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Old 03-08-2014, 10:25 PM   #1
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Business idea for an aquarium store

Hello everyone! My name is Nicole and I am a college student majoring in business. For the last 3 years I have had a 55 freshwater gallon tank and I absolutely love it. I would love to turn my hobby into a career and do something that I would love to do everyday.

My idea is to have an aquarium store that sells different species of fish both freshwater and salt water. I would also sell different tank setups and everything from the chemicals needed to the decorations in your tank. Aside from the actual store, I would offer services such as in home tank set ups, cleanings and water testings, so aquariums can be available to everyone's homes and not just hobbiests such as ourselves. I would have classes(for a fee) on different species of fish to help keep them alive and healthy and maintenance of the tank. I would also like to offer pond construction and maintenance.

I currently live in New York but after I finish up in my hometowns community college and earn a business degree, I wish to go to a four year school in Florida or California majoring in marine biology and minoring in business. I would open up my business in Florida or Cali depending on where I go to school.

I would love your feedback and comments on my business plans as you are my potential customers. If you would,
1. List three things that you liked about my product/services described in my statement.
2. Provide three suggestions for making the idea better.
3. Do you think my idea is realistic? Why or why not?
4. Would you, as my potential customer, buy my products and services? Why or why not?
5. If you would buy it, how much would you pay for it?
6. Please provide any comments or suggestions you think would be helpful.


Thank you for your time!

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Old 03-08-2014, 10:31 PM   #2
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I loved how you offered interactive tools such as classes! Great idea!
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:33 PM   #3
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I would pay to the quality of your products, you should be priced reasonable and check out your local competition. If you have the money than I suppose your idea is realistic.
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:39 PM   #4
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The best advice I can give you is to try and get a part time job or work experience in a decent LFS. It will give you an insight of what is involved in running a successful LFS. It would be a start and then build from there....
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:40 PM   #5
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The best advice I can give you is to try and get a part time job or work experience in a decent LFS. It will give you an insight of what is involved in running a successful LFS. It would be a start and then build from there....
Also, I would buy from you, if you ship to Ireland at a decent price!!!
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:31 AM   #6
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I agree with Ian086. Get yourself a job in the field before striking out on your own.

As a veteran of the tropical fish/ pet business myself ( I did turn my hobby into a 40+ year career), what you described is basically what all the old Pet shops used to do. I've personally run classes for our customers on fish keeping. Keep in mind that if you want to educate your customers about the fish you want them to buy from you, you may find it hard for them to eagerly PAY for that knowledge when they should be getting it from you, their "trusted local fish store" before they buy the item anyway. That's part of your job if you want to have long term customers. ( The old style LFSs that are still around have that type of clientel. The ones that didn;t are gone.)
Customer service is by far the greatest attribute a store can offer. But you need to understand that in many areas, these LFSs have gone by the wayside due to the intrusion of the big box stores and chains. Much to my sadness, the small Mom & Pop pet shop has gone by the wayside in many areas. You will need to choose your location carefully. Should you decide to continue your schooling in FL, I can tell you of some stores you should visit. Some have been my customers for over 20 years.

I applaud your desire to be in this biz. It's a fascinating biz for sure. I will offer you any help I can.

Feel free to PM me if you need more help in FL.
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Old 03-09-2014, 04:31 AM   #7
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Great thanks for your insight everyone!

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Old 03-09-2014, 10:14 AM   #8
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Tell the punters the truth! Of all the things that happen the most commonly observed let down is, "the LFS said. . ." (Something incorrect but financially profitable) That and employee knowledge or I really mean lack of!

That's a world wide thing. I know it's counter to the idea of business, "to make a profit" but word of mouth is the best form of advertising. (That shop is good!) what's the saying, it takes a lifetime to make yourself and one incident to break yourself.

Why Florida? I'm not an American, would it be easier to get stock to Florida? I guess that depends on where and what you intend selling. I would think internet distribution would be a major part of your business, especially in todays world. Where are the major parcel distributors located? The nearer you are to at least one hub the better for both inbound and out bound live stock. I think off shore reef farming happens there so maybe that's why?

I share your dream much like most fish keepers. So, good luck!
(I quite like the idea of a tank maintenance man) ...just add food! ,enjoy the show! Or here you you go!

There are a few small companies here that do that kind of thing for businesszzzzzzz with tanks in the lobby etc. some also offer a complete stock and cycling service, so you get a delivered tank fully cycled with stock/plants etc. (could be a lucrative sideline, which may work with your classes)
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:48 AM   #9
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I'd suggest separating any in home services offered from your store, there are way to many variables that come into play, you could be the best tank maintainer on the planet and the cleaning lady sprays some febreeze in the room and boom.. Fishy apocalypse, all it takes these days is a few nasty write ups on google and your sunk. Not saying to forget the idea entirely just to shield yourself from any possible negative blow back!
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:19 PM   #10
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I'd suggest separating any in home services offered from your store, there are way to many variables that come into play, you could be the best tank maintainer on the planet and the cleaning lady sprays some febreeze in the room and boom.. Fishy apocalypse, all it takes these days is a few nasty write ups on google and your sunk. Not saying to forget the idea entirely just to shield yourself from any possible negative blow back!
(Lucrative sideline) but valid point! Trade under two names.
Photographic documents of water testing may be useful here, customer files.


Lots of companies are headed by one organisation.


(Shoot the cleaner first)

The advert,
fish tank maintenance personnel required, must be able to use a spade!


. . . . You could just issue a sheet of paper, fill it with some useful facts for the uninitiated, new owners and cleaners alike!
(No tapping the glass, no febreze, no fishing etc)
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