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How a Scuba Diving Approach Can Work in Business


The mantra for scuba divers is – “Plan your Dive and Dive your Plan”. The same is true in business.

Firstly, let’s take a look at scuba diving. It’s a well-known fact that scuba diving can put you in a life threatening situation which is why you should always ‘plan your dive’.

When you first set out to dive, you review your qualifications and where you want to dive.

You then answer the fundamental questions: Do I have the time to get there, do I have the capital available to pay the costs, do I have the right equipment; and is it working?

When you get to the dive site you review and plan your dive with knowledge of local conditions, and ensure you have the experience and equipment to enjoy the experience. You then decide the direction you want to travel and how long do you want to stay under. Down you go.

But what if something changes while you’re 20 metres down and you cannot complete the planned dive?

You may consult with your dive computer or buddy, or go to your back-up dive plan. If that doesn’t work you and your buddy could abort the dive.

Let’s look at it from a business perspective now.

At Vantage we believe that before going into business, entrepreneurs should have a solid business plan that answers the following:

  • What do you want to do?
  • Do you have the required qualifications and expertise?
  • How is your product differentiated from your competitors?
  • What capital do you need to cover debtors, equipment, bonds and other costs?
  • What is the market capacity for your product?
  • What targeted sales do you want to achieve?
  • What are the operating costs?
  • What is the time frame to achieve your aim?
  • Preliminary plans, budgets and cash flows.
  • System to record what you have achieved and associated cost
  • Back-up plan in the event of change.

We come across many businesses that have not taken these fundamental steps or, if they have been in business for some time and have been profitable, they don’t see the need for them.

It doesn’t need to be stated that they may not need these tools if everything stays the same. Unfortunately life isn’t like that. Change will happen whether you notice it or not and whether you like it or not.

So while the mantra of a scuba diver is ‘plan your dive and dive your plan’, the same is true in business. You save a lot of time and heartache by planning your business and working your plan. If that doesn’t work go to plan “B” and if that doesn’t work be prepared to exit.

Vantage Performance is a leader in sustainable business improvement, winning national recognition in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

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My philosophy is that there is always a way to solve a crisis, as long as you’re engaged early enough.

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I believe that clear strategies and organisational alignment are fundamental for long-term business viability.