Equipment Test – Tovatec 1000 USB Spot Light

Equipment Test – Tovatec 1000 USB Spot Light
by Gene Muchanski, Editor
The Dive Industry Professional

We recently had the pleasure to field test the Tovatec T1000 Spot Light and quickly discovered the T1000 was an exceptional piece of equipment and had to be put on our “must take on every dive” list.  Before taking it on our dive trip to the Dominican Republic, we tested it out one evening in our pool shortly after we received the light from Innovative Scuba Concepts/Tovatec.  Needless to say, we were very excited when we saw the T1000 light completely fill our  44′ x 18′ pool.  The intense power of the 12 degree beam angel at night is quite impressive, especially with it’s 1000 lumen light output.  The light is multi-functional and can be used at 100% or 50% capacity or as an SOS Strobe.  The T1000 has a burn time of 1 hour at 100%, 2.1 hours at 50% and 3.5 hours as an SOS Strobe.  Recharging time is approximately 4-5 hours.

There are a number of things we liked about the Tovatec 1000 USB Spot Light.  It measures only 6″ in length by 1.1″ in diameter. It only weights 4.4 oz without its battery and it has a USB direct recharging port.  The T1000 comes with a durable padded case, that you’ll want to take with you in your carry-on luggage.  It protects the light and its charging connection and keeps the battery at a consistent safe temperature while traveling.  The kit even comes with an adjustable lanyard and an extra O-Ring for the battery compartment.

We dove the Tovatec 1000 USB Spot Light on six dives, over a three day period in the Dominican Republic.  Most divers would not think that bringing a light on six shallow day dives was necessary, especially since the dives were done between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm, in less than 80 feet of water.  I thought so too, until I dove with the T1000.  The visibility in Dominican Republic as very good.  The sun was overhead with little to no cloud cover.  We dove the reefs and walls from 30-80 feet and used the T1000 Spot Light to bring out the colors of the reef and to see inside all the nooks and crannies in the reef and on the bottom.  The narrow light beam had sufficient power to illuminate the reef from over 6 feet away.  The extra light and the added colors made my dives much more enjoyable.  I basically left the light on for about 45 minutes on both dives from only one charge.

We dove with Scuba Caribe at Dreams Resorts & Spas (Dreams La Romana and Dreams Dominicus).  I was impressed with their dive operation and their Divemasters.  Two of the Scuba Caribe Dive Guides took the Tovatec 1000 Spot Light on one dive each and both came back with high praise for the quality and performance of the light.  We’ll be taking our T1000 to Saint Lucia soon and I hope to repeat the process of getting the professional opinions of the Dive Guides there.

I was delighted with the performance of the Tovatec 1000 Spot Light and would give it an A+ and highly recommend it.  I can’t wait to use it on a night dive or on one of our video dives.

The  Tovatec 1000 USB Spot Light is available from Innovative Scuba Concepts/Tovatec as one of their products exclusively sold through their Dealers with Doors Program.

For more information, contact: 
Innovative Scuba Concepts/Tovatec
6170 Lake Shore Court
Colorado Springs, CO 80915
Phone: 800-324-5032
e-mail: sales@tovatec.com

 

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Tell The World About Your Business

Submit Two Articles About Your Business
by Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Association, Inc.

Step 8 to unifying the diving industry is to submit two articles about your business, your products or your people to the major print media in the diving industry every year.  That may sound like a monumental task, and at this time it probably is.  There is no doubt that print media has lost some of it popularity in the digital age.  Yet, when we look a little closer we see there are a number of fine magazines that are of interest to the diving community.  There are a number of factors we looked at when we compared six diving magazines from our non-profit’s business library.  We compared readership and the number of copies printed per month.  We felt the overall look and feel of the magazine was important in regards to the quality of the paper, the layout, and the quality of the images.  The most important aspect for us is the quality and relevance of the articles and the diversity of topics.   All the magazines we looked at covered a diverse range of topics of interest to the diving public.  We read articles about diving equipment, dive travel, training, health and fitness, marine life and environmental concerns, local diving, photo techniques and current events.  We saw a number of encouraging similarities and we even saw a few topics of interest that are not currently being covered.

At the top of our list for a quality publication is Alert Diver, The Magazine of Divers Alert Network, published by DAN, Inc.  The magazine is a DAN Membership benefit and has an average monthly net press run of 143,949 copies.  DAN uses high quality paper, has interesting articles, covers a wide range of topics and has a good balance of advertisements vs articles.  I like the fact that Alert Diver had the most pages (112) of the six magazines we compared and the lowest percentage of advertising pages (17.4%) in its Winter 2018 issue.  The magazine has good industry support and attracts advertisers from the equipment, training, non-profit and travel sectors.  The magazine is laid out very well, doesn’t look cluttered and is easy to read.  Alert Diver is our role model and industry standard for future articles on dive industry media publications.  Keep up the good work.

During our research of different industry media, we did not look at Digital Magazines that did not have a print component to it.  This medium and business model needs a comprehensive study to determine its impact on our industry.  We did not include digital media in our twelve part series on Uniting the Diving Industry.  We also did not look at in-house publications of the certification agencies and have not included them in our white paper on Uniting the Diving Industry.  

The Dive Industry Association is planning to turn its monthly newsletter, The Dive Industry Professional into a magazine format, that will include both a digital and print component.  It will have topics of interest to both the consumer and trade components of our industry and most of all it will be as all-inclusive as we can afford to make it.  By all-inclusive we mean that we will advertise and promote media sources of information, in addition to our own.  We created a Magazine Page, under the topic, Stay Active on the DIVE LOCAL website, for print media.  This websites is being created as an all-inclusive resource guide of the diving industry for the general public.

The Dive Industry Professional is looking to profile and showcase companies and industry professionals that specialize in diving.  They could be from the Equipment Manufacturers, Retail Dive Centers, Dive Operators, Dive Clubs, Industry Media, Non-Profits, Training Agencies, Travel Businesses or the Sales Agents sector of the industry.  Our goal is to put our industry on a pedestal and promote it to the general public.  This way, we can fulfill Step 8 of our plan to provide an outlet for dive companies to submit two articles about their business, products or people to the major print media in the diving industry every year.   If there is no outlet for this step in the existing dive media sector then we just have to create one.

Our references were taken from magazines donated to the non-profit, Dive Industry Foundation’s business research library.  Magazines and magazine subscriptions are needed to help build the Foundation’s Business Library.  To Donate, please contact Dive Industry Foundation, 2294 Botanica Circle, West Melbourne, FL 32904.  e-mail:  gene@diveindustry.org

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Submit Press Releases to the Media

Submit Press Releases to the Media 
by Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Association, Inc.

Step 7 to uniting the diving industry is to submit press releases to the media.  Press releases are a very important part of uniting the diving industry.  There is an inexhaustible need to read information about people, products and places in the diving industry.  We all want to know what is happening with diving equipment, diving education and diving travel.  That goes equally as well for industry professionals who work in the trade and for divers who scuba dive for the fun of it.  As Adventure Seekers and Adventure Travelers we are all natural born story tellers to begin with, whether we realize it or not.   I’ve seen dull parties comes to life when someone starts a conversation about diving in some exotic corner of the world.  Throw in the words SHARK or LARGE MARINE ANIMALS and you immediately have people’s attention.  Why not develop that ability in writing and tell your story to the masses?  We can help you with that.

The Business of Diving is all about selling what we do, to people who want to do it too.  To call it a business, you have to sell something to someone.  For a sale to take place, your customer has to become aware of your product, the fact that you sell it and where they can buy it.  That’s called marketing.  To have a successful business you need to sell a sufficient number of products to a sufficient number of people, and to do that you need to have a marketing vehicle that delivers your message, about your product, to the potential  customers that are in the market to purchase it.

Advertising is all about telling your customers that you have something for sale that they need, want and can afford.  Selling is setting up a mechanism where you can close the sale and allow a transfer of product for compensation take place.  A Press Release can therefore be the message that gains the interest that paves the way for a sale.

How can press releases unite the industry?  Here is just one example.  If every one of our Members created 24 press releases per year for publication, more people would subscribe to and read our Weekly News.  Growing the number of subscribers puts more people on the same wave length.  That is what unifies the industry, more people on the same wave length.  The major obstacle is to identify and unify the many different wavelengths in our industry.

Our goal is not just to have everyone just read our Weekly News.  Our goal is to let the general public know about all the major media sources in our community.  That will benefit all of the major media sources and their readers.  We’ll do our part to increase the circle of our influence, to benefit the industry.  We’ll even help our members get their press releases into other sources of media in our community.

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Become a Member of Dive Industry Association

Become a Member of the Dive Industry Association 
by Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Association, Inc.

Step 6 to uniting the diving industry is to become an Active Member of the Dive Industry Association.  Becoming a dues paying Member of Dive Industry Association helps fund the projects the association undertakes to promote and help grow the industry.  By becoming an Active Member of the association, Dive Industry Professionals are participating in the industry’s growth and success.  Without active members that care enough to get involved in their profession, an industry would wither and die.

The whole purpose of this Unifying the Diving Industry campaign is to get Dive Industry Professionals engaged in their industry and work with their peers to make this a better place to work and recreate.  Think of your annual dues payment and a few hours of your time as a means to promote and grow the industry in a cooperative manner.

For critics of the industry, who complain about decreasing sales, loss of our customer base and a decreased interest in scuba diving, let me assure you that this campaign can help breathe new life and vitality into our recreation, hobby, and profession.  Steps 1-3 of our campaign focuses on three things that industry professionals could sign up for and observe – for free.  Step 4 & 5 focuses on two things that we could do for the cause.  A little bit of effort but still no cost.  Now in Step 6 we are asking the industry to make an investment of $125 to help fund the marketing tools and technologies the association uses to promote scuba diving and adventure travel to the general public.  Purchasing marketing tools, electronic hardware, and software programs to build websites, blogs, press releases, advertisements and marketing campaigns is expensive.  If one company had to pay for everything, very little would get accomplished.  You can only do limited things on a limited budget.  However, if every business in our industry pitched in just a little, imagine what we could do to promote our Members and our trade?  That’s the purpose of Dive Industry Association, and as you’ll see in Step 9, the Dive Industry Foundation.

The Dive Industry Association has been exceeding industry expectations since 2001. Our motto is “Building a Better Industry, One Member at a Time.”  We maintain a full time office in Melbourne, Florida.  We use volunteer staff to run the association and 100% of the revenue we receive from dues is spent on marketing tools and technologies to promote our membership and their role in the diving industry.  We publish a Weekly News press release service every Tuesday and a Monthly Newsletter we call The Dive Industry Professional.  DIA Members receive 24 free press releases per year.  That’s a $4,800 savings over our competitor’s rack rate.  The Association maintains a number of websites, blogs, directories and social media networks.  We promote our Members to the general public via direct mail, print media, electronic mail, social media, face-to-face marketing at shows & events and in direct referrals.  Using our connections with dive industry professionals in the trade and the tens of thousands of consumers we connect with, our major purpose is to network our members with each other and refer their goods and services to the general consuming public.  We use 21st century marketing technology to distribute our message to our target audience about our members.

The difference between the Dive Industry Association and the non-profit Dive industry Foundation is that DIA Members pay an annual membership fee that we use to pay for the marketing materials we use to promote them.  It only seems fair that when we pay for software programs and internet charges we can promote our members using only their dues money instead of charging them an extra fee for the service.  When you add it all up, the cost savings to our Members is pretty extensive.

The Dive Industry Association is always looking for better ways to serve its Members.  Most of our successful promotions have been successful because of the acquisition and use of 21st Century Marketing Tools & Technologies.  If there is a cost to the new tools and techniques, then that technology is used to support our dues paying members as part of their membership.  Our Dive Industry Digital and Print Directory is an excellent example.  The Association hired a Graphic Professional to design the site, print 2,000 copies and host it on its own website URL.  Our Members received a free listing and we sold advertising space to help pay for a portion of the project.  This year we took the Directory project in-house, using the Adobe Suite.  We also plan to use our new software to turn our Monthly Newsletter, The Dive Industry Professional, into a Magazine.

The Dive Industry Association is set up to focus on the Business of Diving in a recreational industry.  Our working Members spend most of their time running their businesses and any assistance they can get to learn about modern tools and technologies that help make them more Professional, more Productive and more Profitable is welcomed.  We realize that serving your current customers is a full time job and keeping in touch with your former customers can be very time consuming.  We also know that prospecting for new customers is the most costly part of your marketing budget and the most time consuming task.  That’s where Dive Industry Association becomes a welcomed partner and associate.

Are you ready to join the Dive Industry Association Network? Our complete Membership benefits are listed on https://diveindustrynews.net/membership/ A Membership Request Form is listed on the same website under “Membership Application”

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Participate in DIVE LOCAL – Regional & International

Participate in the Industry Program – DIVE LOCAL 
by Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Association, Inc.

Step 5 to uniting the diving industry is to participate in the international diving cooperative program, DIVE LOCAL.  DIVE LOCAL is a project of the Dive Industry Foundation, a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) tax-deductible, charitable organization.  DIVE LOCAL is international in scope and one of its sponsors is the Dive Industry Association.  DIVE LOCAL has a Blog Website, a Facebook Page and its own Twitter Account.  The main goal of DIVE LOCAL is to create opportunities for local diving businesses and help them succeed in business, thereby growing the industry.

Our first task is to define the size of the industry and its economical potential.  To do that we must identify the dive businesses and dive industry professionals that make up the dive business community.  To ensure that only current dive businesses are listed in our directories on https://divelocal.wordpress.com we are asking dive businesses to send us their current business card and any marketing materials they may have on their company.

Anyone who comes in contact with a Dive Industry Professional can participate in this project.  Manufacturers can send us a business card from each of their key employees and Reps as well as their product catalog, Dealer Price Sheet and any marketing materials they may have.  Dive Retailers can get a business card from every Sales Rep who visits their store.  Sales Reps can get a Business Card from every Dive Store they visit throughout the year or see at the DEMA Show or Regional Dive Show they attend.  It would be very helpful if you put them in the mail to us on a monthly basis.  Training Agencies come in contact with a tremendous number of Dive Industry Professionals and can and should be a big help in this project.

The reason we ask for the original business cards is that we use Card Scan hardware and software to process and file the cards for our industry database, which is currently at about 4,300 Dive Businesses and Industry Professionals.

But first, allow me to destroy some common myths and assumptions associated with this project and give you some guarantees that will make you feel more at ease.  First of all, DIVE LOCAL will not share any sensitive content about your company to any individuals in the industry.  In the case of dive companies, we only list the name of the company, it’s city, state and country and its website address on our Regional and Worldwide Directories.  That is to give you exposure and promotion to potential customers, not to get you on everyone’s spam list.  In the case of Dive Stores and Dive Boats, 99% of these businesses want people to visit their business website.  That’s how you get customers.  Dive Clubs and Dive Instructors may have different ideas on how they advertise for customers and that is on our “To Discuss” list.

Secondly, we are listing dive businesses (Manufacturing, Retail, Training and Travel) that are registered businesses with their city, state, county and country governments.  They are finite in number and their contact information is available to the public.  There is no secret as to who they are or where they do business.  Why would any company doing business in public want to hide from being discovered by potential customers?

DIVE LOCAL already has special cooperative programs for Training and Manufacturing Sales Reps to help them identify Retail Dive Centers in their territory.  We have gotten business cards from a number of Reps and even listed their accounts on a database that is specifically tailored to them.   Their list can be emailed to them quickly and as needed should they lose or forget to bring their Dealer Accounts Book with them on the road.  Of course, their list is never available to anyone but them.  A great benefit of this program is our automatic updates to the Reps when we discover an out-of-business Dealer or a new Dive Store in their territory.  Any Sales Rep can call our office for details and how our program can be of value to them.

The last myth I would like to dispel is the fact that any customer is “Your” customer and belongs to you.  First of all, customers do not belong to you.  They are yours only for that period of time when you meet their needs with goods and services they need, want and can afford.  If you want them to be your customer for a longer period of time, you must continue to meet their needs.  In the 1960’s and 1970’s the major certification agencies published Directories of their Scuba Instructors.  The directory listings helped working Instructors find new students.  As Instructors stopped teaching classes, the need to be in a directory vanished and actually became a problem with unwanted phone calls asking about new classes.  Another problem was that agency competitors may have been using their directory to solicit their Instructors.  Either way, the working Professional Educators lost a good source of marketing exposure.

Now in the 21st Century we have Instructor and Dealer Directories on-line.  It seems that everyone has a directory, but unfortunately many are not well kept or current.  And there still is no all-inclusive, industry-wide directory.  Maybe with DIVE LOCAL, that will all change.

The DIVE LOCAL Website, Facebook Page and Twitter is live.
Visit our website – https://divelocal.wordpress.com  read our blogs,
Like us on facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/DiveLocal/
Follow us on twitter – https://twitter.com

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Voice Your Opinion – Participate In Industry Surveys

Voice Your Opinion and Participate in Industry Surveys 
by Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Association, Inc.

Step 4 to uniting the diving industry is to participate in industry surveys.  Scuba Divers are a very opinionated group of people to begin with so this should not be problem.  Or is it?  Unfortunately, it is a problem.  Dive Industry Professionals, on average, don’t participate in surveys.  I don’t know why they don’t, maybe you do?  Are we too busy?  Too Lazy?  Not care enough about the industry?  Not want to get involved and make someone angry at us?  Is it the surveys?  Too long?  Too Personal?  I’m going to start asking our respondents and non-respondents what they think about surveys conducted in the diving industry. Then I’ll report on our findings.  It may lead to a significant breakthrough into how we do business in this market in the future.

Primary research is where an individual or a marketing company conducts a survey with a select group of people.  They are the originators of the survey.  Primary research could be very time consuming, frustrating and expensive.  Secondary research is looking for research that has already been conducted by someone else and published somewhere.  If you went to college, you are familiar with secondary research.  Secondary can be very time consuming.  Libraries and the internet are filled with secondary research.

The diving industry does not conduct a lot of surveys.  That is a mistake.  Before anyone can attempt to deal with problems in an industry, it must be defined first.  Surveys do that.  Secondly, surveys establish a base line when it comes to determining where we are on a particular issue.  Once we have established a baseline, we can measure any change in a positive or negative direction. If we conduct the survey over a longer period of time, we can formulate a trend.  Now we can brainstorm on problems and possible solutions to achieve desired outcomes. By measuring the effect of various inputs on the outcomes we achieve, we can establish “Industry Best Practices.”  Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  But first we have to agree to produce good, short, quality surveys and entice dive industry professionals to participate in them.

When it comes to short term surveys about recent product purchases or events, surveys help to record what the purchaser thought.  In the case of diving equipment, knowing why a person purchased your product is important and so is what they think of the product now.  Surveying attendees and exhibitors of a recent dive show could show you why you succeeded or failed in producing the event.   It can also show you what you will need to do differently if you wanted to conduct the event again.  That’s why it is so critical for participants to respond to surveys.  In the case of a dive show, if the exhibitors don’t tell the producers what was good and bad about the event, the producer will do the same thing next year.  Without input to make changes, if it failed this year, it will fail next year.

Now you see why Step 4 in Unifying the Diving Industry is starting to get difficult.  In steps 1-3 we only asked you to subscribe to something and read it.  Now in step 4 we are asking you to do something.  No worries.  As an intelligent industry we can make this FUN and worthwhile. But the time has come to act.

Background:  I first learned about surveys in a Marketing class I took in college, Market Research.  Up until the 1980’s Sales was all about selling what a company had already produced and had in inventory.  Engineers designed it, Manufacturing produced it, Operations stacked the inventory neatly in a warehouse, and the Sales people people sold it through the company’s Channel of Distribution.  Pushed it really.   With the introduction of the Marketing concept, we saw that sales people were working very hard to push products in a competitive, increasingly saturating market.  Marketing Professionals were asked to come up with a better way to sell products and make it easier on the weary sales force.  Marketing Professionals were assigned to find a way to “pave the way for sales.”   And surveys were born.

Purpose:  Surveys are a way of asking prospective clients what types of products they need, want and can afford.  The best product consultant you can have is a current customer.  By buying your product, they show that they like your company, like your product enough to buy it and they now have a personal experience using the product.  If only we were smart enough to ask our customers what they like about our products, what they don’t like about them, and what would they change if they could, when it came time to purchasing the product again.  Needles to say market research caught on and changed the way we manufacture and sell products.

On-Going Industry Survey #1 – Sales Rep Survey:  Dive Industry Association conducted this survey in 2002, 2009, & 2011.  It is now an Industry Profile that can be verified and upgraded every year without having to complete it every year.  The survey can be download from our website.  Download Survey

If you are wondering how much the Sales Representative’s Sector has changed in 15 years, here are some industry averages:  93% were Male with an average age of 52.  73% had cell phones but only 20% had websites.  The average Sales Agent represented 5 dive companies, in 7 states and had 163 accounts.  Reps sold an average of $1,287,500 in dive gear per year and  made an average $77,500 salary.  They spent $33,150 in travel expenses during the 183 days they were on the road, away from home, which means they spent on average $203 per dealer.  Anyone still want to be a Rep?

Manufacturing Sales Reps are extremely valuable to our industry.  They are what we call the lynch-pin or the link between the Buyers and Sellers of the Supply Chain.  You can’t get any more important than that.  Reps are Professional Sales People and should be treated as such.  They should not be used as product demonstrates, Instructor Trainers or Repair Technicians.  They need to be used to sell, sell, sell.  Instructors teach, Repair Techs do repairs and repair training and Service Personnel do demos.  To ask a Sales Rep to perform these tasks is what we call busy work and besides, these tasks are non-income generators.

Understanding the Manufacturing Sales Representatives is the first group of Industry Professionals we need to work with.  Dive Industry Association has a plan to help them get new lines, get new customers and promote themselves in the industry.  It all starts with filling out our Survey and sending it to us with your Business Card.  We’ll take it from there.

On-Going Industry Survey #2 – Dive Retail Profile:  Dive Industry Association has conducted this survey since 2002. It is now an Industry Profile that can be verified and upgraded every year without having to complete it every year.  The survey can be download from our website.  Download Survey

If you are wondering how much the Retail Sector has changed, here are some averages from 2002.  Only 70% of the stores were incorporated.  The average age of a store owner was 48.  80% of the stores had a web site and only 30% had a cell phone.  The average store was open 6 days a week for 52 hours and 60% of the stores were in rented facilities.  The average store certified 292 students a year and 62% of the stores certified through PADI.  Let’s see what the averages are in 2018.

Filing out the Dive Retail Survey and sending it to DIA with your Business Card is the first step a store owner can take to elevate his or her position in the industry.  Retail Dive Stores are one of the four pillars of each Local Diving Community.  They work in the community, on the front lines, every day.  They are our Industry Ambassadors and the public face of our recreation.  They are more powerful than they realize, because they are the major buyers and sellers of the industry’s programs, products and services.  If they stop purchasing goods and services the industry dies immediately.  As I’ve always said, “They who write the checks makes the rules.”  Dive Store Owners – This is your wake up call.

Other Surveys:  There are other surveys in the diving industry being conducted that I would like to see more participation in.  The Cline Group conducts a Quarterly Diving Industry Survey that covers equipment sales revenue, certifications, and travel revenues.  DEMA runs a quarterly equipment sales survey that a number of equipment manufacturers participate in.  If you have access to these surveys or are on their distribution list, I recommend you continue to participate in their surveys and do your part to help us planners understand the current economic impact of this industry.

For more information on diving industry surveys or DIA’s Unifying the Diving Industry Campaign, contact Gene Muchanski at 321-914-3778 or gene@diveindustry.net

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Using Microsoft Excel As An Industry Database

Using Microsoft Excel as an Industry Database
by Gene Muchanski
Executive Director, Dive Industry Association, Inc.

This is the third article in a Series about Databases that Dive Industry Association uses to keep in touch with its Retail and Trade Customers.  We’ve been using Excel since the association’s beginning.  Keeping track of your current customers, former customers and future customers is an ongoing, never ending job.  The database format you use has to be easy to enter data, easy to maintain and easy to extract and use.  Microsoft Excel does all of that and it is definitely flexible and scaleable.  It works for us and it works well.   Excel is understood and used by almost everyone in our industry.  It can be used in a PC or Mac environment.  We have found that it is compatible with a number of databases we’ve used in the past and having our data on Microsoft Excel helps us upload it onto other platforms.

We use Microsoft Excel to keep track of Dive Industry Professionals and Dive Businesses.  Entering names, addresses, phone & fax numbers, email-addresses and website url’s is simple to enter, simple to maintain and simple to extract and use.  After each e-mail campaign, updating an Excel spreadsheet is relatively easy.  The thing I like most about this platform is that it copies and travels well.  That’s not always the case with other database software programs.

When I think of all the different spreadsheet software programs I’ve used since buying my first IBM Computer in 1981 (Lotus 123, Quattro Pro, and now Excel) I’m glad I picked a professional program from an established company and have stayed with that brand a number of year.  As our industry database gets larger, our main challenge will be to better understand Excel’s power and capability and continue to make it work for us.

It is important to have current contact information for all of the business sectors in the diving industry that includes; Equipment Manufacturers and their Sales Representatives, Distributors, Retail Dive Centers, Dive Operators, Dive Clubs, Service Providers, Media, Trade Associations, Training Agencies and their Sales Reps, Non-Profit Organizations, Shows & Events Organizers, Training Facilities, Travel Companies,  Professional Educators and Industry Professionals.  The number of businesses specializing in diving and the individuals who work in each sector changes daily, so publishing an exact number would be meaningless.   The important thing is to focus on size and economical potential of the industry, and only a Master Database can help do that.

As database technology improves, the diving industry’s next major challenge will be to identify the number of active, certified divers worldwide.  We first need to know how many people all of the certifying agencies have certified in the history of scuba diving.  The next task will be to verify their current contact information and determine how many of them are still active in the recreation.   Only then can we calculate the economic impact and potential of scuba diving.

Of course, finding the ideal database program is only the beginning of the solution to our industry challenge.  Finding the data and storing it is going to be time consuming and expensive but analyzing and using the data is our greatest task.  I believe it is going to take an industry to compile, store, analyze and use this data.  For that to happen Dive Industry Professionals need to learn to cooperate better on industry challenges and opportunities.

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Editorial – July 2018

Reflecting On The Past – Planning For the Future
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional 

July is an ideal time for industry planners.  According to strict planning theory, what we are implementing this year was planned last year.   July then is a good midpoint correction period to tweak our original plans and make any changes that need to be made.   It’s easier to make minor changes to our overall strategy than to recreate the wheel or change horses in the middle of the stream.  For instance; you made plans to exhibit at a number of dive shows from January through June.  Now ask yourself if you met your goals or fell short.  What did you do right and what would you change for next year?  Does your first half of the year performance change what you are going to do in the second half of the year?  Well, now’s the time to make that change, while we have a little breather in our schedule.

Of course, if you are flying by the seat of your pants, you didn’t plan anything last year and you probably are just doing what you’ve always done, getting what you’ve always gotten, and expecting a different result.  But let’s move on because that type of person can’t be helped and they probably aren’t reading this article anyway.

This summer I am writing a series of articles on Unifying The Diving Industry.   I feel that the best way to master something is to teach it.  It worked for me in Tae-Kwon-Do, Scuba Diving Instruction and Small Business Consulting.  We are writing an industry white paper on Uniting the Diving Industry and doing it in a step-by-step fashion so that anyone who wants to can follow the plan and implement it to make their business more successful and help grow the industry.  It’s only been a few weeks, but I am already seeing an increase in the number of people that are following our Blog, subscribing to our Weekly News Broadcast and subscribing to our Monthly Newsletter.  Of course, it’s going to get increasing difficult to follow our plan in the future because we will soon be calling on people in the industry to do something, participate in something, cooperate in something, lead something, and finally to contribute something.  At some point, and I don’t know where that is, we will have uncovered the underlying root causes of the industry’s problems and be faced with some difficult decisions to make.  Of course, if we have gathered a good following of people who want to help make the industry better, we will be at a new crossroads, with plenty of help, to build a more dynamic industry.  Let’s hope for the best at this time and see what happens.  Looking forward to your input.

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Subscribe To DIA’s Monthly Newsletter – The Dive Industry Professional

Subscribe to DIA’s Monthly Newsletter – The Dive Industry Professional
by Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Association, Inc.

Step 3 to uniting the diving industry is to subscribe to Dive Industry Association’s monthly newsletter, The Dive Industry Professional.  The Dive Industry Professional has been publishing monthly news since May 2001 and has undergone many changes and upgrades in its format and distribution since.  The mission of the newsletter is to inform, educate, and entertain Dive Industry Professionals Worldwide.  Our original audience was made up of Dive Industry Professionals, who work in the industry either on a part-time or full-time basis.  Over the years it has come to include certified divers of all levels and adventure travelers.  The Dive Industry Professional  includes an Introduction, a Monthly Editorial, Featured Articles, News Articles, a Shows & Events Calendar, and a listing of new and renewing Dive Industry Association Members.  Each edition includes a Monthly Industry Birthday column and a reprint of the latest Weekly Dive News press release.  It includes Quick Links to helpful websites.  We use a summary format for each article to allow our readers to quickly scan the entire Newsletter and then click to read complete articles that interest them.  The direct e-mail distribution, using Constant Contact’s e-mail marketing system and SafeUnsubscribe mailing reaches 5,000 diving professionals worldwide.  Each issue of the monthly publication is simultaneously posted to our social media network, Facebook pages and profiles, Twitter and Linked-In.  Copies of our Monthly Newsletter from June 2007 through August 2015 have been archived to one of our trade websites.  View Archive  We have plans to start archiving our Newsletters once again and will soon have our back issues posted.  Subscription is FREE and open to anyone interested in diving and adventure travel.  Subscribe today

The Dive Industry Professional is designed as an educational vehicle for the entire diving industry, not just the Dive Industry Association.  We plan to use our marketing reach and frequency to keep the diving industry up to speed with what the bulk of diving businesses are doing worldwide.  One way to un-fragment the diving community is first to define the size of the industry by identifying the businesses in each industry sector that compete in the market.  We have to look at the big picture of our industry, realizing that our industry market share is shared among the Equipment Manufacturers, Training Agencies, Travel Companies and Non-Profit Organizations.  We must determine what changes have been made to the industry’s Channel of Distribution in the past twenty years.  And finally, we need to make everyone realize that each and every one of us Diving Professionals and Diving Hobbyists have an important part to play in the growth and future success of our community.

So signing up to receive our Newsletter is not a selfish request on our part.  It really is the third step to unifying the diving industry.  And I know, everyone wants to rally the industry, as long as it’s around them that the industry is rallying.  I also know too many organizations that “Have their own thing” and don’t want to, and never will, be a part of someone else’s thing.   But this is different.  We plan to work with all the sectors of the industry that compete in the marketplace, identify its strengths and weaknesses, threats and opportunities, discuss possible solutions to our problems and obstacles, design a plan for its implementation and strengthen our UNITED marketing vehicle that will carry the message to the entire diving industry.  A rising tide floats all boats.

We have written up the first 3 steps of our plan so far and have a number of them to go.  I am actually seeing an improvement in our marketing reach and our anticipated industry cooperation.  I have even made some improvements in our own marketing vehicles because of writing these articles.  I think this exercise (campaign) is going to be very productive for anyone who participates in it.  In the meantime, please send us your comments, e-mails and phone calls and your pledge to become a part of the collective industry solution.  I look forward to working with you this year.

For more information contact:  Gene Muchanski, Executive Director, Dive Industry Association, Inc.  2294 Botanica Circle, West Melbourne, FL 32904.  Phone: 321-914-3778.  e-mail:  gene@diveindustry.net   Website:  www.diveindustrynews.wordpress.com

 

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Subscribe to DIA’s Weekly Dive News

Subscribe to A Weekly Press Release Service That Reaches The Entire Industry With Current News & Events
by Gene Muchanski
Executive Director, Dive Industry Association, Inc.

Step 2 to uniting the diving industry is to subscribe to a press release service that reaches the entire industry with current news and information, not just paid ads.  To stay competitive in the trade, Dive Industry Professionals need to keep their finger on the pulse of the industry.  It’s important to know who the players are in our industry and what they are doing.  Reading a magazine or subscribing to a news services that only publish paid advertisements just gives you limited information from a small sliver of dive companies.  That is the major reason our industry is so fragmented.  Dive companies publish their information, about their segment of the market, to their customers.  They charge their trade customers for an ad that only reaches their dues paying members.  So what we end up with are many little pieces of a larger pie, but never getting to see the whole picture.

That is the predominate reason the Dive Industry Association is running this campaign and writing a white paper on Unifying the Diving Industry.  The first step is subscribing to this blog.  Read Step 1 Article.  You’ll receive an e-mail notice when a blog post is published.  Our blogs are about dive equipment, dive training, and dive travel.  They cover industry intelligence, and current events.  Our monthly editorials are written and published on the blog.  They share information with you about people, places and things.  A number of our blog posts are run in our Weekly Dive News, that we publish every Tuesday.

The Dive Industry Association’s Weekly Dive News has been publishing press releases since January 3, 2012.  We use Constant Contact to publish and distribute each campaign.  Anyone can subscribe to the weekly news and it is FREE to subscribe.  Subscribe here  Any dive business can place a press release for publication.  Dive Industry Association Members receive 24 free press releases per year and non-members are charged $50 per release.  Our Editors do not write the individual press releases but reserve the right to edit them accordingly.  Each campaign is distributed by Constant Contact from our list of Subscribers given to Constant Contact via their SafeUnsubscribe Program.  People can subscribe or unsubscribe at their pleasure.  DIA Members and Dive Media Organizations are sent complimentary subscriptions, which they can opt-out of anytime.  Each campaign is automatically posted to our social media programs, Facebook Pages, Twitter and Linked-In.  Once per month, a Weekly News Release is posted to our monthly newsletter, The Dive Industry Professional, that directly reaches 5,000 Industry Professionals worldwide.

Dive Industry Association’s Weekly Dive News received High Praise from Constant Contact during a training webinar.  When the e-mail marketing experts praise your work you know you are doing something very right.  Don’t take our word for it, view our YouTube video containing Constant Contact’s critique of our Weekly Dive NewsYouTube Video

You can see that DIA’s Weekly Dive News is used to keep industry trade professionals up to speed on the state of the industry but we also use it to inform Scuba Divers around the world of exciting travel specials, new equipment releases, gear specials, training courses being offered, shows & events news, and much, much more.  We write our Weekly Dive News to appeal to both the Industry Trade Professional and the Certified Diver so there is only one news broadcast to go to, once a week.

Try our Weekly Dive News and stay current with dive industry equipment, training, travel, and non-profit news.  Who knows, it may just lead to new contacts & customers and a whole new cost-effective way of branding your company.  Subscribe today

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