Wondering how to start a jet ski dealership? We take you step-by-step from start to success.
Jet Ski Dealership Basics
There are several characteristics that make jet skis (or personal watercraft) attractive to consumers who enjoy time on the water. Compared to boats and other watercraft, jet skis are small, fast and affordable. They are also easy to handle, which makes jet skis one of the most popular recreational vehicle options on American waterways.
Most jet ski manufacturers offer authorized dealerships to entrepreneurs interested in selling their craft to the public. But since it's difficult for dealerships to generate adequate revenue from a single manufacturer, it's common for entrepreneurs to become authorized dealers for several (two to four) manufacturers.
Proximity to water will be a determining factor in the success or failure of your startup. While it's possible for a landlocked dealership to sell a few jet skis here or there, most customers want to test drive the product before they buy -- and that means your dealership will need to be located on (or very close to) the water.
Becoming an Authorized Jet Ski Dealer
Jet ski manufacturers like Yamaha, Sea Doo and Kawasaki have specific requirements for authorized dealers. Dealership criteria can vary significantly from one manufacturer to the next, but geographic territories, capitalization, industry experience and other factors will definitely come into play.
Once you are approved as an authorized dealer, it will be in your best interest to take advantage of any programs the manufacturer offers to its authorized dealer network. In most cases, manufacturers offer training, promotional and sales assistance, referrals and other benefits to their dealer networks.
Additional Revenue Streams for Personal Watercraft Dealers
Jet ski dealerships have the ability to augment sales income with a variety of other revenue streams -- all of which can serve to strengthen relationships with personal watercraft manufacturers.
For example, rather than limiting your business to jet ski sales, why not go the extra step and become an authorized repair and service provider for each of the manufacturers you represent? Your service department will get referral business from manufacturers, even if you didn't sell the jet ski to the customer.
If your business is located on the water, you might also want to consider offering jet ski rentals. In the right market, rentals can deliver a hefty revenue boost in the short-term and create relationships with future jet ski buyers in the long-term.
How to Write a Top Quality Jet Ski Dealership Business Plan
Your jet ski dealership's business plan is a blueprint that describes your company and the strategy you will execute to achieve specific goals.
In contemporary business culture, business plans are also litmus tests used by external interests to assess real world viability and marketability.
Learning how to write the market analysis section of a business plan is a critical skill for startup entrepreneurs. As you prepare the market analysis section, be careful to rely on substantiated market research rather than your hopes for your jet ski dealership.
Look Over Competitors
Prior to launching a jet ski dealership in your area, it's a smart move to determine how you will fit in the competitive landscape. Try our link below to find competitors in your city. Simply enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of jet ski dealerships in your town.
Prior to opening your doors for business, be sure you fully understand the competitive landscape and where your new business will fit in.
Turning Competitors Into Collaborators
If you are interested in starting a jet ski dealership, you really ought to have a conversation with someone who is in the business. It's very unlikely that the local competition will talk to you. The last thing they want to do is help you to be a better competitor.
Thankfully, an owner of a a jet ski dealership in a location that is not competitive to you may be willing to share their entrepreneurial wisdom with you, as long as they don't view you as a competitive threat. Many business owners are happy to give advice to new entrepreneurs In my experience, you may have to call ten business owners in order to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
How do you locate a jet ski dealership manager in another community?
We can help. Follow the link below, try a few city/state combos or zipcodes, and then start calling!
Getting Started in Jet Ski Dealership Ownership
As a prospective jet ski dealership owner, your entry options are limited to buying a viable business or building one from scratch.
Startup jet ski dealerships can be attractive because they allow the entrepreneur to have more control and greater influence. But financially, startups present significant challenges because lenders are typically hesitant to fund startup jet ski dealerships.
Acquired jet ski dealerships are known quantities - and are less risky for lenders. On the whole, buying a business minimizes uncertainty as well as many of the objections lenders use to disqualify startup entrepreneurs from financing.
Don't Forget About Franchising As an Option
Starting a business via franchising doesn't guarantee success, but it does greatly simplify the startup and ongoing operations of your business.
If you planning on starting a jet ski dealership, you may want to check out whether purchasing a franchise might increase your chances of success.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you sell to jet ski dealerships, we've got better information for you elsewhere on our site. Try these resources instead:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.