One last thing

As entrepreneur, all details matter

John HirschlerSightsailing Inc. founder and president

John Hirschler founded Sightsailing of Newport in 1990. Other than a small company on Goat Island, Sightsailing was the first company along the waterfront in downtown Newport to offer regularly scheduled sailing cruises to the public.
John Hirschler founded Sightsailing of Newport in 1990. Other than a small company on Goat Island, Sightsailing was the first company along the waterfront in downtown Newport to offer regularly scheduled sailing cruises to the public. PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY
10/13/16

I started Sightsailing a few years after graduating from Boston University and working in sales in Providence. I've always had a passion for sailing, boats, the great city of Newport and meeting people. We now operate three sailing vessels from May through October and offer public sails, as well as a large number of private and corporate charters. Rhode Island is extraordinarily fortunate in that Newport has one of the prettiest harbors in the United States and is the sailing capital of the world.

Some of the more important things I've learned over the years are:

n Know what the most fundamental element your business offers is: We're in the sailing and hospitality business. And we sell fun.

n Marketing is everyone's business: Whether you run a bank or a bed and breakfast, every person that a guest or customer has contact with is important and can make a lasting impression.

n Know what you're good at, what you enjoy and where your weaknesses lie: Don't hire people just because they like you or because they are like you. Hire to your weakness and delegate.

n Make expectations for employees clear.

n Manage guests' expectations.

n Understand but don't try and do everything.

n Stay abreast of technology.

When this business started the internet was in its infancy. Know every area of your business and be willing to pitch in and help out anywhere. In a small business like mine, no job should be beneath you. •