Printer Friendly

New market keeping boat business afloat.

New Market Keeping Boat Business Afloat

Sideline In Concrete Molds Boosts $1.7 Million Bottom Line

When it rains, it pours.

In 1988, Concord Boat Company's sales reached almost $3 million but two years later dropped to $1.7 million. With its sales cut almost in half and the boat industry adrift nationally, Concord has been forced to survive by other means.

A weakening economy, accompanied by excessive rain and flooding the past two years, knocked the bottom out of the boat business and caused a severe reversal for Concord.

Twelve years ago, Fritz Hawkins and Neil Baker began operating Concord and witnessed a steady increase in sales. Their best years were from 1986 to 1988.

This year, however, they are experiencing one of their worst years in business. Hawkins, Concord VP, says most manufacturers are "in the same boat" as far as sluggish sales.

"I've seen five or six boat companies go out of business in the last 30 days," Hawkins notes.

Instead of quitting, however, Concord plans to ride it out. The company now is reaching out to non-boat businesses because Hawkins believes it's "good to be diversified."

A Quick Recovery

With this new approach, however, it hasn't taken Concord long to recover from lagging sales. The company just completed designing and building fiberglass molds for Arkansas Precast Company. Concord also is building the molds for concrete work on the new 52-story Federal Reserve Building in Dallas and will build eight to 10 molds that can be used many times.

While it's too early to calculate the effect of this new sideline, each mold costs about $6,800. The cost also can vary according to the size and difficulty of the job.

Concord now is looking for other industries to service, and Hawkins says that his suppliers often are a good source for leads.

"Suppliers can be the source of other business. We can get help sometimes and are pushed in the right direction by suppliers," Hawkins says.

The Eternal Optimist

Hawkins is optimistic and expects Concord's boat sales to increase in April or May of next year. He believes the supply of boats will decrease while the demand for them increases. Meanwhile, Hawkins says he is not going to give up his new business.

If the market for your product is becoming depleted, take time to see if you can diversify like Concord Boat. When boat sales pick up, Hawkins may have two thriving markets.

PHOTO : STAYING AFLOAT: Neil Baker and Fritz Hawkins of Concord Boat Corp. have diversified to stay in business because of the downturn in boat sales.

Dan Bilek is a professional management consultant and broker. He operates Commercial Consultants of North Little Rock.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Journal Publishing, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Small Business Consultant
Author:Bilek, Dan
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Dec 3, 1990
Words:450
Previous Article:Coming, going, gone.
Next Article:Maumelle's lender slips into federal hands.
Topics:


Related Articles
Manufacturer customized boat for Easter Seals.
BUYERS, SELLERS SET SALE.
DIVERS KEEP SEARCHING 3 DAYS AFTER MAN'S FALL.
CONEJO VALLEY: BRIEFLY : DIVERS' SEARCH FAILS TO RETRIEVE SIMI MAN.
DIVERS FIND BODY AFTER 3-DAY HUNT.
Wave rider.
Family-owned duck boat tour business recovers.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters