Sorry I cannot pay you today!This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 11th, 2012 at 9:08 am
We have just survived (and I mean all companies in this competitive industry) the dreaded February weather and as we move into the warmer and “cannot breathe it`s too hot months” again you are going to see a lot of promotions as companies look to attract business.
It would be really easy to advertise free this and that and 40% off on x. However, being a large scale travel & tourism operator and by that I mean having a fleet of 7 dhows, 3x speedboats, 180 bed camp, 40+ staff and a double storey office block to consider, it is vitale that we cover those expenses in order to remain in business for you the client.
I dare anyone reading this article to find a dhow in this port that is in better condition than ours! I again dare anyone to find another operator willing to push into different areas as we are prepared to do in order to vary the diving and dhow cruise experience!
This all costs money and too be honest I have a very simple business objective! When you phone in 10+ years time, there will be someone here to answer and say “Good day, Sheesa Beach Travel & Tourism, how can we assist you.”
We are blessed to have exceptional staff here at Sheesa and they need to be remunerated for the blood, sweat and sometimes tears that they personally invest. So if you think we might be more expensive than others, then in all likelihood we are by a small margin but the difference is … we have a very good reason for being so.
So in conclusion, when you are booking trips and want to pay peanuts for that said trip, you might very well end up with monkeys (and this is no way aimed at any other operator in the area.)
See you underwater, on a dhow or around a camp fire.
100 Bucks or 200 BucksThis entry was posted on Monday, September 19th, 2011 at 12:12 pm
As the title indicates, the subject matter today is on price and what do we/you as consumers look for? In all the years of being involved in this fascinating industry, this question raises its head time and time again.
I have had a few very influential instructors and mentors in my career and the underlying theme from all of them was simply, do your own costing and do not worry about your competitors. I am not here to worry about my competitors, I am here to provide a service to my clients and make sure that when that phone rings in 5 -10 or longer years time, there is still someone here to answer it. Simply meaning that we are still in business and providing what you ask for … VALUE FOR MONEY!
So let`s look at a scenario, you start to look at obtaining your initial diving license. You shop around, you ask questions and eventually you look at “Joe Dives Dive Centre” and “John Dives Dive Centre.” Joe charges 100 bucks for the course and John charges 200 bucks for his course! Same course (or is it), same content material, same standards to be upheld. Does Joe operate from a mobile phone and his home and does John run a dive centre with staff, advertising costs, telephones, equipment etc? So John`s costs are more and thus needs to charge more. Maybe they both run dive centres and the one is undercutting the other but what are you losing out on? maybe a pool session, rushed theory sessions, 3 open water dives as opposed to 4. 4 shore entries as opposed to 4 boat dives.
We/you as consumers are not stupid and not blind, the internet gives us access to an incredible amount of information. Do the research and choose wisely. So the next time I hear someone say “hey man I can get a dhow or speedboat a lot cheaper than you!” Look closely and understand why I have a wry smile on my face:-)
So use the cheaper option but at some point I will see you again and yes, we will be happy to be of service for a very long time to come!
Continuing Diver Education or Not!This entry was posted on Thursday, August 25th, 2011 at 8:05 am
Ok, so let me put myself between a rock and a hard place on this subject! As a full time educator in diving it is my obligation to enhance a divers knowledge and skill level and yet I understand the person who completed their open water course 10 years ago and has 500+ logged dives in different locations and environments, who says “I`m competent and don`t need the sales pitch.”
We are in the business to sell courses, it is part of how we make a living and sustaining the dive centre you are affiliated to. We are able to provide information on subjects you may not have any idea about or have not thought of yet. You can do the research on the internet and via other methods of multi-media but most of us, have been there and have spent years doing courses ourselves as well as research to provide you with accurate and knowledgeable information.
I always believed in experience over qualification and received a battering a few years back from a young, newly qualified Dive master as to why my chain of command involved an advanced diver with 1000+ logged dives (at least 200 of those with me personally) over him. I simply said “I trust him and know his capabilities.” However I will always take experience and qualification over the previous 2.
As an instructor/ dive guide, would I be more comfortable having a rescue diver in my dive team or someone who was not qualified to that level? The anwser speaks for itself! It is your call but I have to get in the water with you! You do the math.
Diving SafetyThis entry was posted on Thursday, July 28th, 2011 at 10:25 am
This topic has become more and more prevalent to me as a guide/instructor over the last few months. This has always been close to my heart but I think we speak more than we do on this subject. Especially as we start to push further north into the musandam, so the issue again raises as few concerns. A very wise and experienced diver, who had a huge impact on my diving once said, “when a prospective open water diver walks into your shop, you should be selling the rescue course!”
“Sales pitch, don`t need it, I`m experienced enough, they just want more money,” trust me I have heard all the arguements to the above quotation in paragraph 1. What about our concern for your safety, prevention is better than cure, self rescue is a part of being a competent diver? Our motto here at Sheesa Beach is “Deep down we care!” Yes we are here for business (who is not) but we have an ethos of caring and treating you as an individual and not a bum on a seat.
I have yet to come across an advanced diver who is able to plan a dive on a dive table or divers carrying surface marker buoys and delayed surface marker buoys without a clue how to use them. Now this is not necessarily the divers fault as I personally believe it starts with your initial training and how much your instructor put into the course. Then it is up to you to continue your eduction because at the end of the day it is your life and your decision to improve or grow as a diver. How do we start to become educated, well you can read, surf the net, do courses, pick our brains and dive, dive, dive. Most courses are online today so you can learn from the comfort of your armchair.
Briefings, one of my personal bugbears in life!! Why? It is an important part of the dive! If we said absolutely nothing to a dive team and merely got kitted up at a dive site, slipped into the water and went diving, I`m sure there would be some confused if not angry clients on the boat. The amount of times we (I`m not just talking in my personal capacity but this is an issue shared by many of us) are briefing and the divers are talking amongst themselves or not listening period. I don`t think I have ever done a briefing that is the same as the last one as there are always different factors to consider as the environment we love so is continually changing and again DEEP DOWN WE CARE!
There are a host of potential (and I stress potential) dangers out there but at the same time there are a host of ways to prevent those dangers and keep you as well as the name of scuba diving where it and you should always be … safe! We are not just pretty faces or people who guide you underwater, we are professionals in an ever growing and demanding industry. Talk to us (we appreciate this), ask questions (we are more than happy to oblige an answer), if we do not know the answer, we will find it for you.
Diving is not only a physically demanding sport, it has a huge psychological impact on us as well. Physical stress and psychological stress do exist. They can affect the most experienced diver in negative ways, so how would they affect you personallyPhysical stressors include being cold, dehydrated, over exertion, hungover, unfit, ill fitting equipment, poor training, currents, over weighted divers, under weighted divers to name a few. Psychological stressors is how the mind percieves the up-coming dive, morbid humour, peer pressure, dive requirements, dive expectations, ego threat, fear of evaluation and fear of the unknown again to name a few.
So the next time you hear a guide saying “folks please do your buddy checks, stay in your buddy teams, be aware of where I am in the water, emergency procedures are …” we are not saying that for our benefit (we can handle ourselves) but for yours because when in the unlikely event it goes wrong …. can you?
This blog has been written with the express intent to create awareness and to limit complacency in us as divers. I love the Padi slogan for being a S.A.F.E diver. It stands for slowly ascend from every dive. See you all in the water, in the office or on a boat.
Deep down we care as well as up on the surface.