Before we get into methods for a dive industry strategic analysis, let’s clarify what a strategic analysis is, and what value does it bring.
There’s more value in the process of analyzing (dynamic thinking) than in the results (static report).
1. What is a Dive Industry Strategic Analysis?
Performing strategic analysis for the dive industry is the process of researching the internal functioning of the industry as well as the political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental situation it operates in. Such an analysis is focused on gathering information and data to support the development of strategies for the dive industry. It’s about putting the pieces of the puzzle together.
We could consider “Strategic Analysis” to be an oxymoron because, in reality, a strategy is forward-looking while an analysis is based on the past. Let’s consider this term as meaning Analysis for the Purpose of Developing Strategies. But “Strategic Analysis” is shorter!
Ultimately, it’s not about analyzing until the cows come home. It’s about doing the groundwork to drafting strategies for the dive industry.
2. Which Scuba Diving Industry Analysis Methods Should We Use?
To analyze your scuba diving business, you should use whichever method you are comfortable with. The ultimate value in performing such an analysis lies in the time you spend thinking about the industry.
We could study a business or an industry without using a specific method. But there’s value in using pre-established methods. It forces us to think about the company or the industry under angles we may not have looked at, in a free-form analysis.
The one thing we strongly suggest though is: Do not use only one method. Different analysis methods will bring up various issues, opportunities, threats, and so on.
We’ve chosen the following five methods for our scuba diving industry analysis because they are reasonably well known. We suggest the following order to use them:
- 1) Michael Porter’s 5 Forces
- 2) PESTLE Analysis
- 3) SWOT Analysis
- Marketing Mix Analysis: 2 different angles
Porter’s 5 Forces provides us with a snapshot of the current competitive situation in an industry. It helps predict profitability.
A SWOT Analysis is typically done for a business, but it can also be applied to an industry. It helps identify if we should fix some of our weaknesses to prevent a match with market threats. It also helps us figure out which one of our strengths can help us capitalize on an opportunity.
The 4Ps and the 4Cs are focused on the marketing of your products and services.
Meanwhile, the PESTLE Analysis looks into the external macro-environmental factors having an impact on an organization or industry. It is a tool to identify threats and weaknesses to use in the SWOT analysis.
In some cases, we will be looking at the whole industry when performing these evaluations. But in most cases, we will apply these dive industry analysis methods to each of our five core groups of dive industry stakeholders – treating each segment as an industry.
Once we’ve performed these five analyses, we’ll provide a summary of key conclusions.
In your case, it would be most valuable to perform this exercise for your own business in its unique political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental situation.
3. From Strategic Analysis to Strategies
The goal, here, is to discuss and establish strategies for the dive industry, not pursue analysis paralysis.
At one point, you have to make decisions and move on them.
You won’t get it right all the time. But if you do nothing, you’ll get it wrong all the time.
And, as we learn in the Blue Ocean Strategy for the Dive Industry, we need to focus on the overall strategy, not the statistics because, by definition, stats are stuck in the past. Nothing new would be created by looking at statistics all day long. There was no demand for DVD before the DVDs were introduced to the marketplace.
One of my McGill University professors, Henry Mintzberg, argued that we must give a more prominent role to informal learning and personal vision in the strategic planning process. We believe a new vision for the dive industry is, indeed, long overdue.