Southern Boating Swimsuit Issue

Advertise in Southern Boating Annual Swimsuit Issue.  Time is running out for you to advertise in southern Boating Annual 25th Anniversary Swimsuit Issue.  Exclusive "opposite" pages still available.

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Rolex & OWUSS Announce New North American Rolex Scholar

Rolex and Our World Underwater Scholarship Society Announce that Ms. Megan Cook, 24, of Kailua, HI has been selected as the Our World Underwater Scholarship Society's 2012 North American Rolex Scholar.

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Megan Cook New Rolex Scholar

OUR WORLD-UNDERWATER SCHOLARSHIP SOCIETY’S 2012 NORTH AMERICAN ROLEX SCHOLAR:  MEGAN COOK

Megan Cook, 24, was raised in Boise, Idaho more than 500 miles from the nearest ocean. Growing up in an athletic, water-loving family, she developed a zest for adventure and respect and curiosity about the natural world long before the ocean came into her life. An inspired first-grade teacher first fostered Megan’s ocean interest with crayon-scribbled current patterns, marine life stories and shell math. As other kids made “grown up plans” to become firefighters, business leaders, or sports stars, Megan knew she and the sea were meant to be together. At age 16, Megan was selected as the top international ambassador of a young women’s leadership organization. Traveling nearly 100,000 miles worldwide, Megan gained confidence as a spokeswoman and presenter and broadened her goals for the scale of impacts she hopes to make in the world. This experience will also prove invaluable to her Scholarship year as she is already an old pro at napping during layovers on awkward airport benches.

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Business Start-up

Starting a Business in Watersports - 6 Point Plan

* The starting of a business is a serious undertaking and degres of success vary from business to business and person to person. There are no guarentees in business and there is always the chance you will lose your initial investment. Dive Industry Association does not give legal or financial advice. We stronly suggest you seek consel from a Business Attorney, a Financial Advisor and a Marketing Professional. A good start will be your local SBDC.

Assemble your Team of Advisors (Business Attorney, Accountant or CPA, Business Consultant specializing in Diving and your Spouce!). Meet on a regular basis during the process.

Business Start-Up 6 Point Plan

  1. Personal Assessment - Do you have what it takes to start a business?
  2. Feasibility Study - Is there a market for your products?  Ca you sell enough profitable products to enough profitable customers?
  3. Business Plan - Have you thought out all the details and written them down?
  4. Financing Your Business - Can you raise sufficient capital to fund the start-up properly?
  5. Action Plan - Ready, Set, Grow!
  6. Exit Strategy - At what point do you call it quits?

 

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Professional Development - Surveys

Professional Development - Marketing: Surveys are Important to Us 

by Gene Muchanski

When was the last time you surveyed your customers? Do you know why they purchase from you? Do you know why the ones who don't buy from you, buy from your competitor? Do you know what is important to your customers? If you don't, the solution is simple. Ask them. 

Many times we, as an industry, seem to operate in a vacuum. Maybe it is because there are many qualified and talented people in our business with a lot of diving experience. When we create products, sell products, recommend products or teach people how to use them, there is a tendency to inject our personal bias. Sometimes a little too much! Giving our customers the benefit of our opinion and experience is a good thing but failing to find out what is important to them is a sure sign of arrogance, ignorance and an over inflated ego. It also leads, in most cases, to a lost sale and a non-returning customer.

Since the early 1980's pressure selling gave way to the age of modern marketing. In the old days, we created products we thought were fantastic, filled our warehouse with inventory and sent our sales "force" out to sell the products to an unsuspecting public. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it resulted in a warehouse full of unsalable stuff that the public didn't need, didn't want, and wouldn't buy.

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Professional Development - Communicating with a Purpose

Professional Development -  Marketing Communication: Communication With A Purpose
by Gene Muchanski

Marketing communication is very important to the success of our businesses. So much, in fact, it may well be the core function of marketing itself.

The purpose of any business is to create products and services that help people. The kind of help we provide depends on our core competencies to create products and how the customer uses them. So our business begins with the customer and not with our Engineer! To understand how our products are going to sell in the market place, we need to know how the customer is going to use them and why. Focus groups are a big part of what marketing can do to help you understand how the product will be used by the customer and what features and benefits will be needed to make the product useful to the consumer. The skill set here is "listening" which is the most important part of the communication process.

We've seen too many times, what happens to products that are created by designers in the privacy of their labs without giving thought to the marketing process. They build products they think are great and wonder why they just sit in the warehouse. Well, it might have been a great idea to them, but not to their customers. Then they get mad at the sales people because sales are flat. The better way to create products is to introduce the marketing concept before the products are designed. Building products based on consumer input is a much better way to go. You communicate with your customers and they tell you what they would buy. They will tell you if the product has value to them. You can then build prototypes and ask them for their comments again. After a few changes, ask again. Keep doing that until you get it right. Now you can go into a small production run to see if the new product will sell. If it does, you have a winner and can go into full scale production. If not, there's a problem somewhere.

Pre-production communication is important to our business but only if we ask the right questions and get the right answers. Before you design your pre-production campaign, ask yourself what it is you want from the customer and make sure the customer knows what you are looking for. That's communication with a purpose.

 

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Orlando, Florida - Sep 6-8, 2018

Exhibits at Surf Expo: Surf Expo will open its doors on September 6th for three days of watersports equipment and fashion apparel. Over 4,000 brands will be represented.

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