I was at the Progressive Mid-America Boat Show in Cleveland in January. As I walked the aisles, I saw more than a few people carrying white buckets. My first thought was that some exhibitor was doing well selling buckets — a lot of them.
But then I realized the name and logo of South Shore Marine was boldly emblazoned on all of the buckets. Curious, I made my way to its large exhibit (Pursuit, Grady-White, Regal, Back Cove) and found South Shore’s president, Tom Mack.
“What’s with all the buckets?” I asked.
“We’re giving them away to customers and, especially, prospects here at the show,” Mack explained. “For the show, we purchased 2,500 buckets with our name on them. I thought it would be fun to see lots of people walking around the show with South Shore buckets. Kind of a bucket brigade — and it got your attention didn’t it?” he said, grinning.
“Pretty clever,” I responded.
“Oh, it gets even better,” he said.
Mack explained that he specifically chose a bucket wide enough for a typical deck brush to fit in.
“Every boater carries a bucket on board,” he said. “They fill it with boat soap when washing down. I imagine hundreds of South Shore buckets in all the marinas around northern Ohio next summer. It should keep our name out there, and we’re having a lot of fun with it here.”
Every exhibitor in a boat show wants to stand out. A tip of the cap to South Shore for finding a crafty way to get there.
Last week I reported on the grants given by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation from the George H.W. Bush Vamos a Pescar Educational Fund to introduce boating and fishing experiences to Hispanic families.
The Hispanic audience accounted for 48 percent of the U.S. population growth between 2010 and 2015 and is projected to reach 65 million individuals by 2020. It should be no surprise that many Hispanics are also small business owners. And they are more optimistic about the future than their non-Hispanic counterparts.
According to reports in the Miami Herald, a recent Bank of America study looked at 1,000 small business owners and found that 71 percent of Hispanic entrepreneurs expect their revenues to increase in 2017. Notably, that’s a whopping 20 percent higher than non-Hispanic respondents (51 percent).
Moreover, Hispanic-owned businesses are the fastest-growing segment of the small business sector. More than 50 percent of Hispanic entrepreneurs surveyed also plan to hire more employees over the next 12 months. That compares to just 25 percent of non-Hispanic small business owners. Looking forward, the study determined that 76 percent of Hispanic small business owners predict business growth over the next five years, compared to 55 percent of non-Hispanics.
In addition to the realization that Hispanics have the resources to be boaters, they’re also a key to boating’s future because, according to the study, nationally 23 percent of Hispanic business owners cite maintaining their work-life balance as their top challenge. As has been established in many other studies, family time is the No. 1 priority of Hispanics.
Correspondingly, when it comes to other forms of family support, 55 percent say their family plays an influential role in their business decisions, versus 39 percent of non-Hispanic entrepreneurs, and 63 percent say their family helps to run their business, versus 54 percent of non-Hispanic counterparts.
The study was based on interviews of 1,000 small business owners with annual revenue between $100,000 and $5 million, plus interviews with 348 Hispanic small business owners.