Start-Up Business Minded Questions
Its a good sign indeed, OldTart, that there's not a big turnover in the diving business. It must mean that they have a reasonable market there. Start-up in that line of work is more a matter of cost than local knowledge. The equipment is very expensive and you have to have boats, captains, divemasters, licensing etc. A professional looking, well-publicized web page will get many customers. (It's gotten me many times in my diving travels.) It's hard for us mainlanders to know anything about a place prior to our arrival. We mostly have only the internet to look at and choose a place. I know for me, I choose a vacation spot first and then choose a diving outfit that's nearby. There are always many divemasters wanting to defect their current shops; all they are waiting for is a place to defect to. It's the nature of the diving industry because the divemasters are used extensively and most feel not appreciated for it. These guys are the heart and soul of diving because they are the ones that lead the tourists on their underwater adventures. They are most always locals and have great knowledge and experience of the local reefs. They are the knowledge part of the equation. The rest is up to the owner to have the money (lots of it) and business sense to operate the place.
ms411, I can see how the lack of options would be far more difficult for the women. And far more difficult for the stores to provide. Someone would need to be able to afford a very large inventory for a long period of time with very small profit margins to get up and running on a business like that. I suppose thats why there are only boutiques. You know, all of us mainlander dreamers think you guys need is a swimsuit and you're good to go. (laughing)
Also many businesses provide uniforms for their employees. The banks do. Many excursion companies, too.
How about the propane business? Iread in a story that it was like an all day event to go get one's propane tank refilled due to only having to go to sub-base to get it done. Is that still true? Our Home Depot has a propane tank exchange program. Did Home Depot bring that with them when they came there?
The tank exchange idea might not be a bad way to earn a little extra income...
Home Depot here has propane tank exchange. You can go to one of the propane gas dealers in sub base to have your own tank filled and it's considerably cheaper, and there are occasions when Home Depot runs out, particularly on holidays. But other than that it's not an issue.
If you mean the small BBQ size tanks Home Depot does have a tank exchange - going to Sub Base would not be an all day affair except from STJ and it would be combined with an all day STT errand run.
The larger home style service tanks are filled by trucks that come to your house on a regular or appointment schedule.
Doing errands of all types may be a way to earn extra income but the tank exchange would be a very small proportion of the business.