Let’s take a look at 3 things all fishing charter owners should outsource in order to grow their business, experience a better quality of life, and ultimately improve their success.
3 Things All Fishing Charter Owners Should Outsource
Only you know the specifics of your business and what you do well and what you don’t do well. There is no way to outsource your knowledge of fishing and your charisma to the clients, but there are other tasks that may be bogging you down for no apparent reason. The three things that all fishing charter owners and captains should outsource are calendar management, customer follow-up and management, and payment and analytics.
Digital calendar management is a very easy decision for fishing charter owners. The change of their being an error with a calendar management system is considerably lower than a typical pencil and paper system.
If you have ever had the unfortunate situation of a double booking or sometimes a miscommunication about the time, you will know the importance of calendar management.
The key here is to find a system that allows you to block the times that you need for yourself or that you booked with your repeat clients or friends and leave the rest open for anyone to book. The more open space you have and the easier it is for potential customers to see your openings, the easier it is to keep your calendar full.
If you get a great calendar management system, you will even be able to put your crew schedules on there to ensure that you have the staff you need for every trip.
Customer Follow Up and Management
Fishing charter owners miss so many opportunities for repeat fishing charter bookings. With customer follow-up and management systems in place, your business will grow bigger than you could have ever imagined.
A system that will keep track of all of your past and current customers, as well as those that inquired but never booked, can make it much easier to stay in touch with special offers. When times are slow, and you are wondering how to make sure your schedule stays full, this is the group you will want to reach out to.
Customer follow up and management keeps people engaged and thinking about you as a potential resource for their fishing needs. Many times these people don’t need to be sold on a new trip they simply need that tap on the shoulder to get them to book again.
With customer management and follow up, you can easily set up email series that will automatically send at certain times; this is not something that will require you to sit behind the desk for long periods of time.
Payments and Analytics
Payment should not be difficult. There are great payment system options on the market, and these should tie right back into your calendar management, and customer follow up. Customers that want to book a charter should be able to pay in full at the time of booking with the help of a simple online system.
The days of trying to get a customer on the phone or in person to collect payment are no longer necessary.
Perhaps the best part of these payment and analytics systems is the fact that they can also track your growth over time. Do you want to see if Wednesdays or Fridays are better days for you? Trying to plan a vacation but don’t want to block out your most profitable week of the year?
The payments and analytics systems that are available for fishing charter captains will ensure that all of this happens with ease.
Why does it make sense for fishing charter owners to outsource some tasks?
Now that we have put the idea in your head that you may be able to outsource some of what is on your plate let’s take a look at a few of the reasons why this may be a good idea. There are three main reasons that you should be looking to incorporate calendar management, customer follow-up, and automatic payment systems into your business. These reasons are more business, more profit, and better work-life balance.
Charter captain owners are busy people. There are quite a few instances when you will be
running two charters a day, running off the boat to go pick up your kids at school only to return the next morning for another client. This does not leave much time to grow your business.
As a business owner, it is essential to continually grow your business. If you are not growing the business intentionally, it could be going downhill without you even realizing it. Don’t underestimate the potential of your charter business.
Many captains think that they must stick with one boat, but you have to start somewhere, and the only way to grow is to be smart about how you run your business, not just about how you catch fish.
There are plenty of ways to make more profit as a fishing charter owner; however, running a clean and efficient business is likely the easiest way to get more profit. Overall, profit will continue to grow as you reach out to previous customers and tell them you are looking for more business.
They will tell their friends, who will then book trips with you. In addition, by making sure that those payments and analytics are in place, you can be sure that you’re pricing your trips correctly and charging the best rates during the prime season. Here are tips to run a more profitable business.
Save Time (Work/Life Balance)
Last but certainly not least, it’s important to create a work/life balance. Chances are you did not become a fishing charter owner because you really liked to email past clients or check on analytics from month to month. The reason you got involved was that you have a love for fishing or the water.
If this is the case, you may want to enjoy some time actually fishing again for yourself or taking a day away from the boats. The last thing you want to worry about these days is organizing your calendar, cleaning up a mess, or inputting customers into an excel sheet.
All of this can be done for you with the help of HookM.
HookM Charter Management Services
HookM is a complete charter management service that can handle everything from calendar management to employee schedules to booking to personal reminders. The HookM Charter Management services were created by charter captains who understand exactly what it takes to keep your business up and running. Here are a few of the key services that HookM Charter Management offers. . .
Integrated Calendar: With the HookM integrated calendar, you can manage your crew schedules, easily handle customer reschedules and get a clear look at your upcoming trips. The calendar management system gives you the clear view you need to handle trip management with your eyes closed!
Full Awareness: As great as a calendar is, it is essential to be notified when something changes with a trip or if the schedule has a gap in it. The HookM software keeps you aware of any changes that are going to impact your success or your availability.
Easy Customer Booking: Customers can book directly online with the HookM website that you get specific to your charter; however, you will also be able to input your own clients on the backend. This is a very easy to manage system that keeps you in charge of your calendar.
Customer Relations: With the HookM charter management services, you can easily store all of your customer information and even organize the customers into the groups that you want them to be in. if you want to send out a promotion for the end of the season, or Fathers Day it is very simple to do.
Simple Payment Built In: As soon as a customer books their trip, they will be able to pay for the trip, and you will get a notification that the payment has been made. In addition, if something comes up and the money needs to be refunded, it will happen at the click of a button.
The first step to outsourcing some of your fishing charter tasks is to not be afraid to outsource. There are some really great solutions out there created by charter captains for charter captains. If you stick with something like this, chances are it will check all the boxes for what you need to succeed. Hopefully, you can see the value in the HookM fishing charter management services. In addition to getting more exposure for your fishing charters, the backend software will make being a fishing charter owner all that much more enjoyable.