Troubled times...

This time last year I remember there was a lot of talk at METS about how good the next year was going to be.

People were telling me how the industry was on an up and growth was but a heartbeat away.

Then, despite other areas of industry showing signs of economic recovery, UK Leisure Marine has stuttered and stalled.

Is it, I wonder, a peculiar British thing to continue to say that all is good, rather than accept that the real message is different?

Have we all started to believe our own press? Marketing can be a very dangerous thing if you choose to base business decisions on expectations instead of reality.

Well, by general consensus, the last couple of quarters have been fairly poor; boat shows are seen to be fairly flat at best - perhaps there is only one thing left: Honesty.

When you have an industry in denial, who can pick the real path needed, and plan for the reality? Well, how about just stopping the bullshit and start being honest with each other for heaven’s sake!

In fairness, I hear that some builder and supplier openness is happening - cards on the table - so working together becomes less of a test of nerve or brinkmanship, and more of a partnership. Bravo for that. Now for the rest...

So what’s needed?

First - Let’s work hard on communication, we need a constructive forum that builds and links on the good practice.

Second – Once that’s established the development and promotion of inter-industry relationships, guiding dialogue up and down the supply chain.

In all the time I have been around, I have found major area of angst for many people boils down to communication.

Tell me where are the national conferences, to focus on issues and help with understanding? Is this not a key to open the way for future understanding of needs and therefore growth for UK companies?

Anyway all the industry needs to start the process is simple links, which will be the catalyst to starting to drive honesty for all.

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