Launching Your Very Own Scuba Diving Ecopreneurship
The world under water is breathtaking and magical, drawing in over 6 million active scuba divers yearly, according to Reuters [l]. Divers are mainly affluent baby boomers with deep pockets, representing a promising opportunity if you’re a savvy scuba diver yourself with some business chops. You could live your dream life – scuba dive to your heart’s content – and make some money while you’re at it.
Below, Enviroblog.net discusses the highlights of launching your very own scuba diving business, the challenges involved, and how to do it responsibly to ensure care for the ocean and the future of this wonderful planet.
Understand the scuba diving business model
If you start a scuba diving business, you’ll mainly make money by offering lessons to newbie divers and being a dive guide. Over time, you could also tack on associated services. Note that you can optionally launch a dive resort instead of a traditional dive shop (aka center). Below is a full list of revenue streams associated with scuba diving businesses:
Dive guidance: Dive guides take tourists and occasionally experienced divers on dives in unfamiliar waters.
Scuba diving lessons: You can assist divers in acquiring beginner, intermediate, and advanced certification (like Padi).
Renting and selling scuba gear: Diving essentials, dive computers, cameras, and other assorted gear can be rented or sold.
Boat charters: You can offer bareboat or skippered charters for tours, special dives, or business events.
Vacation packages: Some diving resorts offer scuba dive vacation deals for a few days or weeks, with bed and breakfast, transport, and associated services.
Snorkeling: Snorkeling is more accessible than scuba diving and always in demand.
Water sports: Lastly, some snorkeling businesses branch out into other water sports like surfing and sailing.
Embrace the tenets of ecopreneurship
While all businesses should aim to be sustainable, scuba diving businesses have a larger responsibility than most. Ocean health is declining, and the implications for marine flora and fauna, including beautiful, delicate coral, are concerning. By being responsible about how you run your business, you can mitigate the impact on the ocean (and thereby remain in business).
The core tenets of ecopreneurship are being innovative, caring, and focusing on long-term sustainability. Scuba diving businesses can do many things to be sustainable, including not interfering with marine life, clearing debris, cleaning up after themselves, conducting “zero waste” dives, and educating customers and clients.
Consider the challenges involved
Besides environmental degradation, scuba diving businesses have to deal with the economic downturn and travel restrictions due to the pandemic at the moment. Markets, while growing, are not expected to recover fully until 2024. On the flip side, demand is expected to pick back up quickly and will continue to climb. Furthermore, the economy is rapidly recovering and new businesses have much assistance and aid in launching. Overheads like commercial rent are low.
Plan the logistics
Just like with any business, you need a concrete plan of action to launch your shop (or resort). It’s a good idea to make a business plan, which will outline your business goals, cover your organizational infrastructure and finances, and keep you on track.
Costs involved: You will have to pay employee wages, purchase equipment for instructors and students, rent a classroom or office, make arrangements for charters or boats, and purchase insurance. Here’s a good estimate.
Finance: You can opt for business loans or invest your own money into the venture. Diving businesses have high expenses in general, including ongoing maintenance.
Marketing: You’ll need to research the target market, which depends on your location. Branding and naming your business appropriately is also important, as is creating a logo and building an online presence. A lot of this you can do at minimal to now cost. For example, you can create a company logo design using a free online tool that comes with customizable templates, and you can easily build a website for minimal cost using Squarespace or Wix.
Figure out the legalities and taxes
Lastly, there will be legalities and taxes to take care of. It may be wise to form an LLC or other legal entity to separate your business assets from your personal ones. That way, if your scuba diving business gets sued, you’re not held personally liable. You can use an online service to quick, conveniently and affordably register your LLC. Lastly, you will need to register for taxes and also get an EIN (Employer Identification Number) before you get up and running.
Owning a scuba diving business is by no means a fast ticket to riches. What you can expect, though, is a satisfying, wholesome lifestyle and plenty of happiness. You’ll get to share your knowledge with others, help protect the ocean, and experience the wonder and joy on customers’ faces when they dive in for the very first time.
Image via Unsplash