Prior to joining Boatshed Steve went to Loughborough University and took a degree in Chemistry (He got a BSc 2.1 the clever chap!) then worked for 25 years in the Pharmaceutical industry in production operations but was made redundant by one of the big firms in the industry and so opted to do something different and found out about owning a franchise yacht brokerage business through Boatshed.com.
I haven't got my own boat at the moment, teenage kids and a used yacht business to run mean I don't really have much time, I do spend a lot of time on other people's boats. Anyone wanting to sell or buy a used yacht I can help. We will take up to 70 pictures of your boat to include on the Boatshed.com website.
I have had a few boats of my own, the last one, which I shared with my brother we sold when he moved to Devon. My favourite boat was my Challenger 35, they're great sea boats but it was an absolute pig in marinas! I also had a Scanmar 40 which I did the ARC on in 2000. I skippered her down to Gran Canaria with various crew and then across the Atlantic. We kept her there for a while and did some Caribbean cruising.
What do you feel important in running your Boatshed business on a daily basis?
Being organised and keeping everyone informed each step of the way.
What new things are happening in your business at present?
One of the things that seem to be working well is greater co-operation with other boat yards and yacht brokers. I think this is an area well worth developing; we have all the brokerage from one yard who have chosen to outsource all this to us. We have a shared commission arrangement but they send me all the boats for sale in the yard and have a big window display with boats for sale right next to their chandlery.
Where do you see your business in 2012?
I intend to keep the business growing over the next few years, we have managed around 30% growth a year in the last 3 years, I know the business is getting well known in the area within around 20 miles of the office so I hope to increase that to around 50 miles. I am thinking of setting up another office, maybe in West Mersea with a yacht broker and agents to grow the business. Boatshed Essex is still very much the new kid on the block competing against older established brokers but we are certainly getting better known and I would like to build on our good reputation.
What new trends are happening in your business?
We’ve had a lot more enquiries from abroad, especially Belgium and the Scandinavian countries. We are in a good location for European buyers owing to the transport links. Boatshed Essex is also getting better known locally and people now pop into the office whereas a year ago they were surprised to find a broker in the yard. I would like to develop this more and feel that we are building up a good reputation locally.
How is your business going?
Very well, this year has been much better that I thought it would be given the economic climate.