Achieving (Retail) World Domination – Episode I

7 Oct

Today’s post originally appeared on LinkedIn and was authored by Brian R. Bondy President / Owner at Huron Scuba, Snorkel and Adventure Travel Inc. We hope you enjoy it.

Huron Scuba Snorkel and Adventure
The Strategy

Owning a company with “Adventure Travel” as part of the name has generated a lot of questions about my obvious adrenaline addiction and the “crazy” things I’ve done to feed it. Skydiving — check; driven a NASCAR at full throttle — check; dove barefoot (and almost belly flopped) off a waterfall in Fiji — check, proposed marriage on national television (successfully!) — check, dove with great white sharks — check. After all my adventures, the two most common questions I’m asked are “How deep have you been diving?” and more importantly:

“What’s the scariest monster you’ve ever had to deal with?”

I can answer that one easily —

Anyone who owns a retail-facing business in our current economy is battling online retailers every single day whether they realize it or not. I’ve seen three retail ventures within sight of my store go out of business in the past three years. Each of them ended up losing their own battles with the menacing monsters in their marketplaces.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that Amazon is the devil (most days), and I’ve heard they have a wonderful customer service department. But they can’t offer what my retail business can — a personal touch and a real relationship with someone who will be there, in the flesh, each time you stop in or call.

Everyone who has been part of a corporate team-building exercise has probably been confronted with the question of the day — “How do you eat an elephant?” After numerous attempts at awkward humor from the self-appointed office comedian and a few decent guesses from the eager beavers, the simplest answer finally prevails: “one bite at a time.”

My first real job was selling snacks in a bingo palace, which attracted plenty of interesting personalities, arriving in their lucky shirts, with their lucky trinkets to sit in their lucky spots. As you would expect, they always ordered the same snacks (probably lucky snacks), which is where I entered the game. I worked as hard as any teenager could and from that hard work came my first genuine sales management epiphany — get to know someone, call them by name, learn what they want, build a relationship and guess what? – they tip. This simple realization at the age of 14 led me to the answer of a question that the likes of Mark Cuban, the late Steve Jobs, The Donald, renowned rodent scientists Pinky and the Brain and so many others have asked themselves as they built their empires:

“How do I achieve world domination?”

The simplest answer, again, prevails: “one person at a time.”

Fast forward with me 27 years, three businesses, four different careers and countless gray hairs into the current e-commerce, digital, multimedia, cyber-social, streamlined, automated, lean, optimized, bio-friendly, no-Eco-footprint-allowed, no-personal-contact-required age of today’s business world and once again ask yourself “How do I achieve business world domination?” Even in today’s marketplace, the simplest answer still prevails: “one person at a time.”

I dive with Huron Scuba
I’m the owner, head janitor and everything in between for a brick-and-mortar scuba-diving facility and adventure-travel provider in Michigan. Along with the help of my outstanding team, we’ve increased our student counts four out of the past five years. With over 300 percent growth in some areas this year alone, we are continuing to dive deeper into our own quest for world domination.

If you haven’t stopped to ask yourself the obvious questions yet, let me rewind and affirm — yes, there is scuba diving in Michigan, yes, we’re in a land-locked state with no ocean access, and most notably:

YES! we’re kicking asses and taking names.

Stay tuned for Episode II… Until then, identify your own marketplace monsters, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees and have a great rest of your week.

Read the original post on LinkedIn

New PADI Divemaster Promotional Video Available

5 Oct PADI Divemaster Video

We are excited to announce a brand new video for the PADI Divemaster course on the PADI YouTube Channel. The video focuses on inspiring new and existing divers to take the next step and Go PRO.

Here are a few ideas on how you can use this great new video to help drive your business:

  • Share the video across your website and social media channels to inspire existing customers and even their non-diving friends to choose the PADI Professional lifestyle.
  • Play the video on-screen in your store to attract the attention of visitors to your shop who might be thinking of their next steps in diving.
  • Show the video as part of a final presentation at the end of the PADI Rescue Diver course to inspire your new Rescue Divers to  continue their adventures with you.
  • Include the video in an email newsletter targeted at your existing Rescue Divers along with a limited edition promotional offer to encourage course bookings.

Should you have any questions or need assistance on utilizing this video, or other PADI marketing material, please contact your PADI Regional Customer Service Team.

Casting Call: What Does My PADI Mean To You?

30 Sep

My PADI Talent

Share your My PADI story and inspire more people to start, keep and teach diving. Describe what PADI means to you in a 500-750 word response to the following questions and you may be featured in the new My PADI global marketing campaign:

  • What was your inspiration to become a PADI Diver:
  • How has PADI changed your life or career?
  • What does PADI mean to you?
  • Complete this sentence. “My PADI is…”
  • How would you describe scuba diving in a word or sentence to a nondiver?

Please email your submission along with a maximum of two photos (one of which must be a topside photo or head shot) to by 31 October 2015.

10 Sep

Project AWARE Beneath the Waves

In preparation for the Our Ocean 2015 international conference in Chile on October 5-6, US Secretary of State John Kerry has posed the question, “What will you do to protect the ocean?

Project AWARE’s answer? Taking action against trash through Dive Against Debris. Scuba divers everywhere are taking a stand against the onslaught of marine debris. With our underwater skill set, we’re uniquely positioned to shine light on what we see beneath the waves – the negative impacts of underwater debris on ocean ecosystems and wildlife.

Share your underwater marine debris photos on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #BeneathTheWaves. Project AWARE will add them to their global “Beneath the Waves” photo collage to show decision-makers your underwater perspective and urge for long-term, global solutions to the marine debris issue.

We have just 30 days to show what lurks beneath the waves – share your photos of trash underwater today!

The Our Ocean 2015 conference aims to promote voluntary governmental and institutional commitments to care for the ocean. Over 400 political, academic and civil society figures as well as industry, philanthropy and nonprofit leaders will discuss solutions to topics such as illegal fishing, marine plastic pollution, ocean acidification and climate change.

Through Dive Against Debris, Project AWARE divers remove and report marine debris found beneath the waves. The trash you remove during Dive Against Debris makes the ocean safer for marine life, and more importantly, the information you report helps inform policy change. Our Ocean 2015 offers divers the opportunity to use grassroots action to empower global change.

PADI Freediver Program Launching November 2015

9 Sep

Freediver Course

As PADI prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2016, the organization is expanding beyond scuba diving to offer training in one of the fastest growing dive industry segments – freediving. Continuing the core business practice of delivering high quality instructional courses, the PADI Freediver™ program will debut in November at DEMA Show 2015 in Orlando, Florida, USA.

“Many PADI Professionals are avid freedivers and enjoy sharing their passion for breathhold diving with others,” says James Morgan, PADI Americas vice president of training and customer service. “The number of self-authored PADI Distinctive Specialty courses involving freediving has grown over the past few years and the popularity of the PADI Free Diving Distinctive Specialty course released in 2014 is further evidence of this rapidly expanding market. As mainstream interest in the sport swells, freediving is a natural extension for dive education and the industry as a whole.”

The PADI Freediver program is complete with student materials and instructional tools that follow the PADI educational philosophy, which makes it easy for qualified PADI Professionals to quickly start teaching. Like all PADI courses, the program was bred from first-hand experience as industry experts and competitive freedivers played a critical role in its development. This key advisory group, including Jay Huang of Taiwan, Myoungho Noh of South Korea, Liz Parkinson of the Bahamas, Samphire Amps of the United Kingdom, Karol Meyer of Brazil and Alejandro Lemus of Mexico, worked closely with the PADI organization to establish a freediving training curriculum that addresses technique, form and safety for nearly any experience level.

“The PADI Freediver program provides PADI Members with additional revenue generating opportunities by allowing them to expand their course offerings and reach a younger demographic,” says Bob Coleman, PADI Americas vice president of sales and field services. “PADI Freediver will also help PADI Retail and Resort members increase equipment sales.”

The PADI Freediver tiered course structure has participants build upon their skill sets and knowledge as they advance from PADI Freediver to PADI Advanced Freediver and, ultimately, PADI Master Freediver.  The program provides three corresponding instructor levels (Freediver Instructor, Advanced Freediver Instructor and Master Freediver Instructor), as well as a Freediver Instructor Trainer rating. There is also a subset program called Basic Freediver where students earn a certification in confined water.

PADI Freediver will feature quality, tablet-based training materials so students can access PADI Freediver Touch from the convenience of their tablets with or without an internet connection.  As with other PADI Touch products, PADI has employed the latest training techniques and leveraged the latest technology to create a cutting-edge program.  Adobe, who produces the Digital Publishing Suite software upon which Touch products are built, recognized PADI for crafting a product that boasts the “entertainment factor of video with the rich content of a book for a truly immersive, effective training experience.”

PADI will unveil the program at DEMA Show from 4-7 November 2015. PADI Members can learn more about the program, find out how they can incorporate it into their course offerings and explore Freediver Touch at the show.

For more information regarding the PADI Freediver program, download the PADI Freediver FAQs or contact your PADI regional manager or sales consultant.

Last Chance to Participate in the Elite Instructor Challenge

4 Sep


Attention 2014 PADI Elite Instructors!

There is less than one month left to compete in the Elite Instructor my PADI Challenge! Don’t forget, you can win a 2016 PADI Membership Renewal, personalized PADI Gear and recognition at DEMA Show 2015. You’ll also be featured in the my PADI marketing campaign!

Contest ends 31 September 2015 and winners will be announced mid-October. Be sure to check back and see if your name is announced.

If you missed out this year, there is still time to strive for the 2015 Elite Instructor Award. That way, you will qualify to compete in next year’s challenge!

Review the full details – including the official contest rules – at the Elite Instructor my PADI Challenge page.

Good luck!

PADI ReActivate Overview and How To for PADI Pros

1 Sep

PADI ReActivate

The purpose of this article is to explain how to send PADI ReActivate™ codes and process students. For general information on the program, please check out the links below. Scroll down to learn about sending codes and processing ReActivate certs.

Information for consumers
ReActivate overview from PADI blog
ReActivate course overview from

Information for PADI Pros
ReActivate overview for PADI Pros
ReActivate Training Bulletin Special Edition
What’ll happen to Scuba Review?

ReActivate Online How To…

First, purchase a ReActivate course from your PADI Sales Consultant or from the online shopping cart (TIP: type in 71926-1 into the search box).

TIP: Be sure you have the student’s info
A ReActivate purchase automatically includes a replacement card for your student. The student may choose any one their certs to reactivate (Open Water, Enriched Air, etc). While you’re waiting for your code to appear, make sure you have the student’s name, date of birth, email address and either the cert level or the student number for the certification they’d like to reactivate.

About an hour after purchase, look for your code in the online processing center on the PADI Pros Site. To get to the online processing center (OLPC):

  • Look for a banner on the PADI Pros home page
  • Or, click Online Services from the main menu bar, then choose Online Processing Center from the drop down.

When the OLPC loads, click the Assign Codes button to get started.

Send PADI ReActivate code to student

Your recent ReActivate purchase will show up at the top. You can also filter for a ReActivate purchase by using the Product Type filter and choosing Touch.

Confirm you have all the student’s information:

  • Student name and date of birth OR student number
  • An email address.

When you have all of this info, click the Assign Code button at the end of the row.

How to send a PADI ReActivate code to a student

Pull up the diver’s record by entering a student number, or search for the student using the student’s name and date of birth.

Click Select to continue. Then click ReActivate next to the certification level the student would like to reactivate.

Send ReActivate code to student PADI

Lastly, enter the student’s email address and click Confirm. This will  generate an email to the student inviting them to download and start ReActivate. The student can download the program to their Android or iPad and/or view in a web browser.

Processing ReActivate Students

When your student has completed their online and in-water training, return to the online processing center to submit their information to generate a new card.

  • From the online processing center home screen, click the Process/View Your Students to process students PADI OLPC
  • Filter for Product Type: Touch and scroll until you find your ReActivate student.You can also search for the student using the PADI ID on their completion form, or by typing in their name and birthdate.How to complete ReActivate certification PADI Pros
  • Confirm the student’s information (name, address, etc).
  • Upload a new photo or use the photo on file (shown if available)
  • Enter the ReActivated date and you’re done!

Fun fact: if the student ReActivating was a Junior Open Water Diver but is now old enough to be a regular Open Water Diver, the card will automatically come out sans Junior.

ReActivate Marketing Tips

  • PADI ReActivate imagesReActivate web banners are available on the PADI Pros’ Site in various sizes.
  • Offer ReActivate as an upsell to a replacement card request -if divers can’t find their card, they probably haven’t been diving in awhile.
  • Contact divers you haven’t seen in awhile – mine your customer database for divers who haven’t been active recently.
  • Package ReActivate with group trips – Include a special offer in travel documents or confirmations for divers to refresh their skills prior to leaving on the trip. That way they get to practice their skills and meet their travel companions.

Are you doing something special to promote PADI ReActivate? Email and you may be featured in an upcoming Surface Interval article.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 721 other followers