Any individual can open a profitable aquarium business in many ways. However, right business model and strategic planning are the most important aspects in initiating a business related to ornamental or tropical fishes. This article includes a comprehensive business plan checklist with cost, profit, promotion for the aspiring entrepreneurs who look for the same.
Depending on your location, investment capacity and expertise, there are several ways to start this business. In addition to that, you can initiate the business either as the part-time or full-time basis. With small to moderate investment, you can expect a handsome return from this business within a short duration of time.
Aquarium Business Market Potential
Before initiating a business in the ornamental fish industry, you must have an idea about how big the market is. Nowadays, fish keeping has become one of the most popular hobbies among millions of enthusiasts across the globe. Additionally, the most of the fish species kept in aquariums are freshwater species.
The surging demand for ornamental fish among hobbyists is one of the major driving forces contributing to the sales of aquarium accessories. Hobbyists are increasingly seeking products such as aeration equipment, substrate, tanks, ornaments, and fish food.
The growing interest of individuals in keeping aquarium fish has resulted in the establishment of new stores. Generally, these stores sell aquarium-related products and services such as installations, maintenance, and cleaning. The aquarium stores are also employing skilled and knowledgeable staff to assist consumers in maintaining their aquariums regularly at their residence. Also, the market is witnessing the growing preference for technology-integrated products. Hence, starting a business in the aquarium industry is highly lucrative these days.
Skill Required for Aquarium Business
Definitely, starting a tropical pet fish related business demands adequate skill and knowledge. First of all, you must know the different type of aquarium fishes, their feeding habits, behaviors etc. Also, you must have the expertise to handle them. Disease management is another an important aspect that you must consider very carefully. Finally, you must know how to maintain aquariums, supplies and the overall cleanliness of the area. So, if you have the prior experience is good, otherwise, consider working with other established companies for some period to get the practical knowledge.
3 Different Aquarium Business Models
#1. Aquarium Shop
Initiating an aquarium shop is one of the most profitable retail opportunities. The business is easy to start. However, the metro cities are the only great locations for this business. Also, you will need to secure a commercial retail space for operation. Before securing the space, you must identify the potential demand and competition both in that particular area. Moreover, you must secure a location where no other shops exist within 3 km surroundings at least. The store must have an adequate water supply. Also, it needs electricity. After conducting the market survey, you will need to craft the business plan. Also, you will need to arrange the startup capital. Depending on the particular services and products, you will need to decorate the interior of the shop.
Licensing & Permissions for Aquarium Shop Business
Broadly, you can open an aquarium shop in two ways. Either opening the shop in your brand or buying a franchise. In India, you can find several aquarium franchise opportunities. However, depending on your investment capacity, select the franchise wisely.
Generally, opening this type of store needs two different permissions. Firstly, you will need to obtain a license under Shops & Establishments Act and secondly, you will need to obtain GST number for proper tax filing and accounting. Also, you can consider MSME Udyog Aadhaar Registration and Trademark registration if you operate your own brand. Check the licensing issues in your city.
Supplies for Aquarium Shop
Finally, you will need to procure the supplies. Broadly, you can categorize the supplies list into two segments. Supplies for selling and supplies for maintaining your shop. Some of the essential items are
- Tanks with hoods
- Fish food
- Filtration systems
- Water treatment systems
- Tanks decorations
- Oxygen provider
- Tank scrubbers for algae removal
- The test kit for nitrate, pH, and ammonia
- Refrigeration or freezer for perishable fish food
- Ornamentation material for the tank bottoms (gravel, or substrate)
- Tropical fish care books
Aquarium Shop Marketing Ideas
When you start the business on a shoestring budget, you must be creative in marketing. First of all, you must aware the people who have already aquariums. You can consider putting a billboard in a prominent location in the city. If possible, offer some initial opening offers. Also, you can consider providing special discounts for the yearly maintenance contracts. Consider having a business website of your own. Register your business in GoogleMyBusiness. It will help you in coming in the search result when people search something like ‘aquarium shop near me’.
#2. Aquarium Maintenance Service
This is another a niche category that you can consider worth exploring. Though you can provide this service with your existing aquarium shop, you can initiate only maintenance service also. Generally, you can initiate an aquarium maintenance service business from home. However, operating from a retail location is always better. In any case, you will need to provide the service at your client’s doorstep.
Actually, any aquarium as such needs frequent cleaning and maintenance. And definitely, sometimes it is troublesome for the busy people. And they look for a professional service for that. Opening an aquarium maintenance business also demands specific skill and adequate knowledge. In addition to that, you must a willingness of hard work.
When you operate the aquarium maintenance business from home, you will need to obtain the Trade License from the local authority and GST registration. And your vehicle must have a commercial registration.
In starting this business, you must craft a business plan with financial analysis and marketing strategies. Also, you will need to procure the necessary supplies and a means of transport.
Promote Aquarium Maintenance Service
First of all, you must aware the existing aquarium owner of the area about your business. Also, you can establish a business tie-up with the local aquarium shops (if there any). Contact with the local interior decorators also. Because, nowadays, the aquarium is a popular item in creating decorative interior. Also, contact the commercial business offices who keep the aquarium and look for regular maintenance. Creating your own website is the must. Also, register your business in the local offline and online classifieds.
#3. Online Aquarium Store
Finally, if you want to open an online business in this industry, you can consider initiating an online aquarium shop. First of all, Google it. Easily within a second, you can find a lot of online stores that already exist. It will give you some primary ideas.
Generally, an online aquarium store sells different types of aquarium accessories, decoration items, fish feed and fishes also. Though you can initiate the business from home, you must have adequate spaces for storage and official work. Otherwise, you must think about operating the business from a separate office. Nowadays, it is really easy to open a small eCommerce store for selling the products online. You can follow the simple steps for opening the online aquarium accessories store.
Step 1 Business Plan
Opening an online aquarium business needs a solid planning. Actually, there are a lot of aspects that you need to consider very carefully. First of all, you will need to be selective in time of choosing the product line. Also, determine the territory where you can provide the service. How you will compete with the other existing online stores. So, you must have a proper online promotion plan also.
Step 2 Arrange Finance
Secondly, according to your business plan, you will need to arrange the finance. In online aquarium business, you will need to invest the dollar in procuring supplies, purchasing the domain name, purchasing the eCommerce platform, hiring manpower and in delivery.
Step 3 Setup the Store
First of all, you will need to select a name for your business. And check the domain availability. For establishing a small eCommerce store, we recommend Shopify. Basically, it allows you to operate the business easily without taking any technical hazards. Put the photos properly. Also, mention the exact areas where you supply the materials. Also, you must ensure the delivery time for a particular product. Clearly, mention your contact details on the website.
Step 4 Procure Supplies
This is another a tricky job that you need to perform carefully. Basically, the most important thing is vendor management. As you start the business small, you may face frequent demand for small things. So, you must set the terms with the vendors accordingly.
Step 5 Setup the Business
Establishing the admin department basically includes crafting the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure). You must have a team of proficient manpower who can deliver the material after getting the order. And in this type of aquarium business, it is not an easy task at all. The moment you open the store and accept orders, you must be ready for the timely delivery.
Step 6 Promote the Store
And finally, no business get the desired success without promotion. Practically, there are a lot of options you can explore for promoting your store online. Some of the most potential avenues are Google Adsense, social media, Facebook advertisement etc.
Most interestingly, you can explore above three business model at a time too. And in that case, an online store will help you in promoting your others aquarium business to cater the internet audience.