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Decorations & Prep Tips
on a Budget

Decorations:

If you want to add some nautical charm to your charter boat, there are plenty of ways to do so! For instance, you can find seasonal decor items that fit your theme at stores like HomeGoods, Costco, and Tommy Bahama. These places offer a great selection of nautical-themed decor pieces that can give your boat a touch of coastal charm.

  • You'll want to purchase anti-skid kitchen liners for your tables and counters.  Buy a roll of it to cut to size as there are numerous reasons to use this item.

  • Table runners add a pop of elegance

  • Nautical cocktail napkins.

Buy In Bulk at a Discount:

What to do: Buy in bulk to save money on various items needed for your charter boat.

How to do it: Look for stores that offer bulk discounts such as Costco, Sam's Club, BJ's, and buy items in larger quantities. Use a food saver vacuum sealer to preserve food and pre-pack portion sizes for each cruise to reduce waste. 

Why it's critical: Buying in bulk helps save money in the long run and reduces the frequency of grocery store visits. The use of a food saver vacuum sealer ensures that the food remains fresh and preserves the quality of the items for longer periods.

Money Management:

  • Offer multiple payment options to make it easy for guests to pay and provide tips. Consider using financial apps like Cash App, Venmo, Square, Zelle, and others.

  • Keep cash on hand to make dividing tips easier. Have small denominations like ten and twenty-dollar bills available.

  • Look for fuel price breaks from your fuel supplier. Some suppliers offer lower prices per gallon when you purchase a certain amount of fuel. For example, at 200 gallons, you might get a reduced price per gallon.

  • Consider using budgeting tools like QuickBooks, FreshBooks, or Xero to keep track of your finances and expenses.

  • Set financial goals and create a budget to help you manage your business expenses and plan for the future.

Great customer service is essential for any successful charter business.

  • Be responsive: Respond to customer inquiries promptly, and be available to answer their questions via email, phone, or text. This helps build trust and shows that you value their time.

  • Use text shortcuts: Use text shortcuts on your iPhone to quickly respond to common questions or provide directions. This saves time and makes you more efficient.

    • Use iPhone text shortcuts to help you respond with details or directions quickly.

      • Go to Settings - General - Keyboard - Text Replacement

      • Create your own shortcuts for your detailed responses to save yourself time and be incredibly fast at your responses. 

  • Provide a charging station: Music is important on the water, and people will want to charge their phones to keep the tunes going and to post on social media. Make sure you have a charging station available for guests to use.

  • Exceed expectations: Don't worry too much about what your competition is doing. Instead, focus on providing excellent service and exceeding your guests' expectations. This will make you stand out from the crowd.

  • Take photos: Invest in a nice camera and take photos of your guests while they're on the water. Airdrop the images to them for free as a special trip bonus. This helps create lasting memories and shows that you care about their experience. Additional note: have posted somewhere your Instagram handle is @XYZ please tag us in your posts, we'd love to see them.​

  • I became better at taking photos after so many charters, you don't have to be a pro, it's the thought that counts for your guest's memory.

  • Purchase water toys like inflatable rafts and stand-up paddle-boards at the end of the season to get additional savings.

 

 Items to Have On Board

  • Prep and clean up: keep old grocery bags, zip lock bags, a small vacuum, tiny broom, and dustpan handy to make it easy for guests to pack up and keep the boat tidy.

  • Have a care basket on board stocked with items like Dramamine, sea bands, ginger chews, Advil, tampons, and hair ties for guests' comfort.

  • Have a few blankets and beach towels available in case the weather turns chilly or guests want to take a dip.

  • Provide a collapsible shoe bin to keep the area tidy and prevent tripping hazards.

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