Start with the business plan. All of the other things such as local requirements, insurance, etc can come after.
There are pros and cons for a brick and mortar only shop but I think you are heading in the right direction if you do decide to also have an online presence. This may actually be a good way for how you start off as you would not need a pretty room that is climate controlled, etc to present what you are selling. Once you are more known and have regulars, then you could then branch out with the brick and mortar location.
Like someone earlier posted, a lot of the pet shops nowadays make their money on the other goods like pet foods and supplies vice the actual pets. You'll have to do the research to see if this is something you MAY have to take into account in your area.
I forgot to mention, are you a member of any fish clubs? This isn't something that you need to do in the initial start-up period, but I have noticed a lot of the more popular fish stores in my country tend to sponsor or attach themselves to fish clubs and fish based forums. Also, if you make friends with breeders, you may be able to buy in bulk from them at a wholesale price and increase your product base that way.
I recently only started purchasing from an excellent online site because they sponsored a forum and their advertisement was at the top of the page.
Every little bit of advertising space you can find definitely does count. When you look at how much traffic Bettafish.com gets in a day you can see how powerful a tool advertising is if done correctly.
1. Heat and electricity will depend on each idea of a place. Leasing will be a pain in the butt, whereas having it "in home" (aka using a garage or something) or buying a small place (even a trailer home? Those are dirt cheap)..... .
2. Advertising includes locally. Currently I will be supplying the family-run pet shop.... I may be able to also participate in the Farmer's Market.... I also post on FB, in the buy and sell of my area, and I have been contacted repeatedly by excited people....
Based on the above, it sounds to me like you could get by without an actual storefront for now. If you include a business card for each sale at the Farmer's Mkt, FB and the buy/sell - then people can contact you again, or tell their friends where they got their fish.
... or people with questions to which I satisfy with answers.
Excellent customer service is a good way to distinguish yourself.
What if you offered a "fish emergency consultation" where your customers could contact you about problems. You could offer advice for a small fee. (Of course, if they find out about this forum, they'd know they can get this for free. )
Originally Posted by Sena Hansler
I would be getting doubletails, crowntails, halfmoons, dumbos etc into my store since they cannot be found as easily here in town... If they were in town they would be about 15.00 minimum. For a wholesaler cull quality.
Originally Posted by Sena Hansler
VT, 4.00. CT maybe 6 or 8.00. DT, maybe 8.00. halfmoon, probably 10.00. Best prices you will find here.
It's good to have the best prices - but don't price yourself out of business, either.
Choclate I will repeat again and again and again and AGAIN in my area there is NO petsmart and NO petco.
Currently it is more online anyways, then hopefully leading up to a store front as well. I wanted to do a pet store initially (and then was amazed at how many people shot me down... Maybe because they fear failure?) since certain things are pretty easy to make (dog clothes are a high seller for example). But for now work on fish, then reptiles - since my area loves reptiles as well, then other animals... Working in coordination with shelters of course.
LittleBettaFish, DiiQue, LittleBlueFishlets have mentioned pretty much everything that is overlooked when starting a new business. (Overhead/Liability/Business plan/Clientele)
Since this isn't a impulse thing and you've considered this route for some time, I'm sure you've covered most of the bases.
Definitely make use of the connections with the vendors from the farmer's market. They should be more than familiar with the most common pitfalls, & any legal ramifications, biz permits, but getting them to relinquish that valuable info is up to you.
Also get some legitimate questions ready for the auctioneer to see if he's REALLY interested in the fish. Depending on his answers you can tell if he's serious about the idea or was just using it as bait for something that doesn't relate to the "business" you have in mind. If he's playing games, eliminate him from the picture.
If you can get someone to partner or at least consult with on a WEEKLY basis would increase your chances of succeeding. Start-ups are eXtrEMLY StreSSful & it's very easy to overlook simple mistakes & bad decisions when you're trying do everything yourself.