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Old 08-31-2010, 02:04 AM
 
7 posts, read 20,539 times
Reputation: 16

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zymer View Post
If you are going to own your own business, you must take the appropriate steps to protect your personal property. You can incorporate as a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) and/or put your personal property (such as real estate) in a trust. A trust that holds your personal property is a separate entity and is insulated from torts against you.
Sure. We LLC'd and that offers some protection. Many of the smaller companies in our area are just a guy working out of his house much like we were in the beginning. It really will depend on what happens and the allegations made in civil court. When the one customer's boat and trailer were wrecked the party who caused the accident's insurance company immediately moved to sue us! Without the extra insurance coverage we would have had to hire an attorney, pursue both the criminal charge filed against the other driver as a witness and appear in court at rates of $300.00 to $1,500.00 an hour billed up front to us until settled and resolved in court. My point is, just some guy doing it on the cheap out his house and you get what you pay for or are willing to risk, as does he. Lawsuits are a money game, he who spends the most wins(.)

The first N.C. dealership our owner worked for was put out of business by a lawsuit over a wrongful death with damages. We know of another instance whereby a dealership got nailed for $8,000.00 on a boat survey by a resellers group. We have twice this year, had Nigerians in Texas- LOL try to run the same scam on us. No offense to Nigerians, the police told us the nationality of the suspected culprits. If psychiatry is correct, one in ten people are sociopaths and we run the risk of one in ten customers being the kind of person familiar with the law in small business cases and willing to try to burn us for whatever they can get. Even if means free service, which right now I would say one in fifty customers try to finagle service for nothing for any reason they can think of or at least some kind of serious discount. Are several 20 minute to one hour angry conversations worth $900.00's in boat repairs to you? I would bet a sociopath who is used to getting what they want all the time gives it a shot for $45.00's a minute.

I will suggest the trust idea to my boss, Thank You.

DMMS
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
5,498 posts, read 6,443,239 times
Reputation: 9431
Quote:
Originally Posted by wingchun3 View Post
Sure. We LLC'd and that offers some protection. Many of the smaller companies in our area are just a guy working out of his house much like we were in the beginning.
A guy working out of his house *definitely* needs to put his personal property in a trust, regardless of what he thinks of the odds of being sued. In fact, I recommend it even to people who *aren't* in business. There are always {expletive deleted} out there who think they are going to make money by taking what someone else has worked for by suing them. Ridiculous lawsuits that have been allowed to go to trial, and even more ridiculously found for the plaintiff have only worsened the perception that you can make a buck by suing instead of working.

A trust for personal property is relatively inexpensive and easy to set up, and provides considerable peace of mind. 'Neighbor Joe' may let his dog run loose and it runs behind your car as you are backing out of the driveway. Next thing you know he's suing you for a boatload of money because you killed his best friend in the world and he claims to be suffering severe emotional trauma from it. If your house is in a trust he can't touch it.

Quote:
We know of another instance whereby a dealership got nailed for $8,000.00 on a boat survey by a resellers group.
I don't understand this. What do you mean?


Quote:
We have twice this year, had Nigerians in Texas- LOL try to run the same scam on us. No offense to Nigerians, the police told us the nationality of the suspected culprits.
The unfortunate fact is that Nigeria produces a huge amount of fraudsters.


Quote:
If psychiatry is correct, one in ten people are sociopaths
I think the number is more like 1 in 25 (for those that can truly be diagnosed as such according to the criteria in the DSMIV), but even so, it's still an unsettling number.

Quote:
and we run the risk of one in ten customers being the kind of person familiar with the law in small business cases and willing to try to burn us for whatever they can get. Even if means free service, which right now I would say one in fifty customers try to finagle service for nothing for any reason they can think of or at least some kind of serious discount. Are several 20 minute to one hour angry conversations worth $900.00's in boat repairs to you? I would bet a sociopath who is used to getting what they want all the time gives it a shot for $45.00's a minute.
Ya, there are always people who try to get something for nothing, or for less than they originally agreed to. It's one thing to negotiate *before* the sale/work is done, and something entirely different to try to screw the provider *after*.

Having been in business for myself, I've run into my share of this type.

Quote:
I will suggest the trust idea to my boss, Thank You.
If this is business property as opposed to personal property, it needs to be structured slightly different. (The business property held in a RE trust and leased to the business.) A lawyer will be needed to set it up correctly, and there will have to be some additional accounting work each year.
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:19 PM
 
8,760 posts, read 16,125,849 times
Reputation: 3486
Quote:
Originally Posted by wingchun3 View Post
"Perhaps they have some kind of tie into the local distributorship in some way or maybe the dealers are so spread out they let these guys buy parts just to be able to provide the needed services"

You either buy the parts retail at a dealership, buy them for a minor discount from a national distributor/marine business or there are a couple of aftermarket companies offering wholesale accounts to small businesses these days where you can make a reasonable mark up on the parts. I took a look at the parts mark up rate at the company I am at and found it to be way too low. In order to increase the revenue from parts I first raided the company inventory taking any part I could find randomly which had a different manufacturer named on it. Then I spent a week calling every company and distributor trying to find out who to buy from and get the best price. Not many options in the marine world unfortunately, it is a big money game. You got big money to invest you get deals, to be qualified as a distributor and pay manufacturer's wholesale the same as the two largest companies offering parts to small businesses now that I mentioned- $2,000,000.00 per purchase.

We have found this to be the same with every company. Huge investment to buy-in just like the manufacturers. I assume the manufacturers have created the working model used and every smaller company down the line has done something similar so that once you get to the retail level in any market the local dealership is the ONLY supplier in that area. Beyond the money requirements I listed earlier you still have to meet many, many other requirements. All of which ultimately have to be approved by corporate headquarters and a regional sales representative before they do anything with you. For instance, without being a dealership we were approached by a State agency tasked with replacing close to two dozen outboards from their fleet. We were told if we could get the engines please order them. Manufacturers for three companies all told me the same thing, call your local dealership and let that company submit the purchase orders. The contract has ballooned from a few dozen engines to a possible 100+ totaling half a million dollars on one order. You are not a dealer? Oh well, you will not only not get that sale, not get any revenue of any kind from that sale but after the manufacturer's sales representative got the details of our participation they decided not to allow the sale unless another local dealership also got the service work to do the installations as well. I guess they were not aware that smaller companies exist and are doing service independent of the "industry" who knows. BTW: I spoke with two dealerships who did get to bid and their profit per engine on a $2,800.00 motor will be $400.00 to $600.00 per engine. Mind you as well that the State agency buying the engines also only pays by purchase order and the process after delivery takes ninety days to get your money if everything goes well. Very few businesses have half a million sitting in the bank waiting for orders like this to come along and the manufacturer expects their money up front.

"How can Marine engine manufacturers get away with selling an outboard boat engine (say in the 130-150 HP range)for a comparable price as a new car?"

Monopoly on high performance boat engines. Check Brunswick Corp at Brunswick (dot) com or stock symbol BC. SEC should have all their documentation. Part R&D, part control over distribution and rigorous enforcement of patent law. Won't be that way forever though, you can get re manufactured engines from many sources now for half the price or less. This Summer we began advising customers on certain models and years that rebuilding would be more expensive than purchasing newly re manufactured whole engines. Average engine installation time 4-10 hours labor, but at the coast your labor rates are much lower as well due to competition. I spoke with the only technical school in my State this year about hiring graduates and they informed me that they still have 50+ people from last year's class without a job.

Our opinion on motor manufacturers is this, the Japanese will clean our clocks. Yamaha and Suzuki make stallions that when cared for properly and serviced annually will last forever. Prices will be falling on new engines with the world economic recovery. American manufacturers will be squeezed from both sides with cheap re manufactured versions of older engines and stronger, higher quality, longer-lasting new engines priced at the same levels as their American counterparts or slightly less. We'll see if Hermes is paying attention.

DMMS
Thanks again for the informative answers and taking the time to post them. Very interesting!
Evinrude came out with what they call a "gas sipping," EPA compliant, Electronic fuel injected two stroke. I don't need to tell you why a two stroke makes for a very good outboard motor. Are these motors as good as the hype? Have the Japanese manufacturers followed suit with EFI two strokes of their own. Will the four strokes become as much of a dinosaur as an old carbureted non EPA compliant two stroke?
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Old 09-03-2010, 03:24 PM
 
7 posts, read 20,539 times
Reputation: 16
Yes, they are great motors and yes again the Japanese also make them. Four strokes burn cleaner and it is our opinion that two strokes will be eliminated before four. EPA regulations limit the total number of gas/oil engines you can manufacture now.
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Old 09-17-2010, 10:46 AM
 
7 posts, read 20,539 times
Reputation: 16
Default Addendum;

To give potential small business owners a feel for the pace of growth in competition in a given market I will add this information based on our observations. Since 2001 we have tracked the number of person(s) operating boat repair services in the Greater Raleigh area using Google, Yellow Pages, web search engines, word of mouth from dealerships, mechanics, suppliers and parts manufacturers. In 2001 there were half a dozen, mechanic-owned, mom/pop operators servicing boats with non-dealership status. This area covers approximately 32,000 boat owners and a radius including Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Apex, Garner, Wake Forest, Louisburg, Cary, Smithfield, Morrisville, Creedmoor, and Pittsboro. The primary county being Wake with a population as of 2009, 897,214 (source WikiP). The figure with the total number of boat owners comes from N.C. State Revenue Department with industry growth figures in sales added for the period from 2003 when the list was last compiled.

Daveís Marine Service
Powerboat Service Inc
Raleigh Mobile Auto & Boat
Wake - Falls Mobile Marine
Outboard Repair Services
Outboard Performance
Danny's Outboard Machine Shop
Precision mobile outboard repair
Your Mobile Technician
B-Jay's Motorsports LLC
Wet N Dirty Toys Inc
Blake's Marine & Small Engine
Boatworks
Pit Stop Marine
Jim's Outboard Repair
Kc's Marine Services & Performance
Carolina Watercraft Works
Mobile Marine
Mastertech Marine Services
Boat Repairs & More
Apex Marine
Boatpro Inc
Forensic Marine Services
Watercraft Marine Service
Apex Marine & R V
Town & Country Marine
All About Boats
Dukeís Mobile Marine Repair
Kerr Lake Marine Service

In addition to listed businesses in the greater area there are four Craigslist boat repair advertisers and *one independent non-advertising individual in *Garner, one in *Wake Forest. There is one master technician (that we are aware of) who also does not advertise and works out of his home. Inside Raleigh there are two Jet Ski mechanics whom do not advertise and work on Jet Ski part time as well as a jet ski rental company which advertises repairs.

Dealerships:


Chatlee
Water World
Boats Unlimited
Collins
Eatonís Ferry
Choplin Marine


We are on pace to have serviced between 850 to 900 boats this year. In the five years prior to this one we serviced a total of 700 boats. Beginning next year we will have four service technicians with the ability to complete between 1,100 to 2,000 boats annually. The market has increased every year since 2007 when the economy began to appear shaky as boat owners held onto older model boats instead of financing new ones which are covered under warranty (dealership-only work). The greatest year for sales expansion in our area on boat repair service since 2004 was 2008. Average wait time for repairs in our area 3-4 weeks. Amount of time anticipated/expected for repair in our area by the average customer, 2 weeks or less.


We are recommended by every retail store in the area. We service all types of watercraft, all makes and manufacturers in any year. We presently are the largest non-dealership buyer of marine engine parts in the Triangle according to suppliers. We maintain an ongoing relationship with the only fiberglass repair shop- Auto Marine Service and do all of their engine service work. Average calls per day for new service run 3 to*20 (*peak season June/July) calls per day. Peak season wait times for service at local dealerships average 4 to 6 weeks hence the demand for additional operators the number of which has grown from a total of six in 2001 to more than thirty today. In our area I would estimate 50% of the total number of boats registered have no work done to them in the current year due to owner-performed maintenance, warranty (dealership-only) work, no maintenance issue from lack of use during the season. Of the remaining market at least 60% of the Triangle area work (9,000 boats) are done solely by dealerships. The market has reached saturation which is why we recommend making the move to dealership status as soon as possible and are, ourselves- doing so.

Good Luck,


DMMS
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Old 04-20-2011, 04:16 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,120 times
Reputation: 10
Default Mechanic

I am moving to Foley,Al and Orange Beach,Al area,Im looking for someone or dealership to Train me as a marine Mechanic,I have automotive and Motorcycle Mechanics experience,If anyone knows of Anything good down that way please let me know,Thank You
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