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Welcome to the Business of Diving (BODI) discussion forum!

Discussion in 'Business of Diving Institute' started by Darcy Kieran, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. Capt. Pete

    Capt. Pete Dive Charter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Goodyear, AZ
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    33
    28
    Darcy,

    Glad to see the BODI back on line. Looking forward to further discussions.
     
    Octopusprime and Darcy Kieran like this.
  2. Octopusprime

    Octopusprime Dive Resort

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Chicago Suburbs
    476
    73
    28
    Glad to see the business of diving forum. I have a question for dive charter pros... Started looking into a 3 day dive trip to the keys... We have a couple spots we want to see while we are there. None of the dive charters can you book online. Very few can you see there schedule. Everyone's answer is call us. But trying to plan/research online at night while looking for airfare etc while coordinating with 3 friends is a pain.

    With the generational changes and more 20-39 something's with disposable income and larger percentage of travel. You think more charters would cater to online bookings?
     
  3. John A Lewis

    John A Lewis Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: DFW
    360
    99
    28
    Off the top of my head, there's a good reason for this.

    People will reserve space online, then-

    -they don't show up
    -it's a phony reservation that ties up resources
    -they misrepresent themselves, meaning there's an underlying reason they cannot go out on the charter

    By asking the potential client to call in it could minimize all these concerns.
     
  4. Octopusprime

    Octopusprime Dive Resort

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Chicago Suburbs
    476
    73
    28
    If they pay and no show... No refunds...solves the problems...
     
    oly5050user likes this.
  5. Octopusprime

    Octopusprime Dive Resort

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Chicago Suburbs
    476
    73
    28
    In my area there are 3 LDSand they are very different.

    One shop any time I stop in I'm the only one there and the owner is in his office they basically only sell and service aqualung. Lots of accessories but no wet/dry suits on display. They have their own pool so they can easily schedule OW classes. They fill open water classes every weekend. You would think if they were teaching this many students the shop would be hoping.

    Shop 2 well stocked with multiple brands when you walk in it is impossible to not see were the next dive trip is. They have a good mix of gear with local and warm water gear.this shop is fairly busy. There is usually a couple employees working.

    Shop 3 anytime I stop in there are multiple employees and multiple customers. I do not think I have ever been there and been the only one there. It is a great place to meet other divers. They have huge selection of gear. This is the only shop in my area that stocks, tech gear like plates and wings, doubles etc.

    All 3 shops have great instruction. However if you had a choice which shop would you go to? Most people want to go somewhere that is busy as it translate to successful and quality to the customer.

    Some shops scare people from buying online with warranty scares etc. Shop 3 does not scare people to buy in store but the have a reason for people to come in to their shop if it is free assembly, discounts on annual services if purchased from them etc. It is clear their marketing is to keep people coming in and being busy.

    Most divers will shop online for large purchases but there is a a value to be able to try on and pick up today talk to other divers etc. Many shops do not understand that manufacture MAP pricing only apples to Minimum advertised price and does not restrict in store sales. What would you do if a diver comes in and tries on a wet suit then "needs to think about it" make the sales keep them coming back.

    From my point of view a shop needs to accommodate multiple types of divers both local and traveling destination divers. But they key is to create a buzz. Find ways to get divers to walk in the doors even if it is to hang out. Some shops I have been to have movie nights, unlimited fair fills for a year for a flat fee. All promotions are focused on getting people to stop in.

    What is your favorite way to create traffic?
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
    aquanex likes this.
  6. sheeper

    sheeper Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States
    1,197
    610
    113
    it comes down to service and actually caring about your customers. I teach for a local shop but don't work in the shop per se. It is a successful and very busy shop running several dive boats and here is why. They have very few customers. But they have lots of friends. Someone comes in once and buys something or dives with us then they are a customer. They come in a second time...then they're a friend. This attitude is a big reason i affiliated with this shop. They respect and value their customers....er...i mean friends!

    There is not enough of this in the industry.

    And they respect their competitors. I never hear the staff say "oh that other shop sucks", or "their instructors are not experienced", or "or dive agency is the only real certification out there", or "they sell crappy cheap gear", etc. But many of the other shops talk trash all the time. We've had significant issues with other shops actively sabotaging our business. A strong local dive culture is good for everyone. The industry needs to be supportive of each other to make us all stronger instead of trashing each other.
     
    Octopusprime likes this.
  7. Octopusprime

    Octopusprime Dive Resort

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Chicago Suburbs
    476
    73
    28
    I totally agree with you about service and attitude. Knowing people care and are helpful will bring you back over and over.

    However you can have great service and still not meet the needs of your customers. In my example above there is only so many times you take gear in for service and hear we don't service that brand. gear servicing is one of those things that keep people coming in and will often keep you busy in off season. Once you find a shop that can get you the gear you want and service the gear you have you will keep coming back.
     
  8. sheeper

    sheeper Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States
    1,197
    610
    113
    I would maintain that if you don't meet the needs of your customers then you don't offer great service.
     
  9. Darcy Kieran

    Darcy Kieran Business of Diving Institute

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    Interesting points. About social media being "free": Isn't it just as difficult nowadays to be seen on social media as it is to be listed on Google searches? Posts on a Facebook business page get "some" visibility but if you want to get a significant impact (especially if you are trying to promote something instead of simply posting irrelevant pictures of cute cats), you probably have to throw in a few dollars. Facebook's "algorithm" is good at not showing your post and suggesting you should "boost" ($) it - even to your own fans. And now Twitter and Instagram are also implementing algorithms.

    What I'm saying is: If you are small or, worse, if you are starting, it is not easy to be noticed in this ocean of content on social media and online. Since most dive shop owners are in this business because they like teaching diving, they may not be equipped to properly perform these online activities. Time is money. Learning takes time.

    I always wished PADI's Business Academy and SSI's Scuba U, both, had more practical "tools" to help operating a local dive shop.
     
  10. Darcy Kieran

    Darcy Kieran Business of Diving Institute

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    Thanks to @NetDoc - He twisted my arm!

    Now I have to figure out why I am not getting notifications of new posts here... I'm surprised to see so many! Catching up.

    The dive industry is not in good shape - at least in North America. WE have to fix it.

    "Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." ~Will Rogers
     
    The Chairman and mdb like this.

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