The PADI Business Management Program encourages you to think critically and creatively about management practice. You will gain an all-round understanding of how dive businesses and managers should function in a domestic environment while also developing analytical, problem solving and strategic planning skills that are attractive within the dive industry. The PADI Business Management Program will equip PADI professionals with the core knowledge and skills necessary to operate a cutting edge PADI dive business.
Led by industry experts, and with interactive presentations ranging from pricing strategy to store layout and staff management, this is an essential program for PADI Dive Store stakeholders aiming to raise the bar and increase turnover and profit in 2019.
The PADI Business Management Program is divided up in to core and elective modules. The core modules are topics faced by all PADI Dive Centers, whereby the elective modules are specific to each individual business and their corporate strengths and weaknesses.
Before conducting any PADI® course inwater activities, you must make sure student divers complete required administrative forms, such as PADI Release of Liability/Assumption of Risk/ Non-agency Acknowledgment Form – General Training or PADI Statement of Risk and Liability/Non-agency Acknowledgment Form – General Training, EU Version, the PADI Standard Safe Diving Practices Statement of Understanding and the PADI Medical Statement (RSTC Medical form). Now, you can get this “paperwork” done efficiently online and manage it all in the PADI Online Processing Center (OLPC).
When a customer signs up for a PADI course, the dive center/resort or instructor uses the OLPC to send a digital invitation to the student to set up an account to receive digital forms and/ or an eLearning code. The student then receives the appropriate forms package for the course. This initial connection is a two-step process.
Getting Forms to Students
Step 1: Log on to the PADI Pros’ Site and go to the OLPC. There you’ll see two versions:
OLPC 2.0, the current OLPC without the digital forms option. Use 2.0 while you get comfortable with OLPC 3.0, or for processing non-English speaking students until digital forms become available in other languages.
OLPC 3.0, which has the new digital forms packages. In OLPC 3.0, go to Assign Codes, choose the eLearning code you want and whether you want to send digital forms.
Step 2 There are currently forms packages for: Scuba Diver, Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver, Rescue Diver, Specialty Diver, and Other Courses. If you select any of the first five, you finish Step 2 by simply clicking Send Forms and then Confirm. The digital forms packages are not available for all courses, yet, so if you selected Other Courses in Step 1, a drop-down menu appears with all other PADI courses. Choose the course you’re teaching, and Step 2 will default to select the No Forms option for you to Confirm – by selecting this option, the student must complete paper versions of the required forms.
Managing/Processing When Students Reply
To manage and process your students, log back on to OLPC 3.0. Under Process/View Your Students you’ll see several columns including:
First Name, Last Name, Course, Created Date, Forms, Action Date, and a column for Process or Manage.
Pay special attention to the Forms column. There, you will see a word or phrase, conveniently color coded, which describes what step of the process the student is in. Green means complete; orange and red require action.
If the student filled out all the information and digitally signed the required forms – in essence pre-populating the Positive Identification Certification (PIC) – with no need to have a physician sign the Medical Statement, you will see a green box with “Signed.” This indicates that the student is ready to be processed once all training is complete.
Here are a few other form status labels you may see, along with their meanings:
The PADI Pro sent an invitation for the student to use digital forms, then the PADI Pro changed it to use paper, not digital, forms.
The PADI Pro opted to use paper instead of digital forms when sending the invitation.
Digital forms have been sent to the student, but no action yet taken by the student.
The student received the digital forms, but declined to sign them. The PADI Pro contacts the student to find out what happened, and can then opt to change to paper forms, or resend the digital forms to the student.
The student has answered “yes” to one or more medical statement question and must be cleared to dive by a physician.
The Process option allows you to complete your student processing as usual with certification card processing. The Manage option provides several options depending on the student’s status including Update, Upload/Clear for Primary Medical, and even Re-send Email. If a dive center or resort has its own forms for certain activities, those can be scanned and uploaded using the option labeled Add/Delete Additional Documents.
Additional languages are being developed for release soon. Until other languages are added, Members using non-English forms will continue to use OLPC 2.0. Stay tuned for more updates on digital forms in OLPC 3.0 and for other features as they are added.
New PADI digital forms are convenient and time-saving. You continue to have a paper option using printed forms or those on the PADI Student Record File.
Consumer behaviour and trends show that people increasingly prefer experiences over things. Your business should be capitalising on this by offering scuba diving to new and existing customers. But how?
In the Retailer and Resort Association Digital Marketing Toolkit, there are two sets of assets available to you: Discover Scuba Diving and eLearning. Despite the difference in promotion, the implementation is the same. Decide which promotion best fits your business model and then follow the formula below for a synchronised multi-platform campaign.
Alert your customers with an email. Use the specific campaign email header from the toolbox. Make sure your subject line and snippets are written with Open Rate in mind. You want to make sure as many customers as possible open the email and then click through to the specific promotion.
Users should be directed from this email to a specific landing page or blog post. Make sure you’ve implemented full width website image and blog post image for consistency.
In addition to this, update your social media channels with the optimised imagery. Update your Facebook cover, Facebook posts, Instagram posts and Twitter posts. Keep in mind the “80-20” rule for Facebook social media posts. You want to keep 80% of your posts engaging and fun, with the remaining 20% of posts being sales orientated. Don’t spam your customers with sales.
For full integration, use offline materials like posters to promote in-store & in local hot spots.
Before implementing the marketing plan, make sure that the promotion fits with your business. Discover Scuba Diving is perhaps considered more affordable and in line with gift budgets, therefore you’d expect to see a higher uptake. With this in mind, be sure you have your conversion tactics in place. The aim here is not to sell 10 DSD gift vouchers over the festive period. The objective is to sell 10 PADI Open Water Diver courses, using DSD Gift Vouchers as a new diver acquisition tool. Emphasise that the Discover Scuba Diving experience counts towards the full PADI Open Water Diver course and consider taking deposits before even entering the water.
Using eLearning, you will know from the outset that your trainee divers are engaged and willing to take diving further. This will enable you to already sell the Advanced Open Water during Open Water training. The uptake of eLearning may be less than DSD gift vouchers, but the rewards could be greater.
Analyse the competition to your dive business and what are the results? Is it the domestic high street suffering? Is it spending power? Are potential consumers preferring to spend their weekends sat in trendy coffee shops rather than learning to dive?
These may indeed be valid concerns, but your biggest threats they are not. Your largest competition is from the customers themselves. At this point in time, customers are the savviest they’ve ever been. They are careful with how their money is spent and with whom they spend it. Customers need experience, content, validation, reassurance and personalisation. They crave lifestyle improvement. Transactional relationships are a thing of the past to modern consumers – you are both now embraced in an emotional one.
With this in mind, create a “third space” dive store. A place away from home and work where customers are at ease. If your dive store promotes a transactional environment, the customer is presented with two options: buy something or get out. However, the “third space” environment would allow a customer to sit down and chat with a coffee – and a word of warning, people drink more coffee than ever so don’t skimp on the quality of beans! In this environment you can reassure the customer that scuba diving is the embodiment of lifestyle improvement. Through PADI’s Pillars of Change you confirm that scuba diving is an experience-rich investment worth paying for.
Embrace the millennial thought process to ensure domestic success. Consider these two Facebook advert messages for example:
10% off the PADI Open Water Diver course with ABC Diving. Find out more!
ABC Diving are recruiting ocean conservationists! Visit us in store to protect our ocean planet!
The first message is purely transactional and wide of the mark with how experience driven customers think. Promoting this message within your domestic market would serve to only confirm the savvy customer’s fears – you’re another business trying to make some quick cash.
Now consider the second message. You’ve moved away from transaction and now focus on relationship building. Now you’re recruiting. Now you’re appealing to emotions and creating an environment away from home and work where customers can find gratification through purpose. This now goes beyond selling a dive course. This is selling a lifestyle and a possibly also a career change.
The PADI Retailer & Resort Association Members are at the forefront of education and conservation, introducing a world of wonder and magic to the next generation of ocean stewards. Continue to change lives in 2019!
Renew your membership by signing up for PADI Automatic Renewal by 6th November 2018, and you’ll save at least 25%* on your annual membership.
PADI Automatic Renewal will ensure you continue to receive the full support of PADI:
The PADI Brand – 1,000,000+ certifications per year.
Marketing Horsepower – 3.8 million social media followers and a total media reach of 7.3 billion. Revamped marketing collateral, including the new YOU promotional assets.
Best in class training materials – a revitalized and elegant online learning environment. A consistent, globalized learning experience for all PADI courses with accessibility to 25 languages across all devices.
Online business services – Online Processing Centre 3.0 for quick and easy online processing for certifications and digital certification packs. Dive-Check Online & Pro-Check Online quickly verify certifications and PADI Pro Credentials.
Training and Customer Relations – Continued access to multi-lingual customer relations team. Regional Training Consultants, alongside their Regional Managers will guide you through training queries and business support.
Sign up to Automatic Renewal now and save on your PADI Retailer & Resort Association Membership.
Social media has evolved quickly over the last decade. From humble beginnings to a multi-billion dollar industry, social media has infiltrated most of our daily lives. Businesses know this and subsequently invest millions into their digital and social marketing strategies. There has been a shift in recent times to the rise of the Micro Influencer.
Who are they?
Micro influencers are the connecting bridge between real people and brands. Celebrity endorsements are insanely expensive and out of touch with the end user. As such, brands look to connect with real people through real people. For example, the user scrolling through their Instagram page will have a higher affinity to an experience hungry travel blogger with a few thousand followers compared to a well-established sponsored influencer with millions of followers. Why? The less well-known blogger, or Micro Influencer is more real to us and subsequently more relatable.
Ronaldo (sponsored athlete) vs. Dom (adventure traveller, domonthego.com)
What does this mean for a PADI Dive Shop?
You offer adventure. You give people the opportunity to go places others can’t and see things others don’t even know exist. You can sell that all day long – but the consumer knows you’re selling it. You’re using the words you want to use and in the style you want to be perceived. That’s fine. That’s your marketing. However, in a time where social media reigns supreme, a micro influencer talking about you in their language and their style, is a much more powerful marketing asset.
How to get involved?
Wait for an influencer to contact you. If your dive store is in an exotic location and a couple of travelling micro influencers are heading there, you may find they’ll be looking to get a fix of adventure and content. Remember, they need you as much as you need them. They need fresh new content, and your dive store is the perfect backdrop. Requests may come in all shapes and sizes: “can I get my Advanced Open Water Diver course in exchange for some posts on Instagram”, or “for $75 I can advertise your page on my social feeds to a combined audience of 9,000 followers”.
Actively search for influencers. Use Iconosquare to search relevant hashtags for your region, industry and lifestyle. Explore the profiles and find your perfect match. Look for an audience size of up to 10,000 followers. Make sure they fit the SCUBA lifestyle you want to portray. A micro influencer who has actively been promoting something contrary to your business ethos, may end up being detrimental. For example, if the influencer had supported spearfishing in an earlier post, this may backfire when they promote your dive center.
What to ask them?
Ask the micro influencers for page insights. You want to know about their followers, both real and percentage of potential fake followers. Note, fake followers/accounts are bought in order to bump up the numbers. Expect to learn about the engagement of their posts. A high audience number but a very low percentage of engagement is a potential indication of a fake audience. You want to know where their audience is from. For example, if you want to target the local market but the micro influencers’ main audience comes from a different country, you should avoid them (unless looking at bringing in tourism, of course).
What are you prepared to offer in exchange for social media exposure? A Discover Scuba Diver? A PADI Open Water Diver course? A day on the boat? A cash payment? This will depend on what you think marketing is worth. How much would you spend to take an advert out in a local magazine to promote your center? This is the social media equivalent. Manage expectations early on and don’t be afraid to ask for more. Ask for a post on Instagram and Facebook, but with an accompanying mention in a blog post on their website. If they write a blog post about their recent trip to a location titled, “5 amazing things to do in ____” and one of those things is SCUBA diving, make sure they deeplink from their blog post to your website. These are known as backlinks and are SEO gold dust.
On Saturday, 21 July, PADI® Dive Centers, Resorts and Professional Members hosted more than a 1000 events in 104 countries across the globe for the Fourth Annual PADI Women’s Dive Day. With record-breaking participation, the day brought together thousands of divers of all genders, ages and experience levels.
Here’s a look at some locations that helped make this year extra special.
United Kingdom. British PADI Dive Centers led the way this year when it came to creativity and inclusion for all. Fifth Point Diving dedicated an entire week to underwater photography workshops, snorkel safaris and an impromptu Dive Against Debris, before culminating with the PADI Women’s Dive Day event. Taking inclusion one step further, Vivian Dive Centre combined PADI Women’s Dive Day with their own inaugural event, Scuba Pride. Visitors had the chance to converse with fellow divers, retailers and PADI. Experience a wide range of scuba activities from Discover Scuba Diving to Tec and Sidemount try dives. If visitors weren’t in the water, they were found in the photo booth, getting their faces painted or at the BBQ.
Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. *Allergen alert – this story contains peanuts. Camel Dive Club prides itself on being an ideal choice for solo female divers, so PADI Women’s Dive Day is the perfect back drop for like-minded travellers. On the day itself, Camel Dive Club organised a Dive Against Debris with over 25 participants followed by a special rendition of their weekly Divers’ Night. Among the girl power anthems blasting out from the speakers, the celebrations descended into chaos as the cashews and pistachios went flying in the first ever Women’s Dive Day Peanut Fight.
Sicily, Italy. The crystalline waters of Sicily provided the perfect playground for Sea Spirit to pay homage to their female staff members and divers. Female professionals make up over 50% of the Sea Spirit team, taking on roles such as instructors, management, administration and boat skipper. 24 divers submerged for an incredible dive, all showing their support for the female dive community by wearing pink t-shirts.
Maldives. 50 Maldivian female divers splash down with Moodhu Goyye. The Maldivian dive community on Facebook, created by PADI Course Director Zoona Naseem, hosted the most colourful Maldivian PADI Women’s Dive Day yet. Attracting 50 female certified divers to share their love for scuba diving with non-divers to inspire the ever growing community. 6 PADI Dive Centers came together to make this a truly unforgettable day of diving in the Maldives.
Switzerland. Although landlocked, the diving opportunities appear to be endless. Lake diving in the summer, ice diving in the winter and going with the flow down a river. And it’s in a river we found Valeria Machado hosting a Women’s Dive Day event. The enthusiastic photographer had long dreamt of displaying her photography in the Verzasca River and finally realised that dream on 21st July. With assistance from PADI Members and Dive Centers, the underwater gallery created a stunning spectacle to showcase her images.
South Africa. Pro Dive in Port Elizabeth summed up their PADI Women’s Dive Day perfectly with a few simple words, “sharing what we love – sun, sea, salty hair & ocean hair – mermaids’ life.” Their boat dive followed by lunch helped bring together their female dive community and will inspire friends of friends and family members to try scuba diving.
Turkey. For a country where the dive population was predominately male until the 1990s, it was big news for a woman to get certified – it might even warrant a write-up in the newspaper. Thanks to the introduction of multiple PADI dive operators and instructors to the area, the number of female divers has continue to rise. For this Women’s Dive Day, the participation was impressive with dive events held throughout the country for both divers and non-divers.
United Arab Emirates. Freestyle Divers, based on the coast in Dibba Al-Fujairah, got their divers in the Women’s Dive Day spirit with shore dives, boat dives and Discover Scuba Diving experiences held throughout the day. To keep things interesting, they also hosted an underwater treasure hunt and gifted their divers with PADI grab bags.
There were many other incredible events all around the region and world. You can see more event photos on the PADI Facebook page or search for #PADIWomen on social media.
If you held an event this year, remember to follow up with all your event participants. A simple “thanks for diving with us” message keeps divers engaged and encourages them to continue diving with you. Don’t forget to include a call to action.
Mark your calendars – Next year’s PADI Women’s Dive Day is scheduled for Saturday, 20 July 2019.
These tools have been designed to encourage your customers to bring friends and family to your dive store. You may already give incentives to returning customers for referring friends, but is it known to all of your customers?
To fully integrate this campaign, create a landing page on your website with your Refer a Friend special offer. Then incorporate these tools across your website and newsletters pointing to the newly created page:
Print A1 posters for in-store displays and hand out A4 flyers to customers for offline marketing:
The Refer a Friend offer?
Consider the following incentives as potential offers for the Refer a Friend Campaign:
Discount for your next dive
Discount for your next PADI course
Discount on diving equipment
Refer 5 friends and get a free dive
Refer 5 friends and get a free pair of fins
Refer 5 friends and get 50% off your next PADI course
Implement the Refer A Friend campaign across your emails to ensure maximum exposure and awareness amongst your customers. You can add a Call To Action to your current email templates, or use one of the PADI email templates using your Mailchimp login**. Send the email to your students and divers whenever they have completed a course, trip or dive.
** You will need to add your logo and edit the links to point to your dive store’s pages. As default they re-direct to PADI.com pages.
Discover all the assets available for your integrated Refer a Friend campaign in the RRA Marketing Toolbox today. If you need assistance, contact your PADI Regional Manager or the PADI EMEA Marketing Department.
New for 2018, take advantage of the revamped marketing toolbox to support your business efforts across your acquisition, continuing education and pro acquisition markets.
The latest digital marketing materials have been designed to inspire and attract new divers, keep certified divers diving, and convert recreational divers into professionals.
Access the 2018 Marketing Toolkit, download the assets you require based upon campaign level, the type of regional imagery and the language variation you want to use.
Implement the assets across all of your marketing channels for a fully synchronised multi-platform campaign. Potential customers and returning customers alike should see a consistent message when they receive emails from you, when they visit your social media pages, read your blog or visit your store. A consistent message equals a consistent income.
Example: Acquisition of new divers in Northern Europe