Do you Make Sales or Sell?

There is a difference between making a sale and selling someone. The former is how a company makes money and takes care of overhead. The latter is how a once successful company will see its revenues quickly and seemingly inexplicably decline as the years drag on (or how a start-up fails to get off the ground at all).

Let me explain with an example I think we’re all generally familiar with: buying a car. About two years ago, I was in the market for a new car. While I didn’t tell the salespeople this, I needed a car as mine had been so wonderfully totaled by a new driver in a blizzard. Thankfully, I had already been thinking of getting a new car and knew exactly what I wanted… meaning that really all a salesperson had to do was give me a good price and treat me with respect. I was moving in about two months, so the ‘service after the sale’ pitch did absolutely nothing for me.

I tried two dealerships that were close to my house. I had emailed both previously to get a deal started that I could further negotiate once I arrived. The first one told me that they didn’t offer any deals online and that I’d have to come in to discuss price (nice sales tactic..). The second offered me an actually good deal from the get go, and told me who to ask for when I arrived.

When I went to the first one, the salesman exhibited all the classic signs of the hard sell. He tried to get me to test drive one of the models that was the same color as my shirt (he guessed wrong), used phrases while I was test driving the car to try to make me think of myself as already owning it, and tried his best to create a sense of urgency. When we sat back down in the dealership, we started talking about price. He tried to tell me that they couldn’t go any under the MSRP because, and I quote, “Hyundai really doesn’t mark up their cars much at all. If we went any under MSRP, even $500, we wouldn’t make any money”. Apparently, I had a “I’m stupid and today is my first day on earth” stamp on my forehead. I told him I wasn’t buying it and that I would be going to another dealership. He tried to call my bluff, and told me good luck, but I would never find the  kind of deal I was looking for, especially not with the service that he could offer.

The second dealership was like a dream. Before the test drive, since I knew who to ask for, the salesman pulled my email (which included what car with exactly what features I wanted) and went and grabbed that exact car. During the test drive, I did all the talking – asking questions as I saw fit. Once back in the dealership, I negotiated down a bit more (which was shockingly and unexpectedly simple and non-combative), and we figured out I qualified for all of the current factory incentives (yay!). I’ll leave out the boring paperwork details, but it seriously was a breeze. I bought my car that day.

Guess what I came to find out? The first dealership, with the salesman who was trying to sell me, operated off commissions (like most dealerships do). Thus, the salesman wanted me to pay the absolute most possible because that directly impacted his paycheck. The second dealership, with the friendly it’s-all-about-you salesman, operated off a salary and a bonus structure. Basically, it didn’t matter what price I negotiated. The salesman would get $50 for every car he sold, and at the end of the month would get a bonus if he sold the most. That’s it. Cut and dry. Why? Because this second dealership wanted to make sure the experience was about customer satisfaction instead of having each customer that walked through the door have figurative dollar signs over their head.

Now, I’m not saying that a commission structure is bad, or that not having one is better. What I am saying, however, is that no matter which model your business chooses, you had better have a kind of fail-safe built in so that your sales team knows how they should approach a customer, and that that customer feels as good about their buying decision years down the road as I feel about mine now.

What are your company’s best practices when it comes to sales? Do you have any great stories or nightmarish ones we could learn from? Share in the comments below!

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The Common Misconceptions of Military Marketing

This morning at one of my Chamber of Commerce committee meetings, I was tasked with the chance to get up an speak for 5 minutes. While I am used to doing this and talking about my company, this was different (and a little nerve-wracking). I had to speak about how the knowledge I have gained through my business could relate to and help all the other 49 businesses represented at the meeting – without trying to sell my own products.

Of course, I psych myself out whenever humanly possible because the student inside of me still feels like I have to get an “A” (probably something a therapist would have a field day with). I instantly had visions of talking about what I thought would help other businesses and people thinking it was useless information or not applicable, or that maybe I would secretly be selling my own company while thinking I was not.

When all was said and done, I actually got some really positive feedback from my peers. So, I thought I’d psych myself out again and take to the World Wide Web. Here it goes…

There seems to be a lot of misconceptions out there about marketing to the military community. First of all, some people think that they are judged as terrible people if they do not offer a military discount. While the military spouse in me loves racking up the savings, I promise – we are not mad at you if you do not offer one. Honestly, if you just have a little sign on the counter that says something about appreciating the military men and women, that goes a long way. If you are trying to market to the military, “thank you” are two of the most effective words you can utter or print. You may not think much of it, but we really do sincerely appreciate it. And, your business will stick out in our heads.

Second of all, if you do offer a military discount, think of it as a marketing opportunity as much as you think of it as a way to say “thank you”. I’m sure I’m getting some glares thinking this is selfish, but it’s not. It’s just smart marketing. By this, I mean if you are going to actively publish and mention your military discount, whatever you offer should stand out. Think about it: the point of marketing is to make your business stand out from the competition. Now think again: what do you think of when you hear “military discount”? 10%, right?

Now let me note – there is absolutely nothing wrong with 10%. We really, truly appreciate it. However, from a marketing standpoint, do something DIFFERENT! This is absolutely not to say that your discount has to be bigger, because it doesn’t. But if you get a little creative, you can think of a way to word it so that it stands out, even if it equates to the same dollar savings. For example, a restaurant might try a free app, dessert or drink with minimum purchase. Doing the math out, this very well would come out to 10%, but by wording it differently, you just made your business stick out (in a good way).

Third of all, there are subtle ways to gear your marketing toward the military without plastering combat boots, camo, tanks and flags everywhere. Think subtle but attention grabbing, and you’ll get our attention in a very positive way without overdoing it.

Finally, there are a lot of military groups out there that you can work with to bolster the effectiveness of your paid military campaign at no additional cost. Marketing can’t be completely free, but it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, either. Feel free to comment here – I am happy to help you build your military marketing campaign (I figure this student loan debt should help more than just myself to be worth it :)).

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Don’t Write Off the Military Spouse

We might be a marketing, advertising and publishing company, but we believe in helping our clients in any way we can. That, and I feel that if I’m going to spend as much time as I do in a classroom, I might as well share as much as I can with others. So, I’d like to give all the business owners and managers out there a little advice that I’ve partly learned in the classroom, but mostly in real life. And don’t worry, I promise not to bore you to death.*

(*Disclaimer: I cannot control your emotions)

When companies have a position open, they either have on tap or quickly come up with the best-sounding job description they can. The responsibilities are all-encompassing, and the qualifications reflect the most perfect person ever for the job – one who will most definitely apply immediately and stay for years. Sadly, these ideals almost never come true. Why? Because they’re ideals. They’re the equivalent of chocolate-covered, deep-fried cheesecake bites with no fat or calories. And the worst part is that when an employer finds what they only think can be their unicorn, they find and focus upon one imperfection that isn’t ideal and call it a deal breaker (ie OK… so maybe the cheesecake has 100 calories… game over).

My advice to you? You can only think so far ahead and be so picky. I’ve written before about the plight of the military spouse to find work when his/her spouse PCS’s to a new base. And while I am certainly not saying that every military spouse is super qualified for your open position just because they’re a military spouse, I am saying that many are simply not given the chance because they are like the 100 calorie, chocolate-covered, deep-fried cheesecake bite: almost perfect, but not quite. It is often thought that because military spouses are all but guaranteed to move again that they are not worth the time and money it would take to train them. An understandable concern, but ultimately an unreasonable one.

The average military family PCS’s every 3-4 years, with some switching as often as every 2 years. But think about it this way: long careers with one company are no longer the norm. In fact, many employees do not stay with a single company longer than two years, and some experts even encourage people to switch companies every three years in the interest of greater salaries and titles. Comparing this to the military spouse, it is incredibly unlikely that a non-military employee would stay any longer. Even these facts aside, think about it this way: How would your company benefit by hiring a qualified military spouse for a year or two versus a less qualified individual for maybe longer? The fact of the matter is that great employees are hard to come by. Military spouses, in my experience, tend to be dedicated and hard-working because they are truly appreciative to have a job (that, and the military discipline of their spouse can rub off on them). So, if you have the chance to actually hire a great employee, TAKE IT and enjoy reaping the benefits as long as you can. Instead of thinking how much you’ll hate having to interview again when they PCS, think about the asset they will be during the time they are there.

Without naming names, I have literally held jobs where I have seen one employee be more productive and beneficial to the company in a week than another has been in two months. No joke, no exaggeration… on more than one occasion. While I can’t (and don’t want to) tell you how to run your business, this is just something to think about that may help your business to run better, more efficiently, and even grow.

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Does Your Slogan Require an Explanation?

Slogans: every company has one, and many of us don’t have a single clue what they actually mean. They might be catchy, profound, inspiring, funny… or even annoying, incorrect or downright weird. But one thing they all have in common is that someone, somewhere thought it was the perfect way to quickly sum up whatever the brand, product or service at hand. And while they might be right, if the non-company employee doesn’t get it, what good is it?

There is always something utterly ambiguous about a company. The owners, employees and their families are excited about the business model and what it stands for. The customers (kind of) know what the company does or offers. But somewhere along the way, we all get stuck either being on the inside looking or, or on the outside looking in. And while we may all be looking through the same window, what we see on the other side usually doesn’t come close to what the other people are seeing. Sound familiar?

I’d like to be as un-ambiguous as possible, so let me tell you a bit about MMI and our slogan – “Marketing That Matters” (sounds deep right?). I thought it was great when I first heard it – but that’s because I understand what it means. If you don’t, you might think we’re really full of ourselves, or a non-profit or charity, etc, etc. So what does it really mean? Here goes…

We contract with military bases to produce their base newcomer’s guides, directories and maps – important resources people PCSing, TDYing or visiting the base need. The guides have plenty of information about the base itself, but also about the community because, let’s face it, no one wants to spend their entire time on base.

So, businesses have the unique opportunity to market themselves in these publications – putting them in front of personnel at a time when they are most likely to need them and are ready to make purchases. In fact, new residents typically spend in 6 months what current residents spend in 2 years… Sounds pretty tempting to market to.

So that’s the “marketing”. Why it matters (aside from the business side of ROI) is that while the businesses who advertise within the base guides are increasing their visibility and business, they are helping to support and keep the guides running. With little to no budget for them, business sponsors are the only way we have been able to give the military personnel the resources they need for their bases since 1981.

Get it? Help build your business; help support the military base guides and directories programs – Marketing That Matters. Not to sound too cliche, but that’s a win-win.

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Celebrating 238 Years With A Bang

It’s the perfect way to celebrate another year of glorious independence, fought for and protected by our brave men and women of the U.S. Military. We get our family and friends together, most of whom are in a food coma from whatever delicious concoctions we cooked up on the grill, and make our way to our favorite spots. And then – we watch things blow up. In the prettiest, most artful way possible. It’s a tradition we all love and look forward to every year. But with all the different shows going on during the week leading up to the actual 4th of July, how’s a person supposed to choose? We’ve got you covered – Here are some of the best fireworks displays from around Florida, sure to be can’t-miss events:

Northwest Florida:

  • Pensacola – 25th Annual Sertoma’s 4th of July Fireworks

Starting in downtown Pensacola in Seville Square, the festivities kick off at 11 am on Friday, July 4th. With everything from a kid’s area with pony rides, to a hotdog eating contest, to live band performances – you and your family are sure to be entertained all day long. The largest fireworks show on the Gulf Coast begins at 9 pm over Pensacola Bay!

  • Destin – 4th of July Extravaganza on the Harbor

With events from Thursday, July 3rd – Saturday, July 5th, this event is so much more than just (awesome) fireworks. Happening at Harborwalk Village, get in the spirit on Thursday with the Red, White and Blue celebration. Continue the fun on Friday with the glamorous WWII throwback Victory Belles – and a patriotic fireworks show at 9 pm! Finish off the weekend with a FREE concert Saturday night!

  • Panama City Beach – Pier Park 4th of July Fireworks

One of many fireworks shows happening this week in the Panama City area, this one is sure to offer everything you are looking for! Events start at noon with a military flyover, and bands will be rocking all day until the fireworks show at 9 pm! With a location right on the water, where could you go wrong?

Central Florida:

  • Tampa – Hogan’s 4th of July Waterside Fireworks & BBQ

A bit different than the other events, this one, hosted by Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart, will be held on Hogan’s Beach in the Tampa Bay area. From 2 pm – 11 pm, live bands and Djs will be rocking, and some of the best BBQ in the area will be served up buffet-style! Stick around for the beautiful fireworks show, set to kick off at 9 pm. Adults are $15 presale, $30 at the door. Kids are free!

  • Kissimmee – Monumental July 4th Celebration

From 5 pm – 9:30 pm, head to Kissimmee Lakefront Park for an evening of patriotic fun and a spectacular fireworks show! This fun-for-the-whole-family event features live music, a beer garden, food trucks and plenty of children’s activities. Admission is free!

  • Port St. Lucie – Baseball & Fireworks

If you want to throw a little competition into your day, then head down to Digital Domain Park for America’s favorite pastime. The St. Lucie Mets will take on the Fort Myers Miracle starting at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $8, and a can’t-miss fireworks show will follow the game!

South Florida:

  • Fort Myers – Freedom Fest Block Party

On Friday, July 4th, head down to the River District in Downtown Fort Myers for a patriotic block party to celebrate Independence Day! Starting at 5 pm, enjoy food, a craft beer tent, a kid zone, and five live music stages – including a performance by Rolling Stones tribute band, U.S. Stones. Fireworks are at 9:30 pm from the city pier.

  • West Palm Beach – 4th on Flagler

You won’t want to miss this FREE 16-minute display of the largest fireworks show in South Florida! Starting at 5 pm on Friday the 4th, join the fun on the waterfront of West Palm Beach for live music performances by The Lost Trailers and Ryan Star, a military salute, kid’s zone, and of course – FIREWORKS!

  • Key Biscayne – Parade & Fireworks

For some all-day fun, head down to 55th annual 4th of July parade on the key. The parade route runs from Harbor Drive to West Enid, and starts at 11 am. Bring whatever you’d like for a picnic in the park, kicking off at noon. Fireworks start at 9 pm!

Know of any different fireworks displays you think tops these? Let us know in the comments below!

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What Every Business Owner Needs to Know About Marketing

I get it. In the world of business ownership, much like the world of home ownership, it seems like the expenses never stop coming. You need to pay your employees, pay the rent, utilities, licensing fees, insurance, get products in the store, etc, etc, etc. So when you’re balancing the budget and trying to keep your checkbook from catching on fire, you look for things to cut. Typically, marketing is one of those things – seen as a luxury which would be nice to have, but isn’t realistic. And all those advertising salespeople ringing your phone off the hook just make you want to put your guard up and say “No, we’re not interested, we can’t afford it right now”.

What I want to say to you is why can’t you afford it right now? And before your guard goes up, I’m not a salesperson. So just think about why. Is it because sales aren’t going quite the way you thought they would? Or because you’ve spent money on everything else so you want to wait until some people start rolling through the door to bankroll an ad campaign? Don’t get defensive, these make sense. BUT, you need to adjust your way of thinking. Let me give you an example.

When you go to the store and buy a bunch of groceries, you know that money is never going to magically reappear in your checking account. Groceries are certainly a necessity, and are a lot more economical than eating out all the time, but the $100 you spent isn’t ever coming back. Now, think about when you buy a stock. You’re not buying it to eat or serve some other purpose, you’re buying it in the hopes that you’ve done enough research to be reasonably confident that the $100 you forked over will multiply and become $150 or $200 or more. So while you might subtract it from your bank account for the moment, the chance of that money coming back exists.

THIS is where most business owners go wrong when they think about marketing. Marketing is not like groceries – it’s like stocks. It is an investment made in your business that, if done well and through the right channels for your particular industry, should bring you a positive ROI. When business slows, marketing absolutely should under no circumstances be the thing that gets cut. After all, if it is designed to improve business and increase brand awareness, why would you get rid of it at a time of year when you need these things most? I get that you only have a defined amount of cash, but if you treat marketing like the necessity it is, then you can typically find other areas to trim to make the budget work.

Now, I’m not saying that you should suddenly buy into every single advertising opportunity that comes your way. You’d go broke real fast if you did that, considering how many different media channels exist and the fact that not every type of advertising is right for every business. But if you change the way you think about marketing, do your research, and work with someone who understands your company and who your target market is, then paying to promote your company won’t be a minus sign in your books for long.

Need specific advice? Have any particularly good or bad experiences with marketing you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!

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Don’t Get Mad.. Get Patriotic

This past Monday was Memorial Day, a holiday which is meant to recognize those in the armed forces who have served nobly and given their lives to defend our country and our freedom. For 9-5 America, it largely means a long weekend with great weather – perfect for the beach and grilling with friends and family. And while it may be upsetting, especially to those with strong ties to the military or who have lost a loved one, we also need to think about why that’s the way it is. There were blogs, articles, and videos galore surfacing last weekend bashing on how the American people are largely uninformed as to what the holiday is all about – something which I can certainly understand. In fact, one interview of beach-goers found someone who thought the Civil War saw France as the winner. As appalling as that may be, it says more about us as an overall population than anything else. Clearly, we are not taking this seriously.

Before you get defensive and think “I AM taking this seriously. I know exactly what the holiday is about. Don’t group me with those other people who take their freedom for granted” – just listen. When it comes to issues like this, we as a country separate ourselves from one another like boys and girls at a sixth grade dance. We have those who understand the holiday on one side, and those who are cluelessly happy about a long weekend on the other. We say things and get upset, but we really don’t do much of anything to bring everyone together. Now, do I think that being uneducated about Memorial Day should be a real issue? No – of course not. But it is, and we need to take it upon ourselves to fix it.

That all being said, I think we need to find a happy medium. We don’t need to go to the other extreme and force everyone to be sad, solemn and reflective all day. After all, I think it’s safe to say that most of those who have given their lives for our freedom would want to see people enjoying it. However, running around the beach drunk with a burger thinking that the Civil War involved other countries isn’t OK either. Those of us who know the importance of Memorial Day need to band together and be the change we wish to see in the world. We need to find a way to bring people together to reflect on the brave men and women of our armed forces, past and present, and understand why it is that they don’t have to go to work that day.

How we do it is still to be determined, but sitting around and complaining that people are ignorant and don’t care isn’t going to solve anything. This has been an issue for long enough and it’s time to fix it by making it a cause instead of an argument. Any ideas? Let us know in the comments below!

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Neighbors in Need of a Helping Hand

     Since Tuesday of this week, people in San Diego have been experiencing a horror and tragedy that is essentially impossible to relate to unless you have been through it. Wild fires are terrifying natural disasters that show up without warning and turn worlds upside down just as quickly. I cannot even describe to you what it’s like to be going about your business one minute, and seeing flames and smoke shooting up far too close to your backyard the next. You spend a few moments in shock – your head racing, trying to make sense of what just started happening and what you’ll have to do. And then, you just go. Your favorite shirt that you wear all the time, the comfortable chair in your living room you think you couldn’t go a day without, even the pictures hanging on your walls that bring you comfort and remind you of happy memories, are all suddenly meaningless. Everything gets put into perspective real fast. You grab people, pets, wallets, and then if there’s time, as many pictures as you can hold in one hand – and you run. And that’s generally a best-case scenario. For those people running errands or at work, they may not get to rescue anything at home at all. It’s a horrible sinking feeling and the worst part is, it is totally out of your control and you know it.

     While all natural disasters can be equally devastating in their end result, few have the no-notice component that wild fires do. But in spite of all of this, the people of San Diego have been remarkably calm and thankful for what they do have. Even those who have lost their homes and virtually everything in them have realized that their lives and the lives of their loved ones and pets are the important things. I have yet to hear one person, staring at the ruins of their home, not thank the firefighters for their efforts or verbalize that things can be replaced. These are truly humbled people who have all realized what is really valuable in life.

     I invite all of you to share this – and whether it is with a comforting comment below or a donation to help with the continued fight and ensuing recovery efforts (information below), please let the people of San Diego know that you are thinking of them. Even if for no other reason than you may need their thoughts, prayers and support one day, too.

     Thank you – to all of the brave firefighters, first responders, military units and volunteers doing what they can to make a difference and lend a helping hand!

Donation Information:

Please click the link, which will take you to San Diego’s local 10 News website. Information is listed there:

http://www.10news.com/news/may-2014-firestorm-how-you-can-help

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The Best Offense is a Good Defense

Whether it’s new to you or you’ve been doing it for 20 years, finding a career when you’re a military spouse can be truly challenging. You feel like you’ve finally settled in and found something you enjoy (or at least something that pays), and then your service member gets orders and off you go again. It’s a tough part of the lifestyle, but it’s what you signed up for when you said “I do”. While no one can offer you the end-all-be-all solution for this conundrum, I’ve put together some of my best advice to help you try to minimize the sting of giving up one job and looking for another.

  • Always Have the Mentality You’re PCSing Soon

This might be the last thing you want to do, especially right after you’ve completed one, but it will keep you competitive (not to mention less stressed). While your employer may not want to think about losing you as soon as they hire you, they know you’re a military spouse. So, bring it up. You never know if they may be able to work something out where you can work from a home satellite office, or if they have connections around the country that could help you in the future. The bottom line is you know moving is in your future somewhere, and so does your employer. Instead of running from it, embrace it and plan for it as well in advance as you can. There’s a lot to be said for taking the bull by the horns.

  • Don’t Get Lazy With Your Resume

Most people typically only update their resumes when they need to (ie looking for a job/about to leave a job). However, if you keep yours constantly up-to-date, you’ll be ready to strike the new job market as soon as you get word. Plus, your true skillset is likely to reflect more accurately when you update it in real time.

  • Take Advantage of Employment Resources

You may not have thought of using an employment or temp agency before, but it’s a great resource. In fact, many of these organizations have special programs exclusively meant for the military spouse. This should by no means be something to rest your laurels on, but these agencies are definitely people you want to be in contact with. While many of the temp jobs can turn into full-time positions, having a temporary paycheck is better than no paycheck at all.

  • Keep Your Eye Out for Career Fairs

Career fairs can be a little intimidating, but they’re a unique opportunity. Especially in today’s world in which employers typically request applications and resumes to be submitted online, it can be tough to get a face-to-face meeting. A career fair offers you the chance to see what’s out there and turn the charm on before they have a chance to say no. Nothing makes a competitive resume stand out more than a personal introduction.

  • Consider National Companies

National companies can be an ideal place for military spouses because they can offer some sense of security. While transfers are never guaranteed, if there is a branch/office/store near wherever you’re heading, there is a good chance you can have a job waiting for you when you get there. The moral here is to make sure you’re such a great employee that the company doesn’t want to lose you.

  • Network Like Crazy

Even if your job doesn’t require it, network all the time. Especially near a base, you never know when you might meet someone that will be a great connection for you in the future. Maybe they used to live where your new base is, or maybe they’ll PCS there long before you and be able to give you a head start on career prospects. The more people you know, the more you can call on to help you down the road when the military lifestyle calls.

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Sunscreen Required – Melting Optional

It’s not exactly a well-kept secret that summer in Florida is HOT and insanely HUMID. While similar weather might draw people away from Houston, our gorgeous beaches, breathtaking views and ample sunshine continue to lure people in no matter what the temperature. But if you’re no good with heat like I am, you’ll need the perfect way to stay entertained and cool while still getting a tan and feeling tropical. A tall order almost anywhere else, here’s a list of the best ways to enjoy a Florida summer without melting – or parking yourself in front of the A/C:

  • Jetpacking

A truly awesome experience, this combines the fun of the water and sun while FLYING. Yep, you saw that right. Jetpacking involves strapping on an apparatus made of a pod and two hoses to your back, from which water projects out allowing you to quite literally fly over the water. The jetpacks enable you to fly 30 feet in the air, dive 30 feet under water and reach a top speed of 30 mph. It’s essentially the Jetsons meets the Gulf.

  • Flyboarding

Similar to jetpacking, this experience is even more surreal and awe-inspiring. It involves strapping a board to your feet and using your own weight to move left, right, up or down – kind of like Iron Man. In fact, you should probably bring your Iron Man Halloween costume when you do this.

  • Pontoon Boating

A Gulf favorite, pontoon boats are the perfect way to get around the warm, typically calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Bring plenty of family and friends aboard, grab some good food and a cooler, and drive around or find a sandbar, like Crab Island in Destin, to hang out at. As long as you’re along the coast, it’s pretty difficult to go more than 100 feet without running into a place to rent one of these beauties.

  • Jetskiing

An oldie but goodie – jetskiing could never be boring. Most rental places will allow anywhere from 1-3 people to ride on a single jetski, but being in the driver’s seat is by far the best way to go. And if you think you’ll be hard pressed to get out of your comfort zone, ask the rental company for tricks that are daring (but safe) – you’ll be surprised at the answers you’ll get. Get out there and be cooled off and amped up in no time.

  • Aqua Triking

These hilarious-looking, giant, plastic tricycles are a bit of a workout, but a lot of fun. Much tamer than the above activities, it’s an interesting experience to feel like you’re literally biking on top of the water. Generally built for two people, aqua trikes are a perfect date activity or fun day out with a friend or relative.

  • Kayaking, Canoeing, Paddle Boarding

No explanation required – these are all fun and extremely low-cost ways to beat the heat and enjoy Florida this summer!

No matter your tolerance for heat (trust me – mine is LOW) or your budget, there are tons of ways to enjoy Florida this summer. So get up, get out and come visit! The water’s warm (but refreshing), the people are friendly, and the photo opps are endless.

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Covering your world from boots on the ground to toes in the sand