Well, scuba diving equipment is not cheap and the number of divers in Brazil is vast. So, if you plan to open your own shop when retiring (or when leaving military service like me), you’d better start collecting money now because it will take some time to afford all the necessary stuff for this business. I even find it difficult to explain how much money you’ll need for that… How much? Well, let’s see:
RENT For Your Scuba Shops
The very important thing to remember before opening a shop is where do you want your shop located? And since most likely someone else will be paying for the rent of the building, at least in Brazil, try to put yourself in an area with high traffic so people can stop by and ask for advice about diving. That’s the trend here. People are not used to going to a scuba shop just to buy their stuff anymore, they would rather go check out 3 or 4 different shops for more options before actually buying something. Besides you need to keep in mind that some malls have rules prohibiting any business-related activity so try to pick up a good spot always remembering this factor too!
STAFF For Your Scuba Shops
You don’t need many people working with you, one or two employees is enough – but I strongly suggest that both of them should be female because selling tanks and diving equipment on the other side of the counter isn’t an easy task nor it’s pleasant. Men are usually better at taking care of technical issues… Another problem that I find myself dealing with here in Brazil is that it’s so hard to find help and pay them well. All the good guys quit as soon as they start making some money and move on, leaving you alone at your shop struggling to keep everything together all by yourself. Good luck!
ARSENAL For your Scuba Shops
No! You don’t really need an arsenal to own a scuba shop but you do need stock. Since there are no financial incentives for diving instructors (they just teach people how to dive and get their diving time certificates) or stores trying to push anything on their customers, you can only sell what you actually have in stock – which means that if your supplier does not send the right items at the right time, off he goes! If you are the only dive shop in your city, then it’s hard to have any kind of real business without being able to sell what “everybody” wants which means that if you don’t have it, no one will buy anything with your store. I know it sounds strange but I’ve had my fair share of this, trust me. And since diving equipment is so expensive nowadays at least here in Brazil, people are already prepared with their money before entering your shop which makes things even harder for you.
MARKETING of Your Scuba Shops
Well… No need for marketing either! If you can advertise why would anyone go anywhere else anyway? But let me make a long story short about this subject: You won’t be able to do it. What I mean by that is that you won’t be able to afford it! Out of the 5 largest cities in Brazil, 4 have 2 or more dive shops and people don’t even consider going anywhere else anymore. And yes, we’ll discuss this problem later on…
So now you should already realize why opening a scuba shop is not exactly an easy task and how complicated it can get sometimes – but let’s stop complaining now and move on because there are many things that can make your life much easier.