looking for advice, input
im new to this community and just wanted to express that im in the process of creating my own business. im finally able to pursue this financially = ).
i will be selling corals, fish, everything lol.
so i was just asking for some advice, maybe cautions, warnings, anything lol.
eery kind of advice is good = )
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.
very much appreciated.
i have owned and maintened aquariums(with corals, fish and everything) since i was ten.
worked with a local aquarium here in miami for 5 years now, and decided i would take my knowledge and go about setting up my own business.
i have actually already found some suppliers from overseas, and here in miami we have about 6 wholesale warehouses packed with a nice clean variety of species.
as for the business, my father has opened and ran 5 small businesses already, so ill leave that up to him, ill take care of the fishy side of it all = )
Not that I'd ever go into business for myself but if I was your post has important points to consider and has given a nice outline to follow. VERY well written post and informative!
Keep in mind that a very large proportion of your customers are going to be very casual hobbyists. I think absolutely the most important thing will be achieving a perfect balance of fishkeeping expertise and willingness to let the customer do what he wants. As a more serious hobbyist, I appreciate it when a LFS really knows their stuff. I've read a lot of LFS reviews, however, and it seems like the general public gets really upset when a LFS employee tells them they can't buy a fish because of compatibility issues, uncycled tanks, etc etc. So, from a customer service standpoint, you want to advise them but not restrict them or else they may not come back.
Another excellent suggestion: Suggest FishForum.com to all of your customers. It's a great way for people to see that you are providing them with the same advice as the Hobby Community would provide. This gives the customer a sense that you can be trusted to keep their interests at heart above your own profit.
great suggestions = )
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