The Diving Business Community can take a tip from the construction business. The first thing home builders do when starting a planned community project is build three Model Homes. It shows prospective buyers what they can expect when purchasing a home from the builder. They normally have a Good, Better and Best category and each model home showcases many of the decorating options available in the homes. So why don’t we have “Concept Shops” and “Concept Products” in the diving industry?
The Dive Industry Foundation is looking for a website to showcase it’s “OPERATION: DIVE LOCAL” project. We have design in mind and kind of know what features we need to showcase diving to the general public and capture contact information from divers worldwide. We already have a trade database of over 5,000 people who work in the industry and we have tens of thousands of Divers who may or may not still be active in our recreation. We want the site to be user friendly and interactive with certified scuba divers and people who want to learn to dive, buy gear and remain active in diving.
The website will show divers and non-divers how to; 1) Get certified or advance their training. 2) Buy gear. 3) Meet other divers, and 4) Stay active in the recreation. It will also showcase the Best of Scuba Diving and diving related activities.
So far, we have spoken with numerous web designers, software salespeople, and social media “experts” who will build us the system we need but have nothing like it in their current inventory. What is strange about this whole project is that no one has a working model of their “Good”, “Better” and “Best” website w/CRM. Where are the working models from these “experts”. I know the Plummer’s Wife doesn’t have one and neither does the Cobbler’s Kid. What I would like to hear is “This is what we have, this is how it works, this is how much it costs, and here is when you can have yours.” I also expect to see a working “Showcase Model” that is owned and operated by the designers and their company. And if your company has been in business for longer than six months, I’d like to know how many paying customers they currently have and how they got them.
My logic for wanting a working showcase model is based on the fact that I can drive 15 miles from where I live now, look at a model home this afternoon, and know what my new house will look like when it’s built, the actual site it will be built on, how much it will cost, and when it will be ready for occupancy. If this can be done with a $400,000 house, it should be able to be done with a $5,000 – $10,000 web site.
This “Concept Shop” idea can be elevated to another level with a little thought and imagination. If you are an Equipment Manufacturer, Training Agency or Resort Destination, show the industry how great your products are by showing the industry what buying your products has done for your customers. Do you have the best Retail Dive Centers in the Industry because your products and services are giving them a competitive edge over other dive centers? Are your Dealers more profitable and productive because of the programs, products and services you sell them? If they are, then the rest of the industry needs to know about it. If not, then this could be the beginning of a very important lesson for you.