Wanting to dive head-first into the shipyard industry can seem monumental. For the most part, it is! You will need to take care of many moving parts and operational activities. But it does not have to be that hard.
Eventually, many people have tried to build their own shipyards. And some have succeeded. However, many have also failed. Here is what the successful ones did right.
7 Important Tips For Building A Shipyard
Before building your shipyard, consider why you want to do it. Your reasons and drive will be the single most important factor. The shipyard business is profitable but very competitive.
You need to be in it for the long haul. Developing the right connections also matters. But if you have all those sorted out, here are 7 tips that will enable you to hit the ground running.
1. Do Your Research
Do not forget to research before you start working towards building your very own shipyard. Without the proper know-how and grit, it isn’t easy to build a shipyard.
One of the pitfalls of researching the market (and the process) yourself is access to quality data. Since you are new to the industry, hiring market research experts is the safest option.
The experts can study the market and give you solid data to base your decisions. Moreover, professional research firms will source their data reliably.
2. Pick a Great Location
Also, pick a great location for your shipyard. And location also comes down to even the country you pick. The country or area you choose to build your shipyard has a huge impact.
The country you choose can affect the costs of operating your brand-new shipyard. There will be suppliers, local laws, costs, and talent availability differences. It is imperative always to consider which location would be best for you to set up a brand-new shipyard.
3. Build For the Future
Another important tip is to build your shipyard with the future in mind. Many technological advancements have happened over the years. One such advancement is automatic welding, for example.
You can use computers to weld precisely. It is a much faster process than manual welding and saves you time. Additionally, preprogrammed computers are also less error-prone.
This is just an example of what kind of future-proofing you can do for your shipyard. High-quality parts and a good manufacturing partner are also important. Some experienced companies around the country provide technical services for big infrastructures. And if you don’t know where to look for one, you can learn more here.
4. Select Your Management Carefully
Building up your management team is perhaps one of the most important things you will do for your shipyard, apart from research. Sure, initially, you might need to wear multiple hats.
However, you will need more hands on deck as your shipyard grows. Many new shipyard owners make the mistake of hiring managerial staff much later. But if you work with industry experts right from the get-go, you will have a higher chance of succeeding.
A good management team will also give you high returns, just like selecting the right real estate investment. It ensures that your first vessel will be high-quality, which creates buzz in the industry for your shipyard.
5. Marketing Your Shipyard
PR and marketing are all too important in business. And that holds for shipyards as well. However, this might seem a bit counterintuitive but do not tell the media too much about your projects before it is ready.
Handle media honestly. Tell the trust, but also be careful how much information you share. You certainly do not want to lie. For example, saying a project is sold even though it is not.
Additionally, you should also invest in branding. A creative agency can help with this. Solid branding will help you stand out in the industry. Play to your strengths and sell your USP – your unique selling point.
6. Pay Heed to Your Designs
As mentioned, your first ship will be the most important one you produce. Therefore, it needs to be great. The ship’s design also needs to align with your shipyard’s brand.
Hire a designer (or a design team) who understands your brand. Consistent design language will help establish your brand. Moreover, customers will also know what to expect from your shipyard.
Besides, no one will get too excited about your shipyard if your ship designs are not elegant. Ship design can be an excellent marketing tool. It can be used as leverage.
7. Be Transparent With Your Customers
Customers want transparency. It creates trust and goodwill for your business. Building trust with your customers is especially important if you are new.
Therefore, be transparent with your customers and do not try to pull a fast one under their noses. For example, inform customers of all expenses when giving them a quote. Do not hide costs only to slap on them after they signed a contract.
Be honest with your deadlines and handover dates as well. If you believe you might not make the delivery on time, communicate that to your customers. Being transparent will help you build lasting business relationships and yield multiple returns.
If you keep the tips in mind, you will be set when building your shipyard. It will be competitive, but that is what makes it fun.
Extensively research the market first and hire a fantastic managerial team. It will make operations much more efficient. And remember, the customer always comes first. Your lasting relationships in the industry will propel your project forward.