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Mobile Boat Tarping and Cleaning Service.

Matthew Hinton

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Hello Fastlane. Thanks for taking the time to look into my post. I have a service based business idea that I would like to have reviewed.

I live on a lake and hear many people complaining about the time it takes to maintain their boat. It seems that one of the main sources of unhappiness for boat owners is tarping and un-tarping their boat for the weekend.

This made me wonder what it would be worth to person to have someone un-tarp their boat at their dock Friday morning and tarp it back up Monday morning. I would bring the service to the customer.

Additional services could be offered for additional fees such as, applying UV protectant spray to the seats, mold removal, floor cleaning, and spray waxing of the exterior. All of this would be performed on the water at the persons boat dock or marina.

I think this could be a subscription based service. Pay a fixed fee for x amount of months. Different levels of service could be offered. Silver, gold and platinum for example.

I would consider this more of a spare change type of business than a fastlane approach. If you’re a young fastlaner on summer break it could be a great side hustle. I’m sure it’s scaleable if enough people are interested in the service. The perfect scenario would be to have enough business to hire some help for the summer and pay them to perform the labor.

I would hate to offer the service and cancel if enough people weren’t interested. This is my biggest concern. I’m sure I could make advertisements to put at local marinas, restaurants, etc. Facebook also seems like a viable option as well as renting one of the many small billboards in the area.

How do I know how many people would commit to this? Build a website and capture emails and contact info? Ask around on boating forums? Set up some sort of pre order form on the site and refund money if I don’t go through with it? Make a “buy now” button that errors out when clicked but has the ability to be tracked?

How much would you pay? My thinking is that vacation home owners only have the weekend to spend. This service would take one more thing off their plate so that they could spend more time having fun and less time working.

Thanks again for your time!
 

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Strategery

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Have you asked some marinas to see if they already offer this kind of service? I feel like trying to offer it to private dock owners would be a pain in the a$$.

I bet @Johnny boy would be able to promote the F*ck out of something like this.
 

Johnny boy

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Door to door sales at the lake. Start the conversation with "I live in the (color) house on the lake over there" so they know you're one of them.
Sign them up with recurring card payments with quickbooks online.
Perform the services in a boat that goes dock to dock in the same lake and it takes WAYYY less time.


Why would you advertise anywhere other than just walking around the properties on the lake? It's already targeted for you! Just make a loop around the lake lol.
 
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Matthew Hinton

Matthew Hinton

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Kentucky
Have you asked some marinas to see if they already offer this kind of service? I feel like trying to offer it to private dock owners would be a pain in the a$$.

I bet @Johnny boy would be able to promote the F*ck out of something like this.
I’ve talked to a few guys at our local marina. I was told that they have been tipped up to $20 to tarp someone’s boat after a day out on the lake. Although, it’s not a service that is offered at the marina. I’m sure someone somewhere is doing this.
 
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Matthew Hinton

Matthew Hinton

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Door to door sales at the lake. Start the conversation with "I live in the (color) house on the lake over there" so they know you're one of them.
Sign them up with recurring card payments with quickbooks online.
Perform the services in a boat that goes dock to dock in the same lake and it takes WAYYY less time.

Why would you advertise anywhere other than just walking around the properties on the lake? It's already targeted for you! Just make a loop around the lake lol.

Thanks for the reply! I see this an an opportunity to practice building a business. A billboard is probably a little over the top lol. I know it’s simple but why not make the most of it? Thanks for your insight!
 

CaptainAmerica

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Scheduling is going to be a nightmare unless you hire help. Because everyone pulls their boat in the same 3 hour time frame, and there's only one of you.

Get together a full squad with same color t-shirts, and just show up. Name a price and gage the reaction. Do this for a few weeks, and you'll know whether or not it's worth branding the shirts.
 

MHP368

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You should just execute on this. Buy some boat cleaning supplies for 50 bucks and spend another 50 on flyers and go. This idea has wheels.
 
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Matthew Hinton

Matthew Hinton

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You should just execute on this. Buy some boat cleaning supplies for 50 bucks and spend another 50 on flyers and go. This idea has wheels.
You should just execute on this. Buy some boat cleaning supplies for 50 bucks and spend another 50 on flyers and go. This idea has wheels.
Thanks for the response!

To start I’m planning on putting some sort of ad or post on Facebook and Craigslist to see if there’s any interest. Although now doesn’t seem like the best time as it is the end of boating season.

The way that I have done the math isn’t supporting the idea of hiring someone to do the labor but that’s all based off assumptions. Once I figure out what people are willing to pay and how much interest there is in the service that will change.
 
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Matthew Hinton

Matthew Hinton

Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jul 23, 2019
42
84
115
Kentucky
Scheduling is going to be a nightmare unless you hire help. Because everyone pulls their boat in the same 3 hour time frame, and there's only one of you.

Get together a full squad with same color t-shirts, and just show up. Name a price and gage the reaction. Do this for a few weeks, and you'll know whether or not it's worth branding the shirts.
On our lake most privately owned docks are in groups of 12. Each subdivision has a few groups of docks.

I’m thinking that you could go door to door or make postcards, flyers etc. for each subdivision.

Hopefully you could get at least a few customers in each group of 12 docks. That could add up to several customers per subdivision. You could drive to one subdivision and walk to multiple docks.

I’m thinking this is something that would be done early Friday morning. When the customers arrive at their lake house Friday evening the boat is ready to go.

When they leave Sunday night they could plan on their boat being taken care early Monday morning.
 

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