A current member of YLAC and former MDCE scholarship winner, Patrick Boylan, the Operations Manager at Boater's World in Lake Placid, Fla., is turning education into opportunity. His drive for continuous improvement, both on a personal and professional level, has transferred into the dealership as he continues to be diligent in process and replicates an outstanding dealership experience to every customer that walks into Boater’s World. Read more about Patrick and the efforts he is making for the future health of the boating business.
Q: You currently sit on MRAA’s Young Leaders Advisory Council. What made you want to get involved with this group?
Boylan: The opportunity to be a part of the YLAC group became of interest to me from the moment that I first spoke with Jake Jostand. The enthusiasm for the industry and the YLAC group that he shared reflected my own. It felt like an opportunity to share my passion for the marine industry and serve others in a positive capacity. I immediately felt like there was the possibility to accomplish something extraordinary and partner with some of the industry’s future leaders.
Q: Why do you feel it’s important that the young professionals of the industry get involved in industry initiatives?
Boylan: The evolution of the industry is happening now! In the past ten years I have witnessed the marine technology, boating culture, and business landscape go through drastic changes. More so than in any previous decade in my opinion. It is a privilege to be present in this industry and help guide its growth and direction towards the future. The efforts and enthusiasm of our younger industry professionals today, will directly affect the future health of the boating business.
Q: You were an MDCE Scholarship winner a couple years back. What was your experience at MDCE and what impact has had it had on your career?
Boylan: The “MDCE Scholarship Experience” was life changing for me in many ways. I can’t describe all of the positives that have come since the moment that I found out I was chosen. The first MDCE was like a whirlwind of knowledge that was empowering and confusing all at the same time. It affirmed what we were doing right at the dealer level and opened my eyes to where we really needed to improve. Without a doubt MRAA and my first MDCE fueled my passion for the Marine Industry. I guarantee that I would not be where I am today without this educational opportunity. It has been priceless! I have learned so much, shared so much and gained so much from the experience.
Q: You’ve changed jobs since that time, uprooting from Texas and taking on a bigger role at your current Florida-based dealership? What opportunities attracted you there?
Boylan: I very much miss my team and customers at my previous dealership but know that I made the right decision. It was daunting to travel across the country and take on more responsibility with a larger company. Boater’s World serves a much larger region and has a national outreach for products with a greater focus on distribution. We currently offer product from every major OEM Engine manufacturer as well as nine national Boat brands. I have always been very driven (in success and failure) to see what I am capable of. With this company being many times larger and my role being tougher, I felt excited to take on this new challenge. My current role is that of Operations Manager, which has challenged me more in the areas national and global business development and in the areas of building/training a “world class” team. The growth potential for me and Boater’s World is limitless.
Q: What changes have you made since arriving there, and what would you say are your goals for continuing to grow and improve?
Boylan: ”Change” is considered a four letter word when a new manager comes in. I have preferred to say that I have “advanced the evolution” of the dealership. Rebranding our store and our identity was the first step as we changed from “Central Florida Yamaha” to “Boater’s World”. We then took an in depth look at our product lines, service and parts departments to refocus on what we were doing well and not so well. We revamped our finance department and began using a service company (First Approval Source) that I learned of through MRAA and MDCE 2015. This tripled our finance reserve and backend profits in a short amount of time. Next was a full overhaul of our website, marketing programs, SEO and social media. Somewhere in the middle of all of this, I was tasked with “picking up the pennies”. I sat with the Management Team and took a forensic look at where we were not capturing small amounts of revenue or where we were losing margin through minor mistakes. All of these pennies have added up to a fairly decent sum. Although it is still a work in progress, we are building a culture of quality and diligence in every facet of our business. A fair portion of my knowledge and understanding of these things came from training references made at MDCE 2015 and MDCE 2016 that led me to learn more and educate myself. MDCE was in large part the catalyst for our evolution.
Growth and improvement are two of the hardest things to accomplish correctly in the marine industry. I like money but am not solely money motivated. My goals for the growth of Boater’s World directly parallel that of it’s ownership. When we produce the right formula for destination locations an outstanding dealership experience, our plans are to reproduce it multiple times. I am excited to see what the future hold for Boater’s World, my team and myself.
Q: What are 5 things that people may not know about you?
- I am deathly afraid of spiders.
- I own more than 60 pairs of shoes and have a pair to match any type of apparel.
- I take selfies with the smallest fish that I catch so that no one knows I catch the big ones.
- I plan to never shave my face again. I love my beard.
- My favorite sport is turkey and duck hunting and I have done it all over the country.