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Dive School in Brazil

I磎 making a project for a dive school in Brazil. I want to know What a good dive school needs ? Size of a swimmming pool (and depth) and general instalations. I磎 at a beach place but the instructions will star at a pool.

Hi Sergio

That's an interesting question with a lot of different areas to consider.  First you have to assess the market for a dive school in your location.  Is there a lot of diving in your area and, if so, are there a lot of dive shops as well?  If the need is there and there are already dive shops present, is there something lacking that you can provide in your business?  That would be something that would set you apart from your competition.  You said you were going to start a dive school.  Will you be providing equipment and retail sales as well?  Who will provide the equipment for your students to purchase?  What is your budget for constructing and operating the shool?  Your budget will determine such things as the presence and size of your pool, whether it is open to the air or enclosed, the size and number of classrooms, whether to have a boat for offshore dives, the size of your staff, etc.  Will your students be primarily from the local population or will you depend on tourists?  If you depend on tourists, how will they get to your school?  All of this information needs to be researched to determine if there is sufficient demand before you make the investment.  Installation and operating costs must be calculated so you can see how much money it will take to run the shop each year.  All of these costs must be covered by what you charge your students.  To do that, you'll need to predict how many students you'll put through your school each year.  Sergio, you can see that this can be a very complicated process and not something that I can adequately address in a single e-mail.  In the United States, we have small business planning offices which can guide you through these business plans and help you answer the questions I've posed to you.  I'm not familiar with the small business operations in Brazil but I assume they have a similar organization which can assist you.

Sergio, so far I've given you more questions than answers.  Now I'll try to directly answer your specific questions based on how we run a school in the United States. The pool should be at least 20 feet by 40 feet and at least 15 feet deep.  Bigger and deeper is better.  You will need at least one classroom capable of seating at least 20 students.  You will need a facility for students to shower and change clothes after their pool session and it should be directly connected to the pool facility.  If you cannot swim outdoors year round, the pool should be covered to permit year-round operation.  You will need to have sufficient dive gear to equip your students, keeping in mind that they will require different sizes.  You will need extra sets in the most common sizes.  You will need an equipment service area and a trained technician to maintain the gear you use for the school.  You will also need an air system for filling scuba tanks.  If there are no dive shops in your immediate area, you may want to open a retail dive shop in the same facility as your school to supply all the needs of your students and divers. Sergio, you said you were at a beach place so you would probably want to provide services to get students and divers to your favorite dive sites.  You will charge for all of this, of course, so you'll need to prepare business plans as outlined in the first part of this letter so you can determine how much to charge.  You need to make a profit so be sure the profit is included in your business plans as well.

In closing, it's very tempting to skip all the business plans and just open a school.  If the need is there and you run it properly, it will probably succeed.  However, if you build it and then discover that there just isn't enough business to support it, then you'll lose money and eventually have to close.  I'd encourage you to do your homework before investing any money.

Sergio...GOOD LUCK!!


Mike Giles
Mike's Dive Center

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