10-15-2008, 12:55 PM
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OK, well, how about we start with the basics. What kind of experience do you have in the hobby? Do you have any Schooling/Training in any hobby related subjects? Have you taken any business management courses? If you haven't had any advanced training in the hobby related fields, or business management, I'd recommend maybe looking into some continuing/adult education courses. Maybe even consider trying to get a job or apprenticeship at a local Fish Store or Aquarium (how far is Sea World?). Any advanced training you have will serve to better your chances of success.
Have you looked into suppliers for products and livestock? You should start to set up a business plan now. This is where you may gain some additional benefit from working at a LFS. There you may be able to find supplier contacts, local breeders, and successful business practices. If you can, take the opportunity to listen to the customers. See how they feel about products/services and ask them questions about what they would like to see out of an ideal LFS. Take an active participation in discussions here at fishforum.com (and other forums) to gain a solid understanding of your customer and their needs.
I'm sure there are plenty of folks here who can provide excellent advice. Two of the most important things you can do is to keep a clean, well maintained business, and be fair and honest with your customers. Nobody likes a business that is all about the "Almighty Dollar". By running a fair, honest, and clean business, you help to ensure the success of the customers, long term. Too many hobbyists give up because they cant succeed. Those folks that give up decrease your number of patrons. Their success ensures your success, and if you provide a better service than other local businesses, local patrons will be more inclined to honor your business over the others.