There are loads of business opportunities in the United States of America and any entrepreneur who desires to start a technical business in the commercial cleaning services industry can successfully start an aquarium maintenance business and generate good returns from the business within a short period of time. This is because the commercial cleaning services industry is a thriving industry in the United States of America.

Good enough, aquarium maintenance services business can be started by anybody as long as you have eyes for details and cleanliness. If you have experience in this regard, it will be easier for you to start and effectively run an aquarium maintenance business.

Before launching any business, the rule of thumb is that you should ensure that you carry out your due diligence as it relates to market research, economic and cost analysis and of course feasibility studies. You will need to make sure that you have the real reasons why you want to be in the line of business you have chosen.  If you get things right before launching your aquarium maintenance services company, it will not take you long before you secure enough corporate clients that can give you leverage in the industry.

Below is a sample aquarium maintenance services business plan template that can help you to successfully write your own with little or no difficulty.

A Sample Aquarium Maintenance Business Plan Template

The Commercial Cleaning Services Industry Overview

The commercial cleaning service industry of which aquarium maintenance services business falls under provides several services.

An aquarium is a vivarium of any size having at least one transparent side in which aquatic plants or animals are kept and displayed. Most aquaria consist of glass panes bonded together by 100% silicone sealant, with plastic frames attached to the upper and lower edges for decoration. The glass aquarium is standard for sizes up to about 1,000 litres (260 US gal; 220 imp gal). However, glass as a material is brittle and has very little give before fracturing, though generally the sealant fails first.

The typical hobbyist aquarium includes a filtration system, an artificial lighting system, an air diffuser and pump, and a heater or chiller depending on the aquarium’s inhabitants. Many aquaria incorporate a hood, containing the lights, to decrease evaporation and prevent fish from leaving the aquarium (and anything else from entering the aquarium). The fact that all these component parts of aquarium are subject to wear and tear makes maintenance services a necessity.

An aquarium must be maintained regularly to ensure that the fish are kept healthy. Daily maintenance consists of checking the fish for signs of stress and disease. Also, aquarists must make sure that the water has good quality and it is not cloudy or foamy and the temperature of the water is appropriate for the particular species of fish that live in it.

Typical weekly maintenance includes changing around 10 to 30 percent or more of the water while cleaning the gravel, or other substrate if the aquarium has one; however, some manage to avoid this entirely by keeping it somewhat self-sufficient. A good habit is to remove the water and “vacuuming” the gravel with suitable implements, as this will eliminate uneaten foods and other residues that settle on the substrate. In many areas tap water is not considered to be safe for fish to live in because it contains chemicals that harm the fish. Tap water from those areas must be treated with a suitable water conditioner, such as a product which removes chlorine and chloramine and neutralizes any heavy metals present. The water conditions must be checked both in the tank and in the replacement water, to make sure they are suitable for the species.

The commercial cleaning services industry is one of the fastest growing service industries in the United States. It is predicted that cleaning services will experience a five percent growth rate between 2008 and 2018, and this growth will be largely due to the health care industry, where elderly care needs will only increase over that period. In addition, personal consumption for cleaning, laundering and repair of clothing is predicted to increase at a compound annual rate of 3 percent from 2015 to 2019.

Just like any other business, the demand for aquarium maintenance services usually declined during recession due to declining household spending on cleaning services and reduced demand from business clients. As the economy grows, and income increases, there will be corresponding increase in demand for cleaning related services such as aquarium maintenance.

Irrespective of the above, aquarium maintenance services businesses all over the world are still enjoying good patronage particularly if they are well positioned and if they know how to reach out to their target market.

Executive Summary

Our company is named Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc. We are a registered and standard commercial cleaning services business that is incorporated under the law of the United States of America that is specialized in aquarium maintenance. Our head office will be located in a densely populated residential estate in the heart of Washington MSA – District of Columbia, U.S. We are strategically positioned in between a residential center and a business district and we are set to service the whole of the community.

Our basic service offering will not only be restricted to cleaning and maintaining of different types of aquariums, we will also engage in other cleaning and maintenance services such as swimming pool cleaning & maintenance. Although our intention of starting an aquarium maintenance business is to offer only the above stated services, but we will not close our doors to diversification (additional services) as long as it does not affect our core services.

We are quite optimistic that our values will help us drive our aquarium maintenance business to enviable heights and also help us attract the number of clients that will make the business highly profitable. We will be dedicated to establishing good business relationship with our clients giving them value for their money and reasons for them to hire our services over and over again.

We are in the commercial cleaning services industry to favorably compete with other leading brands in the industry. Our corporate business goal is to be among the top 10 aquarium maintenance brands in the United States of America. As a company, we are willing to go the extra mile to invest in some of the finest professionals we can find and also, we have put process and structures in place that will ensure that we are always at the top of our game when it comes to excellent and detailed services delivery. We have been able to secure permits from all relevant departments in District of Columbia.

Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc. is owned and managed by Harry Wills and his immediate family members. Harry Wills has over 15 years’ experience managing some of the leading cleaning and aquarium maintenance companies and industrial cleaning brands in different cities in the United States of America prior to starting Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc. He has Institute of inspection cleaning and restoration certification – IICRC, International janitorial cleaning services certification – IJVSC, aquarium maintenance services technician certification – AMT and Cleaning business owner certificate – CBO.

Our Services Offerings

Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc. is a standard and well – equipped aquarium maintenance company that offers a wide range of services that revolves around the aquarium maintenance and other complementary services. We intend giving our customers every reason to hire our services which is why we have customized our services.

Our Vision Statement

Our Vision is to become the number one aquarium maintenance company in the whole of Washington MSA – District of Columbia with active presence in major cities all across the United States of America.

Our Mission Statement

Our mission as an aquarium maintenance company is to develop a highly successful, profitable all round aquarium maintenance service business which provides quality services in our community and to become a standard for an ideal aquarium maintenance services business not only in the State of District of Columbia but also throughout the United States of America.

Business Structure

We are quite aware that the success of any business lies in the foundation on which the business is built on, which is why we have decided to build our aquarium maintenance services company on the right business foundation.

We want to have dedicated workforce who will go all the way to ensure that our customers are satisfied and they get value for their money. We aware that it takes a business with the right employees and structure to achieve all what we have set to achieve, which is why will be putting structures and processes in place that will help us deliver excellent services and run the business on auto pilot.

With the wide range of our service offerings and the plan to sell franchise, we are only expected to employ more than it is required to run a conventional aquarium maintenance business.

Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc. will employ professionals and skilled people to occupy the following position;

  • Manager (Owner)
  • Accountant/Cashier
  • Marketing and Sales Executive
  • Client Service Executive
  • Aquarium Maintenance Technicians (6)
  • Truck/Van Driver

Roles and Responsibilities

Manager (Owner):

  • Responsible for providing direction for the business
  • Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals and payment of salaries
  • Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the organization
  • Responsible for managing the daily activities in the organization
  • Ensure that the facility is in tip top shape and conducive enough to welcome customers
  • Prepares budget and reports for the organization
  • Defines job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
  • Carries out induction for new team members
  • Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
  • Regularly hold meetings with key stakeholders (clients and member of the board) to review the effectiveness of the business Policies, Procedures and Processes
  • Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
  • Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
  • Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
  • Oversees the smooth running of the daily activities of organization.

Marketing and Sales Executive

  • Identifies, prioritizes, and reaches out to new clients, and business opportunities et al
  • Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts
  • Writes winning proposal documents, negotiate fees and rates in line with organizations’ policy
  • Responsible for handling business research, market surveys and feasibility studies for clients
  • Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
  • Documents all customer contact and information
  • Represent Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc. in strategic meetings
  • Helps to increase sales and growth for Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc.

Accountant/Cashier

  • Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
  • Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports;
  • Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
  • Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting for the organization
  • Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
  • Responsible for administering payrolls
  • Ensures compliance with taxation legislation
  • Handles all financial transactions for Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc.
  • Serves as internal auditor for Prime Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc.

Client Service Executive

  • Welcomes clients and visitors by greeting them in person or on the telephone; answering or directing inquiries.
  • Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
  • Through interaction with clients on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
  • Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the organizations’ products and, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to clients when they make enquiries

Aquarium Maintenance Technicians (6):

  • Responsible for maintaining the typical hobbyist aquarium which includes a filtration system, an artificial lighting system, an air diffuser and pump, and a heater or chiller depending on the aquarium’s inhabitants.
  • Responsible for maintaining aquaria incorporate hood which contains the lights, to decrease evaporation and prevent fish from leaving the aquarium (and anything else from entering the aquarium).
  • Responsible for carrying out weekly maintenance including changing around 10 to 30 percent or more of the water while cleaning the gravel, or other substrate if the aquarium has one.
  • Handles any other duty as assigned by the manager.

Truck/Van Driver:

  • Runs errand for the organization
  • Handles any other duty as assigned by the manager,

SWOT Analysis

Aquarium maintenance services business is one of the many businesses that can easily generate business deals with little stress as long as they are well positioned and equipped to carry out their services. We are building a standard aquarium maintenance business with variety of related services which is why we have decided to subject our business idea (company) to SWOT Analysis.

Ordinarily we can successfully run a normal aquarium maintenance service without the stress of going through the required protocol of setting up a new business including writing a detailed business plan, but because of the nature of the kind of aquarium maintenance services business we want to establish, we don’t have any option other than to follow due process.

We hired the services of Mr. Laz Bentley, an HR and Business consultant with bias in startups to help us conduct SWOT analysis for our company and he did a pretty job for us.

Here is a of the result we got from the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc. Washington MSA – District of Columbia;

Strength:

Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc. is centrally located in a densely populated residential estate in Washington MSA – District of Columbia; our location is in fact one of our major strengths. We are also one of the very few aquarium maintenance companies in the whole of Washington MSA – District of Columbia that is well equipped to carry out a wide range of services. Another strength that counts for us is the power of our team; our workforce and management. We have a team that are considered experts in the commercial cleaning services industry, a team of hardworking and dedicated individuals.

Weakness:

Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc. is a new business which is owned by an individual (family), and we may not have the financial muscle to sustain the kind of publicity we want to give our business and also to attract some of the well – experienced hands in the commercial cleaning services industry.

Opportunities:

We are centrally located in one of the busiest areas in Washington MSA – District of Columbia and we are open to all the available opportunities the city has to offer. Our business concept also positioned us to be a one stop shop in the aquarium maintenance business. The truth is that there are no standard aquarium maintenance services within our area; the closest aquarium maintenance company is about 6 miles away. In a nutshell, we do not have any direct competition within our target market area.

Threat:

Some of the threats that are likely going to confront Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc. is unfavorable government policies, seasonal fluctuations, demographic/social factors, downturn in the economy which is likely going to affect consumer spending and of course emergence of new competitors within the same location.

MARKET ANALYSIS

Market Trends

The aquarium maintenance market is dependent on loads of factors. The fact that it helps to keep an aquarium in top shape so as to increase the lifespan of aquatic creatures in the aquarium gives room for people and organizations to patronize the business. As a matter of fact, it is now common and trendy to find aquarium maintenance companies leveraging on Health, ‘Climate Change and Save Energy’ to market their services.

Of course, aquarium maintenance services business responds to increase in household spending and improvement in the economy which is why it is trendy to find aquarium maintenance businesses located around areas where people own aquariums.

Another common trend in the commercial cleaning services industry is that in the bid to survive the global economic melt down and to ensure steady flow of income, most aquarium maintenance companies engage in other related services. Some of them even go as far as establishing a general house cleaning services, ponds cleaning, water treatment plant cleaning, swimming pool cleaning & maintenance, drain, duct and gutter cleaning, car wash, snow removal and other related cleaning services as requested by clients simply because they all fall within same line of business.

Target Market

Before choosing a location for our aquarium maintenance business, we conducted our feasibility studies and market survey and we were able to identify those who will benefit greatly from our service.

Basically, those who will benefit from our service offering are households, facility managers, hospitals, hotels, and government et al that own aquariums. They cut across various sectors of the economy.

Below is a list of the people and organizations that our aquarium maintenance service is designed for;

  • Households
  • Facility managers
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels and Motels
  • Residential areas
  • Camp grounds
  • Retail locations
  • Zoos and Aquariums
  • Lounges
  • Casinos

Competitive Advantage

Aquarium maintenance services business is an easy to set up business that does not require intense technical training to achieve; any trained person can set an aquarium maintenance business if they have the required startup capital and technical training on how to maintain aquariums. It means that the possibility of aquarium maintenance businesses springing up in our location can’t be ruled out. We aware of this which is why we decided to come up with a business concept that will position us to become the leader in Washington MSA – District of Columbia.

We can confidently say that the location of our aquarium maintenance business will definitely count as a positive for us amongst any competitor that might start an aquarium maintenance service in same location where ours is located.

For the time being, Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc. has no real competitors that can compete with the quality of services we offer.

Lastly, all our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry. It will enable them to be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and objectives.

SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY

Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy

The marketing strategy for Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc. is going to be driven basically by excellent customer service and quality service delivery. We will ensure that we build a loyal customer base. We want to drive sales via referral from our satisfied customers.

Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc. is an aquarium maintenance services business that is strategically located and we are going to maximize the opportunities that are available which is why we spent more to locate the business in an area that will be visible and accessible to our target market.

Our sales and marketing team will be recruited based on their vast experience in the industry and they will be trained on a regular basis so as to be well equipped to meet their targets.

Our goal is to grow Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc. to become the leading aquarium maintenance company in Washington MSA – District of Columbia which is why we have mapped out strategies that will help us take advantage of the available market and grow to become a major force to reckon with in the industry.

Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc. is set to make use of the following marketing and sales strategies to attract clients;

  • Introduce our aquarium maintenance services business by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to corporate organizations, households and key stake holders in and around Washington MSA – District of Columbia
  • Print out fliers and business cards and strategically drop them in offices, libraries, public facilities and train stations et al.
  • Use friends and family to spread word about our business
  • Post information about our company and the services we offer on bulletin boards in places like schools, libraries, and local coffee shops et al
  • Leverage on referral networks such as agencies that will attract clients who would need our services
  • Advertise our aquarium maintenance services company in relevant magazines, newspapers, TV and radio stations
  • Attend relevant expos, seminars, and business fairs et al to market our services
  • Engage in direct marketing approach
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth marketing
  • Join local chambers of commerce and industry to market our services.

Sources of Income

Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc. is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the commercial cleaning services industry and we are going to ensure that we do all it takes to attract both individual and corporate clients on a regular basis.

Sales Forecast

One thing is certain, there would always be corporate organizations and individual clients who would need the services of aquarium maintenance businesses.

We are well positioned to take on the available market in Washington MSA – District of Columbia and we are quite optimistic that we will meet our set target of generating enough income/profits from the first six month of operation.

We have been able to examine the commercial cleaning services industry, we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. The sales projections are based on information gathered on the field and some assumptions that are peculiar to similar startups in Washington MSA – District of Columbia.

Below is the sales projection for Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc., it is based on the location of our business and the related services that we will be offering;

First Fiscal Year (FY1):

$200,000

Second Fiscal Year (FY2)

$350,000

Third Fiscal Year (FY3)

$450,000

N.B: This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the commercial cleaning services industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and there won’t be any major competitor offering same services as we do within same location. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.

Pricing

Our pricing system is going to be based on what is obtainable in the commercial cleaning industry, we don’t intend to charge more (except for premium and customized services) and we don’t intend to charge less than our competitors are offering.

Be that as it may, we have put plans in place to offer discount services once in a while and also to reward our loyal customers especially when they refer clients to us.

The prices of our services will be same as what is obtainable in the open market.

Payment Options

The payment policy adopted by Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc. is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of the United States of America.

Here are the payment options that Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc. will make available to her clients;

  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via mobile money
  • Payment via Point of Sales Machines (POS Machines)
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via bank draft

In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our client make payment for services rendered without any stress on their part. Our bank account numbers will be made available on our website and promotional materials.

Publicity and Advertising Strategy

Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc. is set to create a standard for aquarium maintenance business in Washington MSA – District of Columbia and throughout the United States which is why we will go all the way to adopt and apply best practices to promote our business. Good enough there are no hard and fast rules on how to advertise or promote a aquarium maintenance business.

Here are the platforms we intend leveraging on to promote Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc.;

  • Encourage our loyal customers to help us use Word of Mouth mode of advertisement (referrals)
  • Advertise our aquarium maintenance services business in relevant magazines, local newspaper, local TV and radio stations
  • Promote our business online via our official website
  • List our business on local directories (yellow pages)
  • Sponsor relevant community programs
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, twitter, et al to promote our brand
  • Install our Bill Boards on strategic locations
  • Direct coupon mailing approach
  • Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas
  • Ensure that all our staff members wear our customized clothes, and all our official cars and trucks are customized and well branded.

Startup Expenditure (Budget)

We have been able to pull cash that will be enough for us to successfully launch a standard aquarium maintenance company in Washington MSA – District of Columbia, US.

These are the key areas where we will spend our startup capital;

  • The total fee for Registering the Business in Washington MSA – District of Columbia – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – $1,500.
  • Marketing promotion expenses (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $3,580.
  • The cost for hiring Business Consultant – $2,000.
  • Insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $30,800.
  • The cost of accounting software, CRM software and Payroll Software – $3,000
  • The cost for leasing a small office facility – $70,000.
  • The cost for facility remodeling – $20,000.
  • Other start-up expenses including stationery – $1000)
  • Phone and utility deposits – ($3,500).
  • Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $40,000
  • The cost for Start-up inventory – $15,000
  • The cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $13,750
  • The cost for the purchase of tool box / working equipment – $35,000
  • The cost for the purchase of office furniture and gadgets (Computers, Printers, Telephone, TVs, tables and chairs et al) – $4,000
  • The cost of launching a website – $600
  • Miscellaneous – $10,000

We would need an estimate of two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000) to successfully launch our aquarium maintenance business in Washington MSA – District of Columbia, US.

Generating Funds/Startup 

Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc. is owned and managed by Mr. Harry Wills and his immediate family business. They are the only financiers of the business which is why they decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital for the business to just three major sources.

These are the areas we intend generating our startup capital;

  • Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings and sale of stocks
  • Generate part of the startup capital from friends and other extended family members
  • Generate a larger chunk of the startup capital from the bank (loan facility).

N.B: We have been able to generate about $100,000 (Personal savings $80,000 and soft loan from family members $20,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $100,000 from our bank. All the papers and documents have been duly signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited.

Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

The future of a business lies in the number of loyal customers that they have, the capacity and competence of their employees, their investment strategy and business structure. If all of these factors are missing from a business (company), then it won’t be too long before the business closes shop.

One of our major goals of starting Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc. is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running. We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to offer our aquarium maintenance services a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in the market and we are well prepared to survive on lower profit margin for a while.

Harry Wills® Aquarium Maintenance Services, Inc. will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner. As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of three years or more.

We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.

Check List/Milestone

  • Business Name Availability Check: Completed
  • Business Registration: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
  • Securing Point of Sales (POS) Machines: Completed
  • Opening Mobile Money Accounts: Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Acquiring facility and remodeling the facility: In Progress
  • Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
  • Generating capital from family members: Completed
  • Applications for Loan from the bank: In Progress
  • Writing of Business Plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
  • Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
  • Printing of Promotional Materials: In Progress
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Purchase of the needed tool box/working equipment, electronic appliances, office appliances and bar accessories: In progress
  • Creating Official Website for the Company: Completed
  • Creating Awareness for the business both online and in the neighborhood: In Progress
  • Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement (License): Secured
  • Establishing business relationship with vendors – suppliers of all our needed cleaning chemicals and accessories: In Progress
Ajaero Tony Martins