Tuesday, 13 May 2021 00:00

Lanarkshire Businessman Dives into a New Venture

Steve Hickman K-Dive

A former civil servant has swapped his smart suit for a drysuit and opened a retail outlet in Coatbridge dedicated to his favourite hobby – scuba diving.

K-Dive is owned by seasoned scuba diver Stephen Hickman, who provides a range of diving goods and services from snorkels to gas mixes, drysuit repairs, maintenance and cylinder testing and even boat charters.

When it came to turning his passion into a business Stephen looked to Business Gateway Lanarkshire for advice and support:

“Business Gateway has been really helpful. My business adviser helped create my business plan and I found the workshops on managing Tax and VAT really useful as I do all of the bookkeeping and administration myself. Recently they assisted with my application for a grant from Skills Development Scotland which paid for a Service Technician course and means I can offer additional services to my customers and take the business forward.”

Stephen has been a British Sub-Aqua Club qualified instructor since 1988 and has taught scuba diving as a professional and as an amateur in the UK and abroad. Due to redundancy he decided to turn his passion into a sustainable business.
“I realised that there was nowhere in the West of Scotland offering the more exotic gas mixes like Nitrox and Trimix which are required for deeper dives. The closest place was Edinburgh and so I decided to tap into this market whilst also providing general diving services such as testing and maintenance,” said Stephen.

Moving into the summer months Stephen has found demand for his products and services is increasing both in store and online, and since opening the business last March he hasn’t looked back:

“It’s much better than sitting at a desk all day as there’s so many different aspects to running the business. No two days are the same - from the retail side of things, to talking to people, and taking them out diving. After over twenty years of doing the same thing over and over again in an office it’s certainly a great improvement” added Stephen.

Sharon Harvey, Business Adviser, Business Gateway Lanarkshire said: “Stephen has received ongoing advisory support since February 2013 and we assisted with his business plan and getting K-Dive off the ground. We were delighted to help him access a grant so that he can take his business even further and we look forward to continuing working with Stephen as K-Dive expands in 2014.”

For more information on K-Dive please visit www.kdive.co.uk

To find out how your local Business Gateway office can help you set up and develop your own business visit www.bgateway.com/local-offices/lanarkshire or call 01236 702 020.

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