Intern Mark Does Many Projects by Lewis Butler

The intern projects are coming along well, and this past week crews took out some different samples for multi-purpose cleaners that we are looking to private label, just like our First Mate Yacht Care boat soap!

I have had the opportunity to help Emma with estimates, scheduling, and our monthly marketing emails. I have learned a lot about giving estimates, and why we do test spots for bigger buffing and waxing projects so that we can bring value to customers and keep their boats in great condition as efficiently and affordably as possible.  Emma has been sharing expertise about various aspects of customer relations and meeting each individual client’s specific needs and expectations.

Another project I have been working on is researching different job tracking software.  Right now we use GeoOp, which has met our needs thus far, but Lewis is always looking for better solutions.  This is a long process as there are seemingly countless different softwares and apps that do similar things.  Each one is just a little different. Some are ugly, some are useless, and some are expensive.  Weighing the costs and benefits of switching to another software has been an active conversation. We want to be able to communicate, coordinate, and keep track of jobs for internal organization, but also so that we can provide customers with quality work, and be able to show them exactly what we are doing.  This is just one example where I was involved in a dynamic decision-making process and experienced how Lewis, Trevor, and Emma carefully approach new opportunities for the company. There is plenty to be done before this summer wraps up, and I am excited for everything ahead in the coming weeks!

2016 Interns - First Meeting by Lewis Butler

By Mark Englert

Summer is well under way and the new intern team is excited to jump in and get involved with the inner workings of First Mate Yacht Care!  We just had our first meeting with Lewis and Emma, and discussed our plans for the summer.  Lewis gave us an understanding of what he expects from the intern team and we were able to cast a vision for what this experience will look like going forward and set goals for the internship.

Our discussion centered around the hiring process as we examined how Zappos and Walmart select employees. We learned why FMYC asks certain questions when considering a future employee and what kind of answers to look for, even with seemingly simple questions like “do you have any hobbies?”  It was really interesting and informative to see the other side of the interview questions that seem so ordinary.

Next, Lewis challenged us with some ventures that he would like to see tackled this summer.  The intern team is eager to dive into these projects and keep you updated along the way!

FMYC Boat Soap Unveiling by Morgan Mooradian

As this summer kicks into gear, so is the First Mate Yacht Care Crew. We have been getting organized and prepared for the long and busy summer that is ahead of us. With many loyal customers at our side and experience crew members returning, we are excited for this season to commence. With a new year comes new ideas and services provided by the company. This year is the unveiling of our very own FMYC boat soap.

The first question that may come to your mind is what makes our private label boat soap different from the other boat soaps. First, our soap is environmentally friendly and biodegradable. Making sure that our soap does not harm the environment was one of our primary concerns. Our soap is also phosphate-free, which means that the chemical levels in the water will not change as the soap washes into it. Another great feature of our product is that it does not strip wax off of your boat. This can save tons of time and energy in the cleaning process. One of my personal favorite additions to our soap is the coconut aroma. Isn't it great knowing that your soap environmentally safe? Using First Mate Yacht Care Boat Soap smells great and is easy to use. Just a cap full amount of soap concentrate mixed with one half gallon of water, you will have plenty of suds to wash your boat. If you don't want to get hands on with our new soap, we will do it for you! 

If you are interested in picking up a bottle of our boat soap, here are various venders for which you can do so. Our local retailer’s include: Lake Michigan Yacht Sales located in Bay Harbor, Walstrom's Marina located in Harbor Springs, and at our FMYC headquarters located at 1000 Bay View Road. 

-Spencer

And that's a rap! by Morgan Mooradian

Morgan (left) and Emma (right) were both awesome interns this summer!

Morgan (left) and Emma (right) were both awesome interns this summer!

I vividly remember my first day at First Mate Yacht Care last May. I walked into our new shop, which happened to be an old paint shop—I was shocked. It clearly needed some First Mate love! That same day Lewis took me to FMYC’s original home, 1500 Howard Street. It was just a regular college townhouse with a garage filled of old gear and cleaning supplies. This is where FMYC began and thrived for 4 years, but it was clearly time for change! FMYC turned 5 years old this summer; and with that celebration came improvements.

So where to begin telling you all about my summer as an intern at FMYC? Here's a quick run through of some events and projects Team Intern and the crew accomplished in the past three months:

New location, Open House, Petoskey's Finest Auto Detailing, multiple boat shows, marketing emails, online operating system, new business cards, eco friendly products, private labeling, FMYC sticky notes, social media, ad kits, and of course, detailing dinghys to 101' yachts.

Not only did we physically grow in crew size, but also our experience levels broadened within. For the first time, FMYC offered a Summer Internship Program. The purpose of this program was to enlighten interns to the behind-the-scenes of how a small business runs. Myself and five other co-workers took on the role of Team Intern. We had weekly meetings discussing our twelve outlined learning objectives, like invoicing, customer relationships, traditional advertising, and many others.

So you might be thinking they’re just crew members that have meetings about small businesses? Not at all, as interns we were put into hands on situations and given many opportunities to contribute to FMYC’s success. Specially, I worked on the social media up keep and marketing emails. I also had other small projects like running the booth at the Bay Harbor Boat Show, creating raffles, and assembling ad boxes, just to name a few. As for social media, you would think posting on Facebook and Twitter multiple times a day would be easy! And it was, for the first couple weeks. After all the fun events were over and August was around the corner, keeping social media fresh and creative became a challenge. But luckily, our crew was all over Northern Michigan every day from Charlevoix to Mackinaw City sending me pictures of all the awesome boats and jobs at hand.

As the summer winded down for most of us at FMYC—I returned to Colorado Mesa University with a huge sense of accomplishment and a giant smile on my face. This past summer has given me the pleasure to reminisce on all my adventures and assemble a portfolio to turn in for college credit. 

Overall, this summer was nothing short of awesome. Sure I may have worked a ton and didn't have much time to hit the beach, but I got an awesome Sperry tan and spent my days on the water in Northern Michigan working on beautiful boats with a great crew. I couldn’t of asked for a more insightful and beneficial experience. What could possibly have been a better summer job? 



Big Project - Starting a New Company! by Lewis Butler

My main project over the summer has been working on our new auto detailing brand, and I think everything is finally up and running and ready to go! From deciding on a name, to creating a logo, making a website, and working out pricing and invoicing systems it has been quite a long process. I have found that completing each step can take longer than expected when working with a team and other outside sources, but in the end it is very exciting and satisfying for all of our plans and hard work to come to fruition.

The most time-consuming part of the process was definitely having a logo created. After hiring a couple designers and receiving less than desirable results, we decided to hold a logo contest online. I set up the contest and after looking through countless submissions and asking for multiple changes, we came upon a design with which we were happy in a mere two days. In hindsight, it would have been more effective to have the logo contest from the get-go, but hiring the designers was definitely a good learning experience.

Everything ran pretty smoothly once the logo was chosen. I helped fill out DBA paperwork, and I learned how to set up our accounting and invoicing systems. We came up with detailing packages along with prices for each service. After all of these necessary steps, we are ready to go! I am very excited to have auto detailing customers--I think we already have two lined up!

-Emma 

Another Team Intern Meeting Down! by Lewis Butler

Another Team Intern meeting down!

This week we are focusing a lot on the execution of our open house at our new shop. This includes getting out invitations, planning a menu, and making sure the shop is in tip-top condition. We want to show off our new location and car detailing brand.

 

Not quite what we are going for, but pretty good for $.67 an hour.

Not quite what we are going for, but pretty good for $.67 an hour.

I have been working on getting a logo for our auto detailing with another intern, Dallas. So far, I have hired 3 different people from an online site called odesk to create drafts of the logo. These are people from all around the world who have varying degrees of graphic design talent and will work for anywhere starting as low as $0.67 an hour! Through this I learned that often times, price is a good indicator of quality. Dallas is also looking into a local graphic designer that he knows to see what he can come up with. At this point, it is just a waiting game to see who can come up with the best design.

At the Team Intern meeting, our discussion focused on the uses and benefits of social media. Lewis explained that social media is valuable in order to remind potential customers that we are active and knowledgeable about our work. Posting before and after pictures or how to videos is something that First Mate does to show our customers what we have been up to. It also allows us to be more present and easily found on the internet. These are very important things to keep in mind when running a business.

 

-Emma

Marketing Email and More! by Lewis Butler

Team Intern working hard and learning about human resources.

Team Intern working hard and learning about human resources.

I just completed my second week as an intern and it went great! Over the past two weeks, we've been extremely busy getting our new location up to par and organizing all the projects for this month.

We also had our Human Resources discussion, where we discussed Walmart and Zappo's hiring methods. We then discussed what Lewis, as an employer, looks for during an interview. It was extremely helpful to learn about what the interviewer is really looking for and how simple questions can really portray a person's work ethic by how they answer. We then switched gears to delegating projects between Team Intern!

How about the super cool emails we've been sending you? Myself and Intern Paige have been working with Lewis to make the emails simple and useful for you all! I'm currently working on a couple other projects to help prepare us for our Open House,June 7th! It's all very exciting and rewarding when we complete projects!

- Morgan

Marketing Email by Morgan Mooradian

Look out Michigan, FMYC is here and ready to clean your boat! Our awesome Spring email is out updating our Michigan customers and introducing them to our new operating system, new logo, awesome team of interns, and new website! 

Our goal for this email was to inform you all about the new improvements FMYC has made. Taking on this task, I thought it would be a simple, plain email. Boy, did Lewis have a different vision! Lewis introduced me to an awesome website that allows you to pick and edit templates that allow you to create fun and professional email campaigns.  After we brainstormed and clarified our main points, we organized it all into a campaign template. As always, technology was playing games with me! Ended up taking more time organizing and making the template look appealing than to write it!  We really had to pay attention to keeping the email simple and clear. Once everything came together, we sent our finished product out into the wild! We were able to watch our 'open rates' and 'click rates' grow as people explored our Spring email! 

For those who have yet to see the new website, logo, and operating system, go to: www.firstmateyachtcare.com 

-Morgan 

 

Wahoo! Summer's coming soon! by Morgan Mooradian

I am ready for summer! Nothing like working on the docks in Northern Michigan. Clean boats, blue skies and great people. I am a new member to Team FMYC, and oh-so excited to be apart of their new summer internship program. 

I have been working on the docks for a few summers now cleaning yachts to tenders, but this summer I get to learn the "behind-the-scenes" operations that make FMYC successful. So come May, myself and the other interns will be working hard week-to-week learning hands on about human resources, and customer relationship building to the value of social media. 

As if working with a great crew and learning about small business isn't good enough, right? I will also be receiving 6 credits that will count towards my bachelor degree of Business at Colorado Mesa University. When I brought my paperwork into my advisor, to make the internship official; he could not believe such a great internship opportunity was in my hands, let alone his. My advisor continued to walk me through the requirements and the work that comes with receiving 6 credits, hidden in the pile was a 10-page essay. But as my advisor briefed me on the essay, I realized writing a 10-page paper about my adventures and experiences at FMYC wouldn't be too difficult at all. But will be a story of how I grow and learn in a practical hands on environment that FMYC has created. 

I'm excited to be a part of Team Intern at FMYC and all the experiences that await!

-Morgan

A Trip to Ann Arbor by Lewis Butler

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Note: We have an awesome team of interns lined up for this summer. They will be sharing their experiences here on the blog "Team Intern" throughout the summer as they take on different projects and gain hands on experience.

And the internship begins!

Today's trip into Ann Arbor left us eager for the summer up north to arrive. We went to Underground Printing to help choose this year's uniforms. There are a lot more variables to consider than we previously would have thought. There are so many colors, styles, and qualities to consider, and it is easy to forget how quickly an extra two dollars for a shirt will add up when you are ordering for 30+ people! We met with Danny and chose our favorite options, now we are just waiting to see the mock-ups and pricing before making any decisions.

It's a really exciting experience to be a part of the business decision making. We made sure to take into consideration that all the little details add up to the bigger picture and can make a huge difference in the overall image of the company.  Our Ann Arbor outing has made us even more excited for the internship--and the good lunch and cookies added to the excitement!

-Paige and Emma