This sounds like an article but after going through this with MANY couples over the last couple of years during discussions for selling a dive business, I thought I’d get it down in an article for the entire world to see and reference.
The #1 factor to remember when referring to owning a Scuba Dive Business in the tropics is the PRIMARY reason Most of Us do it:
To live a tropical lifestyle on an island and dive whenever we want to
The success of a scuba business and the real gain comes in the high quality and ease of the lifestyle of its owners.
That is why 99% of scuba business owners in tropical destinations are there. They would like to live the lifestyle on the island and dive whenever they want to. If we all keep this in mind, it makes things a lot simpler in selling/buying these businesses.
Let me list through the reasons why I, and my friends, have made the choice to reside and own a scuba diving business in the temples.
Here are the PRO’S
Owning your own business, managing it correctly and having the right staff is fully achievable to allow you to work on your terms. I’ve friends who can actually afford to spend its own surfing and to close their dive operations, or in the cafe drinking coffee and wine. Business is that good, and this is the way it runs. DNS Diving Grand Cayman
Being your own boss; yes something we all relish. It has many benefits in the day to day, but even more than that, psychologically it makes us feel good. Being a grasp of our own fate and achievement (and potential failure of course) is a fabulous place to be for those willing to take responsibility.
Responsibility? Yes, this can be a major burden on a number of people. If the business thrives or if it dwindles, this lands on our own shoulders.
You may try to blame anybody or anything else (the Global Financial Crisis has been the preferred to blame in the last couple of decades…), but in fact, it’s our ship to steer. Either into blue skies and waters or on the stones. You’re still the Captain, although the weather will go and come. Where and how the ship sails you command.
The friends we have made out here in the tropics are among the major benefits of the lifestyle. They have a great open mindset, by simply being one of the groups of people keen to”Throw off bowlines” and reside somewhere new.
High Standard of living
This segment, in my opinion, is a significant high point of owning a scuba diving business from the tropics. Don’t belittle it till you have tried it!
With residing in mostly a growing country the price of labor is lower. There is A housekeeper no longer a luxury, but a part of existence. I can not recall the last time I touched boiled dishes or a vacuum cleaner!
Same goes for laundry as housekeeping. I drop them in the basket and”as if by magic” they are clean, ironed, and folded back in my own wardrobe! Buddies with 3 kids put them away and don’t ever touch the washing machine or fold clothes. That is a huge recapture of hours of your life…
I don’t have any children (disclosure) but ALL my friends do, and one of the primary reasons they’re living life here is that they may have a fulltime nanny for the kids. This frees up life tremendously.
Now not to say they do not see their kids, quite the opposite. E.g. we’d all take a day off to visit the shore, Alice would call her grandma at home and have her get all 3 children ready for the beach, by now WE get into the home 15mins later, all children, beach-ready’! We all do is select up’em, go perform!
Do NOT underestimate how much fun/play time you’ll have with your children whenever you have Nanny-support! And at a cost that we can all afford here…
All the kids I know here in the tropics are going to the very best international college in the nation. This really is affordable in developing nations. Add to this the worldwide nature of the school attendance and education is wonderful.
And do not worry about the academic levels, 2 children from one of the schools here in Fiji only went to Oxford University in the UK this season!
I know it sounds absurd, but using a weekly fully washed and detailed car is something that I love here. My car is sparkling, even with the scuba gear I lurch into and out of the trunk of it!
I love gardening, allow, I start with that point. On the other hand, the requirement to reduce the grass every 10-14 days (this is the tropics and everything DOES grow damn fast!) Does wear you down. So ALL people have gardeners who do all the boring grunt and difficult work in the garden (unless I get an urge). This frees me to play.
Affordable Cost of Living
Cost of Living
The total cost of living in the island nations is ultimately affordable.
Fresh fruit and veg and local delicacies can be found and cheap, to say the least on many islands. Because it has not spent in a polystyrene box at a ship that is refrigerated and the fruit tastes genuine! Nothing like pawpaws off the tree in the backyard, and fruit in the current market, where we just can’t prevent them growing, lol!
Local restaurants are good (select your country sensibly… I knew someone who bought a dive center in Mexico but who hated Mexican food destined to fail!) And affordable. We eat out half the time!
Most of the diving destinations worldwide are in developing countries. The developed countries dollars (and Euros, GBP, etc, etc) are very strong compared to any developing country local currency. This gives us a lot more purchasing power locally…
Purchasing a Home
Purchasing a home locally is very doable for most business owners. And I’m not talking about an apartment or a flat on the 3rd floor. Most of us after a few years has fine size houses.
And do not rule out broad decks and swimming pools. All cheap as a ski business owner in the tropics. Remember the costs in developing countries tend to be a lot more manageable than in developed nations.
Ah yes, normally the first thing got us into this business in the first location. And yes, we still do this. The ones who do not? Well, they will not be in the business more. You need to keep diving’s magic and love to make this lifestyle rewarding!
Educate PADI when you want
Perhaps you have just begun to teach and are still REALLY eager to get into the pool daily with DSD’s. Hell, I still love to jump in the pool DSD’s and present the’magic’; of breathing underwater to the new set of divers.
Yet on a cold rainy grey morning… well… Not so much. Here is actually the boss’s innocence of course!