Brineshrimp would be a good idea lol. More research needed for that, but it is doable.
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.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....
Excellent customer service is a good way to distinguish yourself.... or people with questions to which I satisfy with answers.
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.
It's good to have the best prices - but don't price yourself out of business, either.VT, 4.00. CT maybe 6 or 8.00. DT, maybe 8.00. halfmoon, probably 10.00. Best prices you will find here.
Once there is a store front and you branch out... Since there is not Petsmart/Co in your area -- I like how they work with animal shelters. The shelters bring in adoptable dogs/cats for an Adoption Day -- and the store sells accompanying items (foods, bowls, beds, etc.) I can definitely see your store filling this niche, since there isn't a Petsmart/Co doing this in the area. As you've mentioned, supplies/equipment is a good money maker, and you won't have to worry (much) about shelf-life or climate control.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.