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Business in Diving

Starting a Scuba Business


Setting up and running your own business in scuba is a rewarding and satisfying achievement.

Nonetheless, if you are planning to start up a scuba company then we have some useful information and advice that might make the process of setting up your operation, slightly less complex.

If you are ready to develop your dream job, be your own boss and earn money from scuba diving, then maybe you are ready to enjoy the unique and envious lifestyle of a dive shop owner.

The combination of helping new divers to transform their daily lives and earning a good income from a self employed job that you love is an unparalleled situation that attracts many diving center proprietors to begin.

The project will undoubtedly be exciting and a challenge, but introducing fresh individuals to the heart of our industry also brings additional privileges and responsibilities.

Success with your own scuba business depends on many factors, not least of which is a generous sprinkling of 'good fortune', but with some appropriate research, forward planning and sensible business skills, the realistic chances of rising above your rivals and the competition can become a reality.

Some useful tips to help you get started with your own scuba business include attending a business seminar for the recreational dive industry and get professional advice about starting a business from these four professional advisers.

  1. Accountant
  2. Bank manager
  3. Lawyer
  4. Small business adviser

Seek extra advice and more information from other established dive shop owners or PADI Centers. Develop a business plan appropriate for your location and resources and include;

If you join the PADI International Resort and Retailer Associations (IRRA) you will receive support and help from the largest and most recognized scuba training organization worldwide, trading for over fifty years. This is an ideal way to start and develop your scuba diving business.

The Basics of Running a Scuba Business

The scuba equipment purchase is going to be a long term investment and the initial costs could be relatively high, depending upon the amount required and the quality of the stock chosen. Generally, a scuba school rental set of BCD, regulator, mask, fins, and wetsuit could easily reach close to $1,000 per set.

Second hand dive gear is available from online shopping facilities such as eBay for example, but extra care should be taken with used equipment with respect to its integrity and safe usage. The last thing you want for your new scuba business is faulty equipment.

Regulators should be serviced and maintained regularly by a trained equipment technician and other diving gear should always be in good working order and free from obvious problematic symptoms.

Dive equipment suppliers often agree special trading discounts with new dive centers businesses and another huge benefit of this facility would also include a regular and affordable supply of Scuba Diving training materials and certification documents.

Some associations like PADI for instance, require all of their students to use and retain the appropriate manuals both during and after the course. Typically, a student manual pack for the basic diver course could cost the dive shop around $80 per set as a stock item.

The advertising and marketing costs - essential in starting your own scuba dive business - are usually individualized expenses and it would be inappropriate for us to apportion such costing without more relevant information about the ambitions and goals of the dive shop manager.

However, depending on the school location and the customer target base, the outlay for advertising needn’t be too expensive. Very often by the nature of the situation, dive shops tend to be set up in areas with high volume of passing tourists and potential customers. Beach resorts, island resorts and busy tourist Hotel areas tend to be the favoured spots for most dive center locations.

A final thought about marketing any business - and in particular a new scuba business - from us is that from personal experience, a professional and informative scuba diving website can be an extremely affordable way to attract new customers online.

Website sales and enquiries in general are expected to remain a low cost method to gain new business from a 'shop window' that’s open 24 hours a day and is still working for you when you take that well earned Day Off! The website would be a very valuable asset, and much thought needs to be put into its provision and design.

Insurance costs tend to be separated between fixed items such as buildings, boats and vehicles, and personal insurance policies such as for diving accidents and public liability coverage. A typical annual premium for accidental and professional liability insurance could be less than $200 whereas buildings and contents insurance would be considerably higher.

However, again from past experience, we would strongly recommend – and its required in most countries – that appropriate insurance cover is taken out to help secure the company’s’ survival, should the unthinkable happen.

Accidents and incidents are rare but the consequences of trying to recover both physically and financially from a ‘bad day at the office’ could prove to be catastrophic and possibly mean the ultimate demise of your dream job in the industry.

Best of luck with starting your own new scuba business - and please invite us to the opening - or at least let us know about you!

Article Submitted 2012 by Scuba Steve