It’s that sad time of the year when we have to accept that the boating season has come to an end. It was quite an eventful summer for Your Boat Club. We dealt with heavy rainfalls early in the season, no-wake zones at multiple locations and not a great deal of heat. But we made the best of it and have to hand it to you, our members, for sticking it through and getting out there when you could. Especially a couple of weeks ago during that final September weekend! Who would have thought that perhaps the nicest weekend of the summer would come during fall season? There are a couple of days left so might as well get out there once last time if you can. In the meantime, our managers and dock hands are going to be busy pulling boats, power washing them and delivering them to Steve, our mechanic, who will work on them one by one throughout the winter months.
Now is your last chance to save BIG on your renewal for next year! You have until the end of the day on Wednesday, October 15th to take advantage of the huge savings YBC is offering. One of the main reasons YBC is able to stay afloat year after year is the high renewal rate of you, our members. As you know, we put a cap on our memberships to assure you have great boat availability. Returning members get the best deals so make sure to secure your spot for 2015 before we sell out memberships during our winter events. The sooner you renew, the better deals we get on new boats, thus the better deals you will continue to get for years to come. By now you should have received all the info you need regarding savings and payment plans. If you have any questions please call the office at 612-208-1800. We look forward to seeing all you familiar faces in 2015!
Oops! Left something behind? We might have it! Throughout the season our dock hands find various items left on the boats. Though we always attempt to contact the owners of the items we find, sometimes they remain unclaimed. We hold onto these, hoping our members will get them back. Items include clothing, hats, sandals, sunglasses, watches, jewelry, toys, can koozies, axillary cords, and much more. If you or a family member is missing something please feel free to contact us with the possible location(s) your lost item may be. We will be happy to look for it and return it to you.
Have you ever wondered who the masterminds behind Your Boat Club are? Some of you have probably never met the owners who started the company five years ago. Here is your chance to get a glimpse of the men behind the scenes of YBC who got it all started. Luke Kujawa and Michael Jellish started out as friends with no business relationship whatsoever. Luke, a Vikings fan who grew up in the Minnesota boating world, recently sold his family’s business, Crystal Pierz Marine. Michael, a Packers fan from Wisconsin, pretty much dominated the sales and marketing force behind Yellow Book. Together, the duo combined their mind-power to create one of the greatest Minnesota companies in history: Your Boat Club.
YBC MASTERMINDS: LUKE AND MICHAEL
During the time that Luke and his family were in the process of selling their family business Michael and Luke were discussing plans to open up a new business together. While Michael was gearing towards a “Rent-a-Puppy” service, Luke presented his idea for a boat club. Michael loved the idea. The day after Crystal Pierz sold, Your Boat Club was born.
A previous owner of businesses, Michael puts running a successful company into perspective. “You can run any business as long as you take care of your customers and focus on them instead of the money,” he says. “You need to remember to ‘treat every customer like they’re your only customer.’”
Though running a boat club can be very difficult in various aspects, Luke and Michael thoroughly enjoy the rewards. In particular, they appreciate having so many happy customers. “Boating is not only fun, it’s a great bonding experience with family and friends,” Michael says. “We bring people together and it’s easy to notice through our members.”
YBC member Brian Shriver agrees. “We don’t have a cabin so the kids love it,” he says. “It’s like a staycation.”
Luke and Michael built Your Boat Club with the idea of having a strong, hard-working staff to help keep their customers happy. With an experienced office manager, an energetic go-getter sales person, a general manager at each major location, and a crew of dockhands under each manager, the owners say their “staff rocks.” That opinion is reciprocal with the staff. Jamie Otero works with Luke and Michael on a daily basis as the office manager. “They work so hard every day, talking with members, attending city and town hall meetings, brainstorming new ideas around the office,” she says. “And they treat all of us so well, truly listening to any and all input any of us might have regarding anything.”
Running a boat club is not all peaches and cream. Most people do not understand how much work boats actually are. Luke and Michael try to pick boats that they feel offer the most value. They usually tend to be more expensive than others in the market but as Michael put it, “you get what you pay for.” Boats break down all the time, even new ones. But YBC boats last. The hassles of boating are kept invisible from the members 95 percent of the time. A member might leave the club, remembering that Saturday they wanted to go out on their boat from sunup to sundown, but couldn’t. Then they buy a boat, suffer through a year or two of boat ownership and come back to the club.
Luke’s lifelong experience boating on Minnesota’s lakes and rivers coupled with member feedback, YBC tries to pick the most desirable bodies of water in the metro area. Five years ago the club finished off its inaugural season with two locations: Prior Lake and Lake Minnetonka. Now members can enjoy eight different lakes and rivers. The future of Your Boat Club is limitless. According to the owners, YBC will continue to experience slow, steady growth and will continue to try to add services that increase the value proposition to members.
We are always looking for ways to improve our business. To this end, we are asking our valued members to now take one minute to complete a brief questionnaire that will provide input regarding your experiences with the club. Your feedback on this short survey is greatly appreciated.
Please answer a few questions and tell us about your YBC experiences by clicking this link: Click here to take survey.