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Old 01-18-2015, 01:23 PM   #1
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lack of LFS = small business idea or fail?

I am not experienced enough to actually maintain a store selling fish but, in my town the closest thing to a aquarium supply store is Wal-Mart, and the LFS 100 miles away closed down a year or so ago.

I would love to run my own business and, I thought if I opened a store carrying food supplies and other important stuff needed for the hobby, and maybe a tank cleaning service, maybe I could be successfully. The only competition locally is petco or petsmart but that's on the next city over.

I know this could be a couple years into the future but I was hoping there might be some store owners who could give me their two cents.
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Old 01-18-2015, 01:30 PM   #2
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Why did the lfs close? Lack of business, price, bad advice, bad stock, etc. I would imagine that looking into these things would help you succeed as a business.

Good luck to you if you do get going.

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Old 01-18-2015, 06:26 PM   #3
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I think the tank maintenance might bring in some business but you'd really have to know your stuff when people call you with all sorts of different issues. Not something you would need a storefront for. As far as selling food and supplies, with the ease of ordering online and the discounted rates you can find online I don't think it'd be a worthy business venture. Unless you were able to set up connections with importers to get wild caught or get f1 fish, again, most people can find any fish they want online and with the reputable websites that have 1 week to 2 week guarantees on their fish it'd be hard to compete, not including the difficulty you'll come across from competing with PetsMart and PetCo prices. If it were me wanting to do this, I'd get my name out there with the tank maintenance idea, business cards, flyers, ad space in local newspapers and see how that goes. Then if that were to go well, as was suggested, try to find out why the other fish store closed.


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Old 01-18-2015, 08:41 PM   #4
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Well they closed because the owner was a drug addict, big scandal he lost everything
. Even made the news, but people I talk to around here don't like the hassle of ordering and would like to not have to drive n hour out of their way
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Old 01-18-2015, 09:05 PM   #5
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If that is the case then I would proceed with what Nigel suggested. Start with tank maintenance to "get your feet wet" and go from there.

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Old 01-19-2015, 12:22 AM   #6
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lack of LFS = small business idea or fail?

Looking at your profile you have a common pleco in a 20 gallon tank which doesn't invoke a ton of confidence.

I bet more people would be willing to drive an hour or order online if the price is better. That's going to be the determining factor. You may have a few that are willing to pay more for the convenience, but I doubt that those few would be enough to maintain the cost of business much less turn a profit.

It also says you're from Las Vegas....which part? Because just doing a google search of aquarium stores in Las Vegas came up with like nine or ten results spread pretty evenly across a large area.


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Old 01-19-2015, 01:17 AM   #7
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I suggest working from home, you can do a maintenance thing like that easily if you know what you are doing and are good at advertising. Having a dry goods line is a good idea, but your main sales are going to be through the maintenance part of your business, since people aren't going to be walking in to your house to look at what you have for sale.
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Old 01-20-2015, 08:44 PM   #8
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I've been working at LFS for almost a year now. I won't lie, it is a difficult business at the moment, but if you're willing to get creative you can make it work Tank service is definitely an awesome extra source of income. Unfortunately a lot of equipment (filters, lighting, etc) are being sold close to cost on the big websites like Amazon, so it would be difficult to make a profit from things like that, but bulk items might be a good way to help make up for some of that (foods, tubing, plants, parts, etc)I would also look into fish wholesalers in your area and see who's close by. Good luck, wishing you the best!


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Old 01-21-2015, 02:56 PM   #9
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Thanks, well like I said I only wanted advice and I like what you are all saying, online prices would be my enemy, nigel, I believe you are confused, I hail from las Vegas, new Mexico. Small mountain town, 5 miles in every direction. You won't believe how many times a tourist asked me where the casinos are smh
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Old 01-21-2015, 04:19 PM   #10
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The online market does make it a little harder to compete, but the advantage of being local and right there, right now, is significant. As is impulse buying.

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