March is here and Scuba Divers are thinking about diving again. For many of us in the United States, it has been a long, cold, hard winter. In fact, some of you are still dealing with the cold, the rain and the snow. That’s OK. It’s sunny and warm somewhere. Spring Breakers will appreciate that. So will our traveling diving friends.
The Industry Planners have been getting ready for the 2018 season during January and February and are in the middle of their pre-season marketing push for the month of March. We saw surprisingly good turn-outs at the January Dallas Show and February’s Our World Underwater. We haven’t got a report from the Boston Sea Rovers yet and the industry is getting ready to invade Secaucus, New Jersey for Beneath the Sea. Shortly after BTS, we’ll all be in Tacoma for the Scuba & H2O Adventure Show. Then it’s DIVE, DIVE, DIVE until Scuba Show in June.
Managing the Tacoma Show has really made me think a lot about the power of proper planning, targeted communication, community involvement and follow-up. Putting on a successful show or running a successful company takes the same skills and attention to details. You have to plan well and implement your plans in a timely manner. You have to communicate your plans to everyone involved in the project/company. One central person has to get everyone on-board and keep them in the loop. Too many things can fall through the cracks if you don’t. And the last thing is proper and continuous follow-up. Sending out a message is only one part of the process. Did your attended audience receive it? Did they read it and understand it? Did your “Call to Action” make them commit to your offer? Are you all ready to go on Day 1?
If you are an experienced planner you know that success can only happen if you perform the proper inputs and nurture the process until it produces the desired outcome. Plant the seed – water the field – harvest the crop. Business is no different. Neither is an Industry. The recreational diving industry is only going to improve if we continue to run our businesses professionally, proficiently, productively and profitably. The New 4 P’s of Marketing. The Business of Diving makes the Hobby of Diving possible.
That idea brings us to a great realization. Dive Industry Professionals should do what they enjoy doing and are good at. Do you enjoy teaching more than anything? Did you get in the business so you could go diving more often? Do you like to tinker with equipment and fix things? Think about what you really like to do and figure out a way that you can specialize in that. All of the other stuff can be delegated or sourced out. The thing is that as Dive Industry Professionals, we need to do the things we like to do and are good at and hire people to do the things we don’t know how to do or don’t like to do. If you spend all of your time doing everything that has to be done, you’ll never have the time or the money to do the things you want to do. “I do the things I have to do, when I have to do them. That allows me to do the things I want to do, when I want to do them.”
I hope to see you at Beneath the Sea. I’ll be at Booth 412 if you want to talk to someone who loves to do Sales & Marketing, and is good at it! Safe Travels.