When you grew up on the water every day, and your dream was to start a fishing charter, chances are the back end of the business was not at the forefront of your mind. Most young anglers do not dream about tracking progress, and expenses, managing costs, and following up with even the most difficult of customers. Unfortunately, owning and operating a fishing charter is not all fun and games. It is essential to use three back end business tools fishing charter captains need.
For those that have made the leap into fishing charter ownership and management, the business side of things likely feels as though it is a burden. The good news is that with a tool like HookM, you run your fishing charter business from the palm of your hand.
All fishing charter captains need to spend their time getting customers on fish, not worrying about details of the business. Let’s look at three back-end business tools all fishing charter captains need.
Three Back End Business Tools All Fishing Charter Captains Need
There are three back-end business tools that fishing charter captains need. These include an accounting tool, calendar management, and customer management. Without help with these three things, the future of the business will be greatly impacted. The good news is there are tools out there, like HookM fishing charter management, that can check all of these boxes for you.
When fishing is good and you are in the middle of your busy season, it is easy to overlook the accounting side of a fishing charter. However, in order to manage both your business and personal finances, it’s really important to know how much you are making.
Money can come in quick, but it goes out quick too.
With an accounting tool, you should be able to track your revenue and sales and see when your busy times of year are and when you are falling into a bit of a slower period. Smart charter owners will do this year after year and price their trips during the slow and busy times accordingly.
Collecting this information throughout the course of the season means that when it’s time to send your books to the accountant at the end of the year, there won’t be much to do.
With HookM Charter Management software, you will get your own Strip account that helps you track payments and easily collect from customers before them stepping foot on your boat. These accounting best practices will help ensure your charter is successful year after year.
- Month to month and year to year performance analysis
- Collection of sales information to be transferred to an accountant
- Payment management and easy refunds for bad weather situations
The way you manage your calendar as a fishing charter captain will make or break the success of your boat. Double bookings and charters that are not sold are two ways in which charter captains are continually losing money and opportunities with customers. The calendar must be up to date and easy to work with. Not just for you as the captain, but for the customers and your employees.
Calendar management for charter captains includes being able to block out times that are needed for maintenance or a longer trip. The ability to start and end trips at times that work for you and this can all be set up months in advance.
In addition, the notifications to the calendar management system with HookM will come directly to your phone. This means you won’t need to manage phone calls from potential customers hemming and hawing about what day of the week or time of the day may work for them.
Simply guide this customer directly to the online calendar, and all openings are shown with pricing and availability. The system is incredibly simple to set up and works seamlessly compared to a non fishing charter specific calendar or a paper and pen calendar system.
- Easily block off times that don’t work for you
- Allow customers to browse the calendar without your guidance
- Accurately display pricing and options at different days/times
- Setup the calendar months in advance so that it is ready for the season
- Be alerted to changes on the calendar
- Share the calendar with employees to eliminate any scheduling issues
The third back end business tool that all fishing charter captains need is some way to manage their customers. The customer management system allows you to keep your name, phone number, and email address for every contact that you book through your charter management. Over time, this list of customer information really starts to add up.
The great thing about HookM charter management software is that you won’t need to manually input any of this information. When a customer books and pays for a trip, the information is automatically entered into the system. You will then have this information available to you anytime you are ready to use it.
When things are slow, and you want to run a promo, simply go to your list of customer emails and put together an email to send out. Many fishing charter customers are looking to book another trip; they simply need a slight push with a sale or an incentive.
At the end of the day on the boat, the last thing you want to think about doing is entering email addresses or phone numbers into a customer management system. There is technology out there now that does all of this for you; let us do it!
- Automatically saves customer information
- Creates a customer record with information about bookings
- Use this information to set up email campaigns
- Quickly send a promo when business is slow
- No issues with finding customer contact information if a trip needs to chance
What about outsourcing?
The three back end business tools all fishing charter captains need are handed by the HookM charter management software. If you don’t have access to this fishing charter software, you could, of course, outsource these tasks to three individual companies or hire more employees.
However, in addition to this costing a lot of money, it is still going to require your time. In this industry, time is, without a doubt, money. You will need to pay close attention to the things that are taking your time away from your business. Dealing with extra employees or several companies instead of one simple software system is time-consuming.
Comparing the costs of hiring people vs. the free fishing charter software from HookM will make this a very clear and easy decision for you. Remember how hard it was to find a deckhand that does a great job? Try finding someone that can manage your calendar, customers, and accounting all at the same time. This is hard to do.
Will customers feel the difference if my fishing charter is run the right way?
The most important question for business owners is how these changes to a business can help with the customer perception of your fishing charter. The bottom line is that it will make a huge difference. Here are some things we are hearing from fishing charter captains.
Quicker and Easier Booking Process
As much as you don’t want to sit on a phone call with a customer as they look through their schedule or calendar, they don’t want to do it either. Give them access to your charter calendar in a digital format, and they can easily handle this on their own.
Simple Payment Solutions- More Likely To Say Yes
With Stripe payment solutions, it is easier for a customer to input their payment and get the charter booked. Striped is one of the more recognized and easy to work with providers, and customers are more likely to say yes and get their trip booked.
Focus Attention On The Customer
When your business is running smoothly, you are able to focus your attention on your customer. Customers like the fact that they are the focus, and you are not on your phone trying to deal with another booking or cancellation. This is all done for you.
Professional Customer Follow Up
Now that you have all of your fishing charters’ customer’s information stored in a convenient and easy to use the location, you can create follow-up email series, reach out before the anniversary of their trip, and see if they are again in the market for a trip and much more. This kind of follow up, and customer management will help ensure that your business appears professional and well run. All of these things are possible while saving you time and money. Learn more about follow-up emails.
As a fishing charter owner or fishing charter captain, it’s important to have the help you need to run all aspects of the business. Fishing charters go well beyond catching fish and taking people for rides on a boat. The HookM fishing charter software management helps you run your charter boat from your phone. Take more time for yourself, focus on your customers, and let the back end of your business run itself with charter management software.