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Old 01-24-2007, 07:18 AM   #1
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Starting my own LFS. Advice??

Hi guys,

I am a teacher in the UK and i have been keeping fish for a while now. I am seriously considering ditching the whole teaching idea and opening my own aquatics store. Does anyone have any advice?
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Old 01-24-2007, 07:27 AM   #2
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Well, don't lie to your customers would be the first thing!
Also, starting up a business in the UK is not as easy as it sounds (or as easy as Dragon's Den would have you believe -> that's only television after all).
Market research, and more importantly funding: where are you going to get the money from to start up? Commercial property costs money (either to rent or buy), stock costs money, and a bank is not going to lend anything if the idea is not innovative enough or you don't have capital of your own to put forward first. If you have an LFS nearby, you would have even less chance of securing support from a bank.
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Old 01-24-2007, 07:33 AM   #3
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Thanks for the swift response.

I wouldn't lie, i don't believe in it. And believe me when i say that i am not as naive as to have watched Dragon's Den once or twice and then thought i would start my own business!

My wife started her own business 15 years ago and she has had ups and downs so i am aware of at least some of the difficulties in starting up.

I do have a small amount of capital to put in but i would need to secure some kind of small business loan from a bank. I don't have any aquatics stores really near to me so i don't think there's be much of a cross over of custom.

I have been looking into the kinds of qualifications which would be useful. Any advice on those?
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Old 01-24-2007, 02:16 PM   #4
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No qualifications required (bizarrely) although you may want to look at some of the OATA certification available: I'd recommend that, and considering membership within the OATA, beyond the difficult process of actually starting up!
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For expert advice check out these great sites:
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Old 01-24-2007, 02:32 PM   #5
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carry things YOU use and the things you don't learn everything about them, my LFS doesn't know anything about the products they sell
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Old 01-24-2007, 03:00 PM   #6
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Well that just seems silly. My Father always used to say, "know your onions" I guess this was what he was referring to.
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Old 01-24-2007, 03:37 PM   #7
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There's a huge difference in being captivated by a hobby, and being forced to make a living from it. Have you ever worked at an LFS? Before you take the plunge it would be a good idea to work at one for awhile. Gain experience. Learn some of the ins and outs, and then see if it's for you.
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Old 01-24-2007, 04:25 PM   #8
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Good advice Brian, thanks.
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Old 01-24-2007, 04:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smidge
Well that just seems silly. My Father always used to say, "know your onions" I guess this was what he was referring to.
Now I know where the title of the Shins' song "Know Your Onion" comes from. Thanks.

Also, best of luck if you decide to open up your own LFS!
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Old 01-24-2007, 05:06 PM   #10
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I would like to see a LFS that actually knows what their talking about and cares about their stock. I hate seeing potentially large fish or sensitive ones being bought because i immediately think they'll die.
I know i shouldnt really think that because the buyer may be a good fish keeper or a very experienced one but as a seller i would ask a few questions about where the fish is going.
I've only ever heard someone ask a question once and it was "how long have you had the tank" even then he got a funny look and had to justify why he said it by saying "just out of interest" As a seller i would like to know where the fish are going and how much experience the buyer has, i'm sure fishkeepers would also like to be asked questions as it shows they care about their stock. I dont mean, the second they ask for fish you start asking them as it would feel like interogation but as you walk over, open the tank, fill the bag etc...

HTH and good luck if you do start your own business!
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