What
  • Charter Trips
  • Fishing
  • Lobster Fishing
  • Whale Watching
Where

Ventura Harbor Sportfishing – Case Study

Case Study

How we helped a landing with 8 charter boats simplify their business and increase their profits

We help the owners of landings and sportfishing boats, whale watching tours, and charter boat trips everywhere (fresh water, deep water) run their operations. Our solutions are designed to make our client’s work easier, and their businesses more profitable.

Featured Client: Ventura Harbor Sportfishing - Ventura, CA

Ventura Harbor Sportfishing is a landing in Ventura, CA that has 8 boats, and offers trips including whale watching and a variety of sportfishing around the Channel Islands National Park.

Ventura Harbor Sportfishing’s Landing at Dusk - including the boats Island Spirit, Endeavor, Estella, New Hustler, Pacific dawn, Pacifica and the Pacific Eagle

In November 2019, the landing and its boats were acquired by new owners, a couple who really wanted to update their landing. The landing was previously owned for a few decades by another couple who had a lot of success. With the landing came a lot the old technology and workflows that had been used by the previous owners.

White Sea Bass Caught From Overnight Charter at Ventura Harbor Sportfishing

The new owners had exciting ideas for how to make things better, both for their customer’s experiences and for their administrative workflows. They know there are lots of charter boats in Southern California, and they were willing to work hard to make their new company stand out.

Ventura Harbor Sportfishing’s Shop

They knew they were providing their customers with fantastic sportfishing charters around the Channel Islands National Park, and they wanted to focus on enhancing the experience for their customers. They wanted to focus more on this:

But they were bogged down in administrative tasks, the high fees of their solutions was making it more difficult to be profitable so they sought out new solutions.

They knew they needed things to be easier to manage, clear and organized, as well as help them book more customers by making it easier to book online without their guests having to create accounts. The booking engine had to be mobile friendly and offer more features that would enhance their guests purchase experience and allow for less administration time to manage their trips and bookings. They knew this would be a step in the right direction, but they didn’t know how to make that happen.

We started working with Ventura Harbor Sportfishing to implement several of our solutions into their future workflow.

Through dozens of meetings and consulting sessions we listened as they described their biggest problems, and explained to us what their ideal solutions would be. It was an exciting process, because many of their requests were for features that we were already developing.

They were experiencing a lot of problems 🙁

All of their money was processed through their booking provider. The money was routed through the provider, who in turn would pay them, minus substantial fees. The owner’s expressed how uncomfortable they were with the money not really feeling like theirs.
Trying to get quick insights into things like money-in, money-out, and making financial plans for the future was a problem for them. Everyone wants to feel like they understand where they are at now, and what to expect in the future, so they can plan their business and their lives around that. They couldn’t do that.
They would pre-pay for access to their system. The fee was high, and they had to pay it whether their boats were running or not. The Covid-19 shut down made this problem very glaring – and their previous reservation system provider offered no discount or pausing of payment.
They would pre-pay for access to their system. The fee was high, and they had to pay it whether their boats were running or not. The Covid-19 shut down made this problem very glaring – and their previous reservation system provider offered no discount or pausing of payment.
They know there are lots of charter boats in the area. Sometimes people book with them, sometimes they book with a competing landing — usually fishermen will go with the boat they think will take them to catch something exciting. They didn’t have a good method for letting people know what they were catching or when.
They know there are lots of charter boats in the area. Sometimes people book with them, sometimes they book with a competing landing — usually fishermen will go with the boat they think will take them to catch something exciting. They didn’t have a good method for letting people know what they were catching or when.
Fishing charters are highly susceptible to being canceled due to weather. Sometimes, staff would spend hours calling every passenger the day before the trip informing them that their trip was cancelled.
Fishing charters are highly susceptible to being canceled due to weather. Sometimes, staff would spend hours calling every passenger the day before the trip informing them that their trip was cancelled.

Covid-19 - the hand that 2020 dealt us

They were dealing with a lot --- High fees, reduced capacity trips and completely canceled trips, increased regulation, increased admin work, and more.

Then Covid-19 hit ...

A few months after acquiring the landing, and right at the start of their busy Spring season, Covid-19 developed as a major health emergency that completely shut-down fishing charters.

Having their tours shut down exposed these glaring problems in their business. They had to survive a 3-month total shutdown – no trips at all. Then when they were able to start running again, it was only at 25% capacity – but their booking service provider was still charging 100% of their fees. They felt like they were bleeding money, and being shut down showed them how little breathing room in their profits that they had, and the downtime also provided a chance to evaluate the problems they were already aware of.

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Charter Boats have always collected Release of Liability Waivers from passengers prior to boarding, and the State of California mandated that in addition to normal boarding waivers, that Charter Boats also collect signatures from passengers stating that they are Covid-19 negative.

Collecting waivers was already a logistical nightmare. On busy days, this means collecting and verifying hundreds of physical signatures. Then, per California Law, these signatures have to be stored for 3 years. For a landing like Ventura Sportfishing, this could mean over 100,000 paper documents in storage. And if they ever needed to demonstrate that they collected a specific signature, that could be over a day’s work just to locate.

This was another headache piled on top of a mountain of work. The new owners were starting to get overwhelmed by it all, and they knew they needed to find a better way to consolidate all of these issues.

We were already working with several fishing charters and whale watching companies …

Providing marketing, design, and search engine optimization services – and through this working relationship, they would explain all the technical and logistical issues they were experiencing.

As we looked deeper into the charter boat business we saw that hundreds of boats out there experienced many of these same dilemmas. Too much administrative work and too many things chewing away their profits.

Because there is a software development wing to our business, we decided we could help the Travel and Tourism industry, and immediately we could help Charter Boats, Whale Watching, and Deep Sea Fishing experiences.

What we did

GoFish

At A Glance Versus Other Tourism Based Booking Solutions

Feature / Workflow

  • Touches Your Money?
  • Accesses Your Financial Records?
  • Detailed, daily fishing reports
  • Processing Fees
  • Digital liability waiver sign-offs?
  • Digital Covid-free sign-offs?
  • Contract terms
  • Processes your credit cards?

GoFish Solution

  •  
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  • Less than 0.99%
  •  
  •  
  • Month to month / cancel anytime
  •  

Your Solution

  •  
  •  
  •  
  • Very High
  •  
  •  
  • Yearly
  •  

Become a part of GoFish family

For over 20 years, we’ve designed technical solutions to help our clients grow, make more money, and build order and structure into their workflows.

We’re helping Ventura Harbor Sportfishing do all of this, and more, and if you have a fishing charter, travel, or tourism business, we can help you too.

Would you like to learn how to turn your operation into an efficient, easy to manage, independent, profitable tourism experience, like Ventura Sportfishing.

If you do — Please Contact Us to see if and how we may be able to help you

We have more than just the directory listing

GoFish provides you with everything you need to run your Water Tour Activities Business

Visit our parent website to know more

www.GoFish.rocks