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    3 Replies Latest reply on Jun 2, 2008 2:24 PM by puzzleman

    Need Help Starting a Fish Store from scratch!

    sellfish Newbie
      Hello, I am brand new to this site! I found it less than an hour ago!

      I would like to open a tropical fish store, I haven't thought of a great name yet but that's the least of my worries.
      I am living paycheck to paycheck, barely getting by , begging family members to loan me $20.00 for 5 days! So I know , I sound crazy trying to get a loan and open my own store. I am a 25 year old female , who looks/is poor and has never had a credit card! I dropped out of high school. Which I am sure you can tell by the way I type!
      and the smiley face-------------> :)

      I understand I will need a loan to open my store.
      I can and do breed tropical aquarium fish so most of the product I would be selling in my store would have cost me nothing. I can sell fish really well! I have raised fish my whole life for fun.
      I have worked in a pet store and the fish sold like crazy so I know there is a market for it!
      Especially if I wanted to expand to a pet store. I could make big money! I have worked for a large chain of pet stores, and maintained 50 - 100 fish tanks and handled most of the store duties myself. I know I can handle a very small store all by myself! Maybe I will need a security guard! :)

      I need a place of business, and a business license before I can get certified to ship aquatic animals via USPS, so unless I have a store, I can't sell on the internet. On my own website, I could be making hundreds of dollars a day. But instead I am begging for money! If the power in this 'dwelling'' I call my living quarters, surges one more time my computer will brake! As last time it happened , my battery backup fried! I need money, and I'm willing to work hard for it!

      Oh my goodness, Long story short,, :)
      Will a bank give me a loan? Should I have the start-up costs on paper?
      Anything Else? (<----stupid question?) I am sure other people do not start up a business this way.
      I mean, asking questions on the net but I know nothing about loans! That makes me suseptible to scams!
      Should I just go to the bank and ask them?
      Or should I get a game plan?

      Oh yeah, I have had a checking account with direct deposit for a few years but I sometimes over draw and use this as a type of credit, for small purchases. And my bank pays it and charges me an overdraft fee.
      Should I try to get a small business loan through my bank or would it be best to try getting a loan from another bank?

      Thanks in advance for any advice you may give me!
      Sell_Fish <---------------------- Get It? :)
        • Re: Need Help Starting a Fish Store from scratch!
          LUCKIEST Guide
          Starting a Fish Store, Welcome to this web site.

          GREAT fish story, Tell us more about yourself and your plans.
          Go to Members page and add some info about your fish store.
          How old are you?? Where did you go to school??, Where are you, like city and state??
          How soon will you be starting from scratch??
          Have you developed a Business and Marketing Plan??
          Do you know about SCORE?? SCORE is FREE and can help

          Good luck, LUCKIEST
          • Re: Need Help Starting a Fish Store from scratch!
            Lighthouse24 Ranger

            Welcome to the community. The things you have in favor are: (a) you know what type of business you want to get into, (b) you have apparently worked for others in that type of business, (c) you have at least some advanced knowledge of tropical fish, and (d) you say you're not afraid of hard work. Those are all positive things you can build on.

            The obstacle you face is that everything else you wrote doesn't merely "suggest" to a lender that you're a bad credit risk, it practically screams it aloud.

            Being straight with you, I honestly don't think you have any chance at all of getting a large enough loan to launch a new pet store -- at least not today. A year from now -- possibly. Here's what you can do during the next 12 months to turn "possibly" into "probably":

            1. Get your personal finances in order. Set a goal: A year from now, you want to have a one year history of having paid every bill on time, and never being overdrawn. Lots of people struggle when they are young, so a bank can look past that -- that is, once they see a financial history that says the person has "grown up" and learned how to manage money. Since you're not afraid of hard work, that's the key -- work more, make more money, get things paid off, and save a little if you can.

            2. Contact SCORE and/or visit any number of websites that provide free on-line reading and "mini-courses" to help you learn about business planning and start-up. Set a goal: A year from now, you want to have a solid and well-written business plan that you can show a lender when you apply for a loan.

            3. Expand and leverage your existing expertise. If there's something about tropical fish and aquariums that you don't know yet, learn it. If someone in your town knows more about it than you do, find a way to help that person so can learn something in return. Set a goal: A year from now, you want to be THE tropical fish expert in your city. Work in someone else's store for the time being -- but when you help customers, do as though it was YOUR store (provide the best, most personal service you can). Get to know people who are into fish, and make sure that they (and their kids) know your name and remember you. When you open the doors to your own place one day, you want everybody you've helped over the past year to be "fans" of yours and customers for your new business.

            With your finances in order, a solid business plan, and recognized expertise in your field (plus a following of people who are ready to be your customers), I believe you will find either a lender or a partner with the necessary resources to back you.

            What do you think? Can you do it? I hope so! I wish you the best.
            • Re: Need Help Starting a Fish Store from scratch!
              puzzleman Tracker
              I agree with the above.

              I also recommend taking Introduction to Small business classes at your local junior college or high school. This will give you some lessons in business administration. Unfortunately as I have learned, business is about a lot more that what we think. I started doing it because I loved making wooden puzzles. I now find that I make puzzles very little and do a lot more of the selling and administration.

              Another idea is to work with a local pet store as a wholesaler for their fish needs. This way you can start small and learn some of the ropes on the way.

              Jim