It’s September already. If you took a vacation this year, it may have been in June, July or August. The kids are back in school and fall is just around the corner. If you’re in the diving industry, you are probably getting ready for the DEMA Show. With that cold, hard fact staring you in the face, you may be one of thousands in our industry that are wondering what happened to the season. Did it ever start? I think so. But here is a cold fact we can’t get away from. For many people in our industry, the season stopped for them. Major layoffs, dismissals, firings and reorganizations. If you worked for one or two companies and never reached your potential, there is a slim to no chance that any company is going to want to hire you. Why would a company hire a person that has not grown with the times, learned new things or brought success to his or her company? If you are an “Old Dog”, stop looking for a pay check and start learning some new tricks.
New tricks are cool. Anyone can learn to use new tools to get work done. You don’t have to be 9 years old to understand new technologies that make you for professional, productive and profitable. I’m hearing a lot from the younger generation talking about how they need to learn about ROI, Sales Conversions and Results. New technology is no longer about only listening to music and playing video games. It’s about using tools to make a living! Novel concept.
So here’s how I see the 2016 Season priorities. People are still diving, but not as many. People are still buying dive gear, but not only from brick and mortar dive stores. People are still traveling, and traveling a lot, but not all of them are booking with a dive travel specialist. Diving is still cool, but different than it was 40 years ago. Success, I believe, will come to those who understand the recreation, understand the market, and understand how to communicate effectively with current customers, former customers and future customers (prospects). Communicating with new technology is the new normal.
The 2016 Season will kick off at DEMA Show in November. Now is the time to pull out your 2015 Business & Marketing Plan, measure your results and see how you can improve on it for next year. Write out all of the new outcomes you want to achieve next year, tweak the action items where you need improvement and create your 2016 PlayBook. Long Live Old Dogs and New Tricks.