It’s that time of year again.. “Januworry” You have had a great December, the boats have been full, courses on the go everyday, equipment sales booming and you have been caught up in the holiday swing of things. However come the first week of January you realise that there are bills to be paid, suppliers wanting money, staff needing commissions and all of a sudden the joy of December is quickly forgotten.
Would it not be great to have enough money every month to service all your commitments and still have some left over to reinvest back into your business to fix and repair the boats, dive gear and wetsuits. Unfortunately many dive centre owners do not have a clear idea on where their profits streams are and where they are losing money, where they could be more profitable and even what their gross and nett profits are on courses, equipment and dives. The problem didn’t start in Januworry but this month is a symptom of far greater problems that started many months prior.
When last did you do an analysis of your business?
It is important that you know and understand your own business. Do you know where the money is coming from and where it’s going to? How much profit do you need to make on each and every service that you provide? The dive industry is an amazing lifestyle to be a part of but when you are working for free or making a loss, the glamour of this industry quickly becomes dulled.
What are you charging for your diving courses and when last did you increase the price?
Quite often the Dive centre blames the current economy, the dive industry or the Training agencies for the poor results they have achieved. You will seldom hear a Dive centre blame themselves for the situation they currently find themselves in. Dive Centres are a business that offer dive courses, training, equipment and dive charters. But they are fundamentally a business like all others. What is the inflation rate in your region and has your course price increased to at least take into account this inflation?
A dive course price or dive charter price based on your competitions price is the wrong way to go. How much does it cost your competitors to run their course? Analyse each and every component of your business and work out how much profit you are making. Be sure to take account of commitments like rentals, insurance, registration fees, marketing costs and servicing and maintenance responsibilities. These costs, if left unaccounted for, can quickly erode any profitability.
Add value to what you are doing.
Adding value to your services does not have to cost you more money. Simple gestures like helping lift and carry customers dive gear, friendly and attentive staff and knowledgeable and informative divemasters and instructors all add value to the customers experience. Conduct staff training and set safety and service standards high. Make sure rental equipment is serviced, clean and neat. The list of possible value add ons to your business is endless yet invaluable to your clients.
Improve your business skills
Many dive centre owners are great instructors, fantastic at leading dives and finding the smallest of critters. But does this earn your business money? You should be working at your business not for your business. Improve your business skills by attending classes, reading books or through online courses. Attend PADI Business Academy presentations to help increase sales and profits. Invest in yourself and you will reap the rewards.
Analyse your business. Determine profitability, charge market related prices, add value to what you are doing and invest in your own business skills.