Do you want to start a fish farm and need to write a plan? If YES, here is a sample ornamental fish farming business plan template & FREE feasibility report.

If you live around coastal regions or in a location that is blessed with lakes and rivers and you looking towards starting a business, you need not look further because you can successfully start an ornamental or jewel fish farming business.

What is an Ornamental Fish?

Ornamental fishes can be defined as attractive colorful fishes of peaceful nature that are kept as pets in the confined spaces of an aquarium or a garden pool with the purpose of enjoying their beauty. Ornamental fishes are also called “live jewels” because of their beautiful colors and playful behavior. Ornamental fishes are kept in home aquariums for aesthetic purposes.

In order to maximize profits with your ornamental fish farming business, you would have to learn the process of hatching ornamental fish eggs and then groom them to maturity. Ornamental fish farming business is indeed a big business because it requires moderate capital and technical skills.

A Sample Ornamental Fish Farming Business Plan Template

Industry Overview

The Fish and Seafood Aquaculture industry that ornamental fish farming business is a subset of is among the leading industry in most countries of the world; it is the industry that produces fish and seafood for the populace.

Because of the significant role the agricultural sector plays, the government of most countries ensure that they subsidize seedlings, fertilizers, and farming implements and machinery for farmers and also encourage entrepreneurs to go into commercial farming (fish farming inclusive).

The Fish and Seafood Aquaculture industry comprises of businesses that farm aquatic animals or plants in controlled aquatic environments. Businesses in this industry make use of some form of intervention in the rearing process to enhance production, such as holding in captivity and protecting from predators, pests and disease. It is important to state that this industry does not including the harvesting of wild fish especially on the high sea.

A study conducted by IBISWORLD shows that the Fish and Seafood Aquaculture industry has indeed experienced slow growth over the last five years. Given that the vast revenue generated in the industry is derived from sales of fish, mollusks and crustaceans that will be processed into food products, this industry’s success is tied to levels of seafood consumption.

Per capita seafood consumption in the united states has declined over the last five years, putting a strain on businesses in this industry. Nonetheless, increases in the price of seafood, combined with a healthy export market, have boosted revenue growth in this industry. The revenue generation from The Fish and Seafood Aquaculture industry is projected to grow at an annualized rate of 0.3 percent to $1.5 billion over the five-year period.

Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 2,087 licensed and registered Fish and Seafood Aquaculture company directly responsible for employing about 10,440 employees and indirectly responsible for employing roughly 1,339,900.

The industry rakes in a whooping sum of $1 billion annually with an annual growth rate projected at 0.3 percent. It is important to state that there are no establishments with a lion shares of the available market in this industry. If you are looking towards leveraging on the agriculture industry to generate huge income, then one of your best bets is to start your own ornamental fish farming business.

One thing is certain about starting ornamental fish farming business, if you are able to conduct your market research and feasibility studies, you are more likely not going to struggle to sell your ornamental fishes because there are always households and businesses that are ready to buy from you.

Executive Summary

Blue Waters® Fish Farms, LLC is a world – class and licensed Fish and Seafood Aquaculture Company with strong bias for ornamental fish farming and will be based in a riverine area in Cape Coral – Florida. We have done our detailed market research and feasibility studies and we were able to secure twenty hectares of aquatic land with fresh water to start our ornamental fish farming business.

Blue Waters® Fish Farms, LLC is well positioned to become one of the leading ornamental fish farming businesses in the United States of America, which is why we have been able to source for the best hands to run the company. We have put process and strategies in place that will help us employ best practices when it comes to ornamental fish farming.

At Blue Waters® Fish Farms, LLC, our customer’s best interest will always come first, and everything we do will be guided by our values and professional ethics. We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our client’s needs precisely and completely.

Blue Waters® Fish Farms, LLC is a private registered ornamental fish farming company that is owned by Stella – Maris Williams and her immediate family members. The ornamental fish farming business will be single-handedly financed by the owner at least for a period of time. Stella – Maris Williams has a degree in Fishery and over 8 years’  hands on experience in the fish and seafood aquaculture industry.

Our Product and Services

Blue Waters® Fish Farms, LLC is a standard ornamental fish farming company that is committed to raising fish and seafood for both the United States’ and the global market. We are in the business to make profits and we are going to do all that is permitted by the law in the United States of America to achieve our business goals, aim and objectives.

These are the areas we will concentrate on in our ornamental fish farming business;

  • Raising and harvesting ornamental fish (e.g. goldfish, electric fish, angelfishes, butterfly fish, swissguard, rainbowfish, cyprinids and tropical fish)
  • Selling ornamental fishes in aquariums

Our Mission and Vision Statement

  • Our Vision is to establish Blue Waters® Fish Farms, LLC as the premier ornamental fish farming business in Cape Coral, Florida while maintaining an unwavering dedication to our customers, workforce, partners, values and principles.
  • Blue Waters® Fish Farms, LLC is a world class ornamental fish farming company that is committed to raising ornamental fishes for both the United States’ and the global market.
  • We want our ornamental fishes to flood the nooks and crannies of the United States.

Our Business Structure

Blue Waters® Fish Farms, LLC is a privately owned and managed fish and seafood business that intends starting small but hopes to grow big in order to compete favorably with leading ornamental fish farms in the United States. We are aware of the importance of building a solid business structure that can support the kind of world class business we want to own.

At Blue Waters® Fish Farms, LLC, we will ensure that we hire people that are qualified, hardworking, and creative, result driven, customer centric and are ready to work to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all the stake holders.

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our senior management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of five years or more as agreed by the board of trustees of the company. In view of the above, we have decided to hire qualified and competent hands to occupy the following positions;

  • Chief Operating Officer
  • General Ornamental Fish Farm Manager
  • Human Resources and Admin Manager
  • Accountant/Cashier
  • Sales and Marketing Executive
  • Aquarium Builders and Field Employees
  • Front Desk Officer

Job Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Executive Officer – CEO:

  • Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results
  • Creating, communicating, and implementing the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
  • Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
  • Responsible for providing direction for the business
  • Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the organization
  • Reports to the board

General Ornamental Fish Farm Manager

  • Responsible for the planning, management and coordinating all fish farm activities across the various sections on behalf of the organization
  • Supervise other section managers
  • Ensure compliance during project executions
  • Providing advice on the management of farming activities across all section
  • Responsible for carrying out risk assessment
  • Using IT systems and software to keep track of people and progress of ornamental fishes in our ponds
  • Represent the organization’s interest at various stakeholders’ meetings
  • Ensures that farming goals desired result are achieved, the most efficient resources (manpower, equipment, tools and chemicals et al) are utilized and different interests involved are satisfied.
  • Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization.

Admin and HR Manager

  • Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
  • 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.
  • Defining job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
  • Carrying out induction for new team members
  • Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
  • Responsible for arranging travel, meetings and appointments
  • Oversee the smooth running of the daily office activities.

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 one or more properties.
  • Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
  • Responsible for administering payrolls
  • Ensuring compliance with taxation legislation
  • Handles all financial transactions for the company
  • Serves as internal auditor for the company

Sales and Marketing Manager

  • Manage external research and coordinate all the internal sources of information to retain the organizations’ best customers and attract new ones
  • Model demographic information and analyze the volumes of transactional data generated by customer
  • Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts
  • Writing 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
  • Create new markets cum businesses for the organization
  • Empower and motivates the sales team to meet and surpass agreed targets

Field Workers/Contract Staff

  • Responsible for feeding ornamental fishes as instructed by the supervisor
  • Responsible for cleaning the ponds and the entire ornamental fish farming environment
  • Change the water in the pond as instructed by the supervisor
  • Carries out task in line with the stated job description
  • Assist in transport working tools and equipment from the ornamental fish farming business and back to the designated store room
  • Handles any other duties as assigned by the line manager.

Front Desk/Customer’s Service Officer

  • Welcomes / receive clients 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
  • Manages administrative duties assigned by the HR and Admin Manager in an effective and timely manner
  • Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the organizations’ products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to clients when they make enquiries
  • Receives parcels/documents for the company and distribute mails in the organization
  • Handles any other duties as assigned by HR and Admin Manager

SWOT Analysis

Blue Waters® Fish Farms, LLC do not intend to launch out with trial and error hence the need to conduct a proper SWOT analysis. We know that if we get it right from the onset, we would have succeeded in creating the foundation that will help us build a standard ornamental fish farming company that will favorably compete with leading players in the Fish and Seafood Aquaculture industry.

We engaged the services of a core professional in the area of business consulting and structuring to assist our organization in building a well – structured ornamental fish farming company that can favorably compete in the industry.

Part of what the team of business consultant did was to work with the management of our organization in conducting a SWOT analysis for Blue Waters® Fish Farms, LLC. Here is a summary from the result of the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Blue Waters® Fish Farms, LLC;

  • Strength:

Our strength as an ornamental fish farming company is the fact that we have healthy relationships with loads of major players that are into the construction and sale of aquariums, suppliers of fish, feeds and medications and buyers of ornamental fishes within and outside of the United States of America.

We have some of the latest fish farming equipment that will help us raise ornamental fishes in commercial quantities with less stress. Aside from our relationship (network) and equipment, we can confidently boast that we have some the most experienced hands in Cape Coral – Florida on our payroll.

  • Weakness:

Our weakness could be that we are a new ornamental fish farming company in the United States, and it might take us sometime to attract big time customers and high – paying clients. We are aware of this and from our projection, we will overcome this weakness with time and turn it to a major advantage for the business.

  • Opportunities:

The opportunities that are available to us as a fish farming company with strong bias for ornamental fish farming cannot be quantified, we know that there are loads of households, and aquarium construction and sales companies that can’t do without daily supply of fresh water ornamental fishes. We are well positioned to take advantage of this opportunity

  • Threat:

Some of the threats and challenges that we are likely going to face when we start our own ornamental fish farming company are global economic downturn, bad weather cum natural disasters, unfavorable government policies and the arrival of a competitor within same location.

MARKET ANALYSIS

  • Market Trends

Ornamental fish farming business has steadily remained relevant over the years these fishes have remained common companions in many households. Pet owners who treat their pet friends as family members have grown increasingly hence the increase in demand for ornamental fishes and aquariums.

The industry has expanded strongly over the five-year period due to economy recovery in the United States of America, despite increased competition from supermarkets, mass merchandisers and online retailers that typically offer consumers greater convenience and competitive prices. Going forward, the ornamental fish farming business is projected to maintain strong growth.

Our Target Market

In the United States of America, people keep pets in their household and they ensure that the take proper care of them. As a matter of fact, in the US and in most countries, there are laws guiding how pets should be handled. This goes to show that if an ornamental fish farming business is well positioned, then they will continue to sell their products to a wide range of clients on a regular basis.

We are in business to sell a wide range of ornamental fishes to;

  • Aspiring pet (fish) owners
  • Interior decorators/companies
  • Schools (For biology labs)
  • Aquariums and Garden Pools construction companies

competitive advantage

It is easier to find entrepreneurs flocking towards an industry that is known to generate consistent income which is why there are increase in the number of ornamental fish farmers in the United States of America.

Blue Waters® Fish Farms, LLC is fully aware that there are competitions when it comes to selling fish and seafood all over the globe, which is why we decided to carry out thorough market research so as to know how to take advantage of the market.

We have done our homework and we have been able to highlight some factors that will give us competitive advantage in the marketplace; some of the factors are effective and reliable ornamental fish farming processes that can help us sell our ornamental fishes at competitive prices, good network and excellent relationship management.

Another competitive advantage that we are bringing to the industry is the fact that we have healthy relationship with major players in the industry. We have some of the latest hatchery, tools and equipment that will help us raise ornamental fishes in commercial quantities with less stress. Aside from our relationship (network) and equipment, we can confidently boast that we have some the most experienced hands in Cape Coral – Florida in our payroll.

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 achieve all our business aims and objectives.

SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY

Our sales and marketing team will be recruited based on their vast experience in the fish and seafood aquaculture industry and they will be trained on a regular basis so as to be well equipped to meet their targets and the overall business goal of Blue Waters® Fish Farms, LLC.

We have perfected our sale and marketing strategies first by networking with ornamental fish merchants and businesses that rely on daily supply of ornamental fishes. In summary, Blue Waters® Fish Farms, LLC will adopt the following strategies in marketing our fish and seafood;

  • Introduce our business by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to stake holders in the agriculture industry, aquariums and garden pools construction companies and ornamental fish merchants et al.
  • Advertise our business in interior decoration and aquariums related magazines and websites
  • List our business on yellow pages ads
  • Attend related ornamental fish farming expos, seminars, and business fairs et al
  • Leverage on the internet to promote our business
  • Engage in direct marketing
  • Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals)
  • Join local chambers of commerce and industry to network and market our ornamental fishes and aquariums

Sources of Income

Blue Waters® Fish Farms, LLC is in the industry for the purpose of maximizing profits hence we have decided to explore all the available opportunities within the industry to achieve our corporate goals and objectives. Below are the sources we intend exploring to generate income for Blue Waters® Fish Farms, LLC;

  • Raising and harvesting ornamental fishes (e.g. goldfish, electric fish, angelfishes, butterfly fish, swissguard, rainbowfish, cyprinids and tropical fish)

Sales Forecast

From the studies and the survey conducted, we were able to discover that the sales generated by an ornamental fish farming business depends on the size of the fish and seafood farm, the types of ornamental fish available in the farm and of course the size of their marketing network.

We have perfected our sales and marketing strategies and we are quite optimistic that we will meet or even surpass our set sales target of generating enough income/profits from the year of operation and build the business from survival to sustainability within the shortest period of time.

We have been able to examine the fish and seafood aquaculture industry and we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. Below are the sales projections for Blue Waters® Fish Farms, LLC, it is based on the location of our fish farm and of course the wide range of ornamental fishes that we will be cultivating;

  • First Fiscal Year (FY1): $250,000
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $350,000
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $550,000

N.B: This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown that can impact negatively on household spending, bad weather cum natural disasters, and unfavorable government policies. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.

We are quite aware that one of the easiest means of penetrating the market and acquiring loads of customers for our ornamental fishes is to sell them at competitive prices hence we will do all we can to ensure that the prices of our fishes are going to be what other farmers would look towards beating.

One thing is certain, the nature of the business makes it possible for ornamental fish farmers to place prices on their fishes based on their discretion without following the benchmark in the industry. It is one of the means of avoiding running into loss.

We will ensure that we leverage on price to win over customers; our prices will be affordable and negotiable. The fact that our business door is open to both smaller and big – time ornamental fish suppliers means that we will have different price range for different category of clients. As the business grow, we will continue to review our pricing system to accommodate a wide range of clientele.

  • Payment Options

The payment policy adopted by Blue Waters® Fish Farms, LLC 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 Blue Waters® Fish Farms, LLC will make available to her clients;

  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money
  • Payment via bank draft

In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our clients make payment for our ornamental fish purchase without any stress on their part.

Publicity and Advertising Strategy

Any business that wants to grow beyond the corner of the street or the city they are operating from must be ready to utilize every available means to advertise and promote the business. We intend growing our business which is why we have perfected plans to build our brand via every available means.

Below are the platforms we will leverage on to boost our ornamental fish farming brand and to promote and advertise our business;

  • Place adverts on community based newspapers, radio and TV stations.
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth publicity from our loyal customers
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, Google+ and other platforms to promote our business.
  • Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas in and around our neighborhood
  • Advertise our business in our official website and employ strategies that will help us pull traffic to the site
  • Brand all our official cars and trucks and ensure that all our staff members and management staff wears our branded shirt or cap at regular intervals.

Financial Projections and Costing

Below are some of the basic areas we will spend our startup capital in setting up our fish and seafood farm;

  • The total fee for incorporating the business in United States of America – $750.
  • The amount needed to acquire/lease a fish farm land – $50,000
  • The amount required for preparing the farm land (fish ponds and fresh water supply et al) – $30,000
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services (software, P.O.S machines and other software) – $3,300.
  • Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of Blue Waters® Fish Farms, LLC in the amount of $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $3,580.
  • The total cost for hiring Business Consultant – $2,500.
  • The total cost for payment of insurance policy covers (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $9,400
  • The amount required for the purchase of the first set of ornamental fishes (fingerlings), fish feeds and medications – $10,000
  • The cost for acquiring the required working tools and equipment / machines / hatchery et al – $50,000
  • The cost for the purchase of aquarium building materials and supplies – $50,000
  • Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $60,000
  • The cost of launching an official Website – $600
  • Additional Expenditure (Business cards, Signage, Adverts and Promotions et al) – $2,000

Going by the report from detailed research and feasibility studies conducted, we will need an average of four hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($450,000) to start a standard and world – class ornamental fish farm in the United States of America.

Generating Funds/Startup Capital for Blue Waters® Fish Farms, LLC

Blue Waters® Fish Farms, LLC is a family business that is owned and financed by Stella – Maris Williams and her immediate family members. They do not intend to welcome any external business partners which is why he has decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital to 3 major sources.

  • Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings
  • Source for soft loans from family members and friends
  • Apply for loan from the bank

N.B: We have been able to generate about $150,000 (Personal savings $100,000 and soft loan from family members $50,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $300,000 from our bank. All the papers and documents have been signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited with the amount.

Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

Part of the plans we have in place to sustain Blue Waters® Fish Farms, LLC is to ensure that we continue to make available a wide range of ornamental fishes, deliver quality after sales services, improvise on how to do things faster and cheaper. We are not going to relent in providing conducive environment for our workers and also the required trainings that will help them deliver excellent services at all times.

We are quite aware that our customers are key component to the growth and survival of our business hence we are going to continuously engage them to give us ideas on how to serve them better and the products they want to see in our store.

We will not waste time in adopting new technology, best practices and diversifying our services. Blue Waters® Fish Farms, LLC 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. 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
  • Leasing of aquatic farm land and building of standard fish ponds: 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 fish hatchery, fish harvesting tools, aquarium construction tools and other tools and equipment: In progress
  • Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
  • Creating Awareness for the business both online and around the community: In Progress
  • Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement (License): Secured
  • Establishing business relationship with vendors – key players in the agriculture industry, garden pools construction companies and ornamental fish merchants et al.: In Progress
Solomon. O'Chucks