Professional Level eNewsletter

October Dive Clickers

The October issue of Dive Log received the highest click-through rate of any previous eNewsletter. More than that, we received more requests for new subscriptions in the two-week period following its distribution than we usually process in a month.

Take a look at the response/ click through rate of divers “just like your customers” from stories in our Monthly Dive Log

You can use this information to help you decide what courses and other dive-related activities to promote in your store to help you earn greater profits for you and your facility!

After each distribution of The Dive Log, The official Associate Member Newsletter we compile the results and report and share them with you. They say that knowledge is POWER so more power to you! Need help bridging how to make this information pay off for you but not quite sure how? Contact us we can help, reach out for your Regional Manager or drop us a line at


























Figures reflect percentage of total “hits” for specific web pages on our site



SDI, TDI supports Ships to Reefs International… it’s simply good business

 Like us, you probably enjoy diving in and around wrecks. They make spectacular dive sites and wreck diving one of the better ways to keep our divers — new and old — engaged and diving. How could we not support an international organization that works with the industry to turn old ships into brand new artificial reefs?

For the record, we will be bringing more news about Ships to Reefs International to our members and associate members in the coming months but for the record, here is the official release from Ships to Reefs talking about what they have planned for DEMA. If need more information about how to join SDI, TDI in their supporting role, drop by booth 149 at the show and talk with SDI, TDI staff.


Ships to Reefs International (S2RI) announces it will exhibit at DEMA Show 2008, October 22-25, 2008, in Las Vegas, Nevada – Booth #4837.   Ships to Reefs International will host ships-to-reefs professionals from around the world.  Each professional will make short presentations about their project(s) and be available to discuss how ships to reefs is an economic benefit to the dive industry.  In addition, these professionals will share, free of charge, their ships-to-reefs “how-to” information with anyone who asks for it at the booth.

Some of the groups who will be participating in the Ships to Reefs International booth #4837 exhibit are:  The Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia; Canadian Artificial Reef Consulting;  California Ships to Reefs;  Washington Ships 2 Reefs (Washington Scuba Alliance);  various other state programs (Delaware, Florida, Texas).

The Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia (ARSBC) is a non-profit organization based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  Their mission is to create environmentally- and economically-sustainable artificial reefs in British Columbia and around the world for the enjoyment of Scuba Divers and for the protection of environmentally- and historically-sensitive marine habitats.  Since 1991, the ARSBC has sunk 6 ships and one Boeing 737 in British Columbia.  In addition, they were instrumental in the preparation and sinking of the HMCS Yukon in San Diego, California.

Canadian Artificial Reef Consulting, headquartered in North Vancouver, British Columbia, is a team of experts in artificial reef procurement, recycling, safety, placement and permitting.  They have been involved in many artificial reef projects in British Columbia and other Canadian provinces, Australia, New Zealand, and were also part of the HMCS Yukon project.

California Ships to Reefs (CS2R), Inc., is a 501(c)(3) non-profit Public Benefit Corporation formed to make the Golden State a world-class diving destination utilizing environmentally cleaned vessels from sources such as the military, private sector and fishing industry.

The Washington Scuba Alliance (WSA) is committed to working with officials of State, County, City, and Local Departments, and volunteer divers to establish a series of underwater parks that divers and snorkelers may enjoy.  WSA strives to create a unified group of divers such as dive clubs, dive stores, and charter operators who work together on reefing projects.

Presentations from Delaware, Florida and Texas programs will be available in the Ships to Reefs International booth.

World renowned professionals from this group will make presentations in the Ships to Reefs International booth and include Howard Robins, President of the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia; Jay Straith, President of Canadian Artificial Reef Consulting;  Roy Gabriel, Vice President-Sinking Operations of Canadian Artificial Reef Consulting; Wes Roots, Vice President – Ship Operations of Canadian Artificial Reef Consulting; Dick Long, Chief Advisor of California Ships to Reefs, Inc.

Howard Robins and Jay Straith will present three seminars which are free to everyone attending DEMA Show 2008.  A synopsis of these seminars is shown below: 

October 23, 2008 from 10-11am which is free to all attendees and exhibitors.   The title of this seminar is “Ships to Reefs:  Going Global with Ships to Reefs”.

The movement in the diving industry and global tourism towards Ships to Reefs is not just a North American event.  This program has spread to South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.  Howie Robins, President of the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia, will take you through the history of this concept and talk about how you can get Ships to Reefs and improve diving tourism in your area.

October 24, 2008 from 10-11am which is free to all attendees and exhibitors.   The title of this seminar is “Ships to Reefs:  Global Directions for Reefing Your Ship”.

Many Ships to Reefs projects outside North America have been waiting for international guidelines.  After years of consultation, the Scientific Committee of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has approved a clear set of guidelines for Ships to Reefs projects that meet the key environmental standards.  Jay Straith, President of Canadian Artificial Reef Consulting, will take you through the development of these guidelines and how they can be implemented to assist you in starting an artificial reef in your region.

October 24, 2008 from 2-3pm which is free to all attendees and exhibitors.   The title of this seminar is “Ships to Reefs:  What Has Worked and Hasn’t Worked”.

There have been many different approaches to doing a ships to reefs project.  Some have been more successful than others.  There are a surprising number of options available to obtain ships and prepare them.  Jay Straith, President of Canadian Artificial Reef Consulting, has been involved with many successful ships to reefs projects and will take you through the good and the bad concepts so you can assess what approaches might be available for your project.

In addition, Ships to Reefs International will have available in the booth, 5-10 minute slide presentations on “How S2R Makes You Money!”

These presentations are topic specific and include the following and more:  What is S2R?; How S2R Makes You Money; Take vs. No-Take Zones; Veterans & Their Ships; Non-Ship Reef Materials; Who Are the Players?; How Do I Get a Ship?; Rigs to Reefs; Lessons Learned; Spiegel Grove; Vandenberg; How Projects Are Funded; Twenty-three S2R Success Stories.  Come by the booth, view the presentation of your choice and go home with what you need to know to make more money, AND we’ll give you a warship collectible artifact.

Ships to Reefs International  is a coalition of artificial reefing programs from around the world.  Our current members include professionals from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.  Other artificial reefing countries are expected to join this effort in the coming months.

Ships to Reefs International was created to help coordinate artificial reefing efforts on an international basis, and will incorporate new guidelines currently being developed by the International Maritime Organization, an arm of the United Nations.  In addition, United States members of S2RI will coordinate a national artificial reefing program, to ensure a standardized program for all states and non-government organizations (NGOs) working to create ships-to-reefs programs, working together with the agencies of the federal government that have programs, which include the Maritime Administration (MARAD), Navy and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Ships to Reefs International is currently working to gain the support of the diving industry, showing how ships-to-reefs projects create economic benefits to the industry, as well as to all levels of government and the communities local to reefing sites – “SHIPS TO REEFS MAKES YOU MONEY!”.

For more information, please contact Jay Straith at 604-984-3646.


Competing in the Material World

 Warning the subject matter of this article is adult in nature and may cause outburst of anger followed by less than appropriate language, parental discretion is advised in selecting who is near you when you read this.

With more than twenty years of Retail experiences I know first hand the emotions that well up inside me any time we get to talking about DISCOUNTING.

Who knew that an eleven-letter word would cause our ‘retail brain’ to translate it to just four? It is that dreaded word that is often heard after you have spent a lot of time educating, teaching and training a diver in a new discipline that in turns of course requires them to buy some gear, you know that whole “this is an equipment intensive sport,” presentation…I’ll save you the repetition. While a whole book could be written on the emotions created by the request for a discount the purpose of this article is to address how to handle it “as profitably as possible.”

Let’s take a look at the nuts and bolts of the process via this example. You make a $1,000 sale and your feeling pretty good about it until you hear some kind of an objection to the price.  By the way brokerage houses have spent a lot of money to find out that the magic number is five objections or negative replies before a sale is closed: good information to know when you are making a sale. But let’s assume you slept through that session of your sales training class, and you fold like a cheap suit. Your reply then by saying: “OH I GIVE…I’ll give you 20 percent OFF!” Wow it is even difficult to write that!

Let’s see the impact that has on your cash flow.

$1000 (Sale) – $500 (Cost of Goods Sold) = $500 (50 percent Gross Profit or 100 percent Mark Up. (By the way the terminology you use GP or MU tells me the side of the business you are in, but that is a topic for another time.)

So let’s see where we were. Oh yes the dreaded #*&^% DISCOUNT: $1000 (Sale) – $200 (DISCOUNT) = $800 (Adjusted Sale) – $500 (Cost of Goods Sold) = $300 Gross Profit.

Here is a different approach you may want to give some thought, have probably utilized from time to time but you need to make your “go to strategy” when a discount is required to close a sale or to compete in an increasingly competitive market place for consumer’s spending.

Let’s once again take a look at the same sale.

The difference this time is that while in the presentation process we have identified an item that the diver plans to also buy in the future… “But not right now.”

You make the $1000 (Sale) and the D word comes up. Instead of discounting the products already on the counter try this approach. Reach for the item that has been identified during the presentation as the “not right now” item and offer it as FREE bonus for making this purchase for example … that $200 warm water wetsuit!

Now the transaction would look something like this: $1000 (Sale) – $500 (Cost of Goods Sold) = $500 Gross Profit.

Now that FREE $200 suit. For the sake of this example, let’s view it as a keystone or X2 (Rabbit Retailing Product). Your cost on the suit is $100. Soooo…let’s recalculate our figures for this transaction. $1000 (Sale) – ($500 Cost of Goods Sold + $100 Suit at your cost) = $400 Gross Profit.  You have increased your Gross Profit from $300 to $400 or a 33 percent increase!

The customer has received a $200 suit for free (and your customer satisfaction rating has just soared through the roof), but most importantly you have traded a $100 (at cost) for $1000 in CASH FLOW, a 20 percent value in the eyes of the consumer but just 10 percent to you!

Please heed the following advice: Always focus on the give away “bonus” items with the highest Gross Profit (read lowest cost to you). Avoid any low Gross Profit items (read high cost to you), such as cylinders, travel and services (including education).

Of course there is no single perfect solution but maybe just maybe this article has caused you to think the process through and not be so “automatic” with price reductions and cause you to think “value added” for the consumer.  

Remember you have a whole lot invested to be able to buy at cost, do not be too quick to give up that advantage.


Footnote: We hope you found this article helpful. This is just one service from the SDI, TDI Business of Diving Team. Our group of dive business professionals can help in many more ways, including business assessment, customer satisfaction surveys and analysis, marketing counseling. Contact your area representative for complete details. And lookup Nestor at DEMA or at one of the many consumer shows we will be attending and say hello.