What has Covid-19 taught you about your business?
The importance of working relationships, especially those between clients and suppliers.
Business is a two-way street and this is about providing the client with good service and workmanship of a high standard, which incorporates the need to have a good working relationship with suppliers in order to manage and undertake jobs to a high level of quality.
Without this working relationship both the client and supplier don’t benefit from the knowledge and the best products available to achieve their sailing ambitions – both in racing and cruising.
- How have you found inspiration to adapt to the new “normal”?
Despite the new ‘normal’, our business has been inspired by the desire for our clients to make the benefit of using this break to undertake scheduled and unscheduled maintenance in order to see them ready for the resumption of sailing as the restrictions are lifted.
It has been humbling to see the support of some of our long-term clients, in particular with their support of small business’ and their willingness to ‘keep the wheels of industry turning’ and not just with us, but also showing their support across the sailing industry as they bring forward varying maintenance schedules during this time, all requiring different types of expertise.
What have you found your regular customers wanted done during these unusual times?
Our regular customers have continued asking for support and advice, as well as being appreciative of reports to them identifying unforeseen rigging issues or weather-related events which have caused covers to blow off etc. We have then been able to provide them with a plan to fix the issues if we haven’t been able to at that time, as we notice them during our daily travel on the water. They are also willing to have open discussions in how they are using their boats and also discussions about how best to prepare for the coming season.
Different BIAs have allowed sailing in some states, with maximum 2 people…do you believe it may be the start of solo or double-handed sailing in Australia?
Although I don’t think it is the start, I do believe that these restrictions have given people a new incentive to go sailing solo or double-handed, thereby challenging themselves to continue sailing despite these restrictions. As a result, I have noticed that some sailors have looked within their own households in order to get out on the water, which has challenged family members to get out and try sailing instead of taking the usual back seat when weekend racing consumes their partner’s weekend.
How do you see the start of the next sailing season?
I think it’s going to be exciting, busy and hopefully with a new level of interest from people new to sailing willing to try something that they may have thought was beyond their abilities.
It would be great for the sport if all involved took the time to mentor and teach people as well as give others the opportunity to have a go and see what they can achieve.
If everyone tries something different on a boat then the overall ability and standards of crews will benefit as a whole – which is great for the longevity of our sport.