Here is what you told us…

In a recent member survey, we asked you questions about your business and your thoughts about how to overcome any possible downturn in the coming year… Here are the results. Compare your thoughts on the following questions to the answers given by your fellow store owners and instructors. Answers are expressed as a percentage of total respondents (percentages may not add up to 100%). Some comments follow.

The current economic situation has no effect on my business going forward?

strongly disagree = 8.39%; disagree = 32.26%; neither agree nor disagree = 12.90%; agree = 6.45%; agree strongly = 0

I plan to retain or increase inventory levels compared to the previous 12 months.

strongly disagree = 16.13%; disagree = 25.81%; neither agree nor disagree = 12.90%; agree = 8.71%; agree strongly = 6.45%

I plan to maintain or increase staffing levels.

No answer = 3.23%; strongly disagree = 8 25.81%; disagree = 16.13%; neither agree nor disagree = 25.81%; agree = 19.35%; agree strongly = 9.68%

I plan to cut back on overhead by reducing advertising and promotion.

No answer = 3.23%; strongly disagree = 6.45%;disagree = 12.90%; neither agree nor disagree = 35.48%; agree = 29.03%; agree strongly = 12.90%

I plan to cut back on overhead by reducing total staffing hours.

No answer = 12.90%; strongly disagree = 6.45%; disagree 6.45%; neither agree nor disagree = 19.35%; agree = 32.26%; agree strongly = 22.58%

Business hours will stay the same or be increased.

No answer = 6.45%; strongly disagree = 0; disagree = 9.68%; neither agree nor disagree = 16.13%; agree = 38.71%; agree strongly = 29.03%

I plan to increase the frequency of diver education courses offered to my customers.

No answer = 3.23%; strongly disagree = 3.23%; disagree = 16.13%; neither agree nor disagree = 19.35%; agree = 48.39%; agree strongly = 9.68%

I plan to increase the levels of continuing diver education courses offered (e.g. include TDI or ERDI courses in my offerings).

No answer = 3.23%; strongly disagree = 0; disagree = 6.45%; neither agree nor disagree = 22.58%; agree = 61.29%; agree strongly = 6.45%

I will promote more dive travel to my customers through aggressive marketing and/or offering more choices of destinations and dates.

No answer = 6.45%; strongly disagree = 3.23%; disagree = 29.03%; neither agree nor disagree = 38.71%; agree = 19.35%; agree strongly = 3.23%

I plan to hold or increase the price on training courses.

strongly disagree = 3.23%; disagree = 6.45%; neither agree nor disagree = 12.90%; agree = 64.52%; agree strongly = 12.90%

I feel that I can improve cash flow by improving customer satisfaction.

strongly disagree = 0; disagree = 3.23%; neither agree nor disagree = 22.58%; agree = 32.26%; agree strongly = 41.94%

I plan to increase sales in my store by discounting equipment and services.

No answer = 6.45%; strongly disagree = 12.90%; disagree = 29.03%; neither agree nor disagree = 22.58%; agree 25.81%; agree strongly = 3.23%

Promoting your business and keeping your name in front of potential customers during less than optimal economic times is vital to continued success.

strongly disagree = 3.23%; disagree = 0; neither agree nor disagree = 9.68%; agree 32.26%; 5 = 54.84%

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The survey also collected several interesting comments. Most were positive and we got several good ideas for initiatives that we will introduce next year. For the record, here are two comments we thought sum up the general feelings among SDI, TDI membership.

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When times get tough, the tough get going! In simple terms, when the economy is suffering we have to dedicate more time to satisfying our customers needs (give’m what they want – more bang for the buck). Simple things that don’t cost you that much (half off equipment service fees – free promotional items – hats – shirts etc. with your name and/or logo on it – plan more local diving activates (eliminate big fuel expenditures) Have dive trip planning parties at your store. (Get your customers input on the planning and feed them something while your at it – pizza is a cheap promotional) Plan family SCUBA outings (even if some are not divers) Keep yourself in the water with your customers (think about it, who do they respect the most – It should be you) And last but not least forget discounts on most equipment (NO APPRECIATION !!!) – give’m something they need that they can always say Joe’s dive shop gave me this! And be sure to put your logo on it. Actually some items should be labeled “Stolen from Joe’s Dive Shop” Now I have to go get one for myself !!

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Believe that customer satisfaction is the key to promoting your business, word of mouth is your best advertising that you can do. A satisfied customer will promote your business more than anything else.

 

We hope you found the results of this survey interesting. Thank you for your input and continued support of SDI, TDI and ERDI

               

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