Ocean Atlantic Rentals
Ocean Atlantic Rentals | Point Harbor, NC
Greg and Eden Honeycutt
Chris Marik, General Manager and Blake Buchert, Vice President
Ocean Atlantic Rentals is a 34-year-old rental business that rents beach recreational items such as beach chairs, bicycles, kayaks, and even baby gear to vacationers. Headquartered in Point Harbor, this North Carolina business has rental centers along the Outer Banks in Avon, Corolla, Duck, and Kill Devil Hills. Owners Greg and Eden Honeycutt leave the day-to-day operations to partners, general manager Chris Marik and vice president of operations Blake Buchert.
In late 2010, Chris and Blake were referred to the SBTDC by the Currituck County Economic Development office for assistance with team planning and leadership development training for store managers. Their business counselor, SBTDC Elizabeth City State University Regional Center Director Michael Twiddy, suggested that they participate in SymmeTreeTM, an SBTDC-developed two-day change management simulation that provides insight into what separates highperforming organizations from those who are struggling. The SBTDC’s Strategy and Organization Development (SOD) team helped participants explore strategic options and practice using new skills in a safe, team-building environment.
Michael Twiddy also identified an Incumbent Workforce Training grant that would provide more specialized training for their staff. The retailer applied and was awarded the grant funding for $5,400. In the spring of 2012, the SOD team facilitated two one-day training events to further develop the management team’s time management and leadership skills. SOD’s training tools are considered a “gold standard” by high-performing companies for building productive teams, developing effective leaders, training powerful sales forces, and enhancing internal communication. “This training helped staff get focused right before the beach season began, and time management, prioritizing, and efficient use of time were more evident than before,” Blake says.
The SBTDC’s training sessions helped put the customer service-oriented business on a more motivated and efficient track resulting in a great income year. In 2012, Ocean Atlantic Rental reported a solid increase in annual sales. Three full-time jobs were created giving the business 14 fulltime employees and up to 80 seasonal part-time employees.
In 2005, the business branched out into event rental items such as tents, dance floors, chairs, linens, and dishes for weddings and parties. They offer online event rental reservations, and plan to work with the SBTDC website assessment team to come up with ways to improve their website and online reservation process. Ocean Atlantic Rentals plans to keep improving customer service and their catalog of diverse and quality rental products, guided by valuable customer feedback.
Story originally featured in the SBTDC’s 2012-2013 Annual Report.
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