Do you want to start a bait & tackle shop? If YES, here is a 20-step guide on how to start a bait & tackle shop business with no money and no experience.
Fishing tackle is the equipment used by anglers when fishing. Almost any equipment or gear used for fishing can be called fishing tackle. Some examples are hooks, lines, sinkers, floats, rods, reels, baits, lures, spears, nets, gaffs, traps, waders and tackle boxes.
Gear that is attached to the end of a fishing line is called terminal tackle. This includes hooks, leaders, swivels, sinkers, floats, split rings and wire, snaps, beads, spoons, blades, spinners and clevises to attach spinner blades to fishing lures. Sometimes the term fishing rig is used for a completed assembly of tackle ready for fishing.
Steps to Starting a Bait and Tackle Shop Business
1. Understand the Industry
Players in the Fishing Tackle industry sell fishing equipment, such as hooks, lines, rods, reels, bait and nets, through retail establishments. Fishing tackle is more commonly associated with fishing gear for recreational fishing. The companies holding the largest market share in the Tackle Shops industry include Gander Mountain, Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc., Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops Inc.
A bait and tackle shop is not a difficult business to start and it is not so capital intensive especially if you choose to start on a small scale within your neighborhood especially if you live in a fishing community or around a lake.
Getting the right brands that people want to buy and good record keeping are the secrets of running a bait and fishing tackle shop. There are few barriers to entry into the bait and tackle shop business, and usually, all inputs are readily available.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographics composition of those who patronize bait and fishing tackle shops are not restricted to professional fishermen but it includes all those that go fishing for fun and adventure.
In essence, the demographic composition cum target market for bait and fishing tackle shops is all encompassing; it is not restricted to any profession, age group, gender, race, tribe or group of people. So, if you are looking towards defining the demographics for your bait and fishing tackle shop, then you should make it far reaching.
3. Decide What Niche to Concentrate On
It is important to state that there are no niche ideas when it comes to bait and fishing tackle shop business because bait and fishing tackle shop is a niche idea in the retailing industry.
This business may decide to go beyond retailing hooks, lines, sinkers, floats, rods, reels, baits, lures, spears, nets, gaffs, traps, waders and tackle boxes et al, to retailing fishing boats and other fishing vessels. It is important to note that some shops may decide to build a strong online presence/online store and service the online community.
The Level of Competition in the Industry
Irrespective of the line of business you decide to invest in, you are still going to compete with others who are into same area of business, and fishing bait and tackle shop business is not an exemption. The truth is that no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your products or business properly, you will always make headway in the industry.
Just ensure you stock your store with a wide range of hooks, lines, sinkers, floats, rods, reels, baits, lures, spears, nets, gaffs, traps, waders and tackle boxes and other related products from different manufacturing companies and you know how to attract and reach out to your target market.
It is important to also state that the competition in the Fishing Tackle Industry is not restricted to competitions amongst fishing bait and tackle shops but also includes pet shops that retail hooks, lines, sinkers, floats, rods, reels, baits, lures, spears, nets, gaffs, traps, waders and tackle boxes et al.
4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
Here are some of the most popular fishing bait and tackle shops in the united states of America;
- Jerry’s Bait & Tackle Shop
- Fishing Tackle Unlimited
- Arlington Bait & Tackle
- Bitters Bait & Tackle
- Master Bait & Tackle Inc
- Fairfield Fishing Tackle
- Capitol Fishing Tackle Company
- E Z Bait & Tackle
- Grand River Bait & Tackle
- Whitey’s Bait & Tackle
- The Fly Fishing Shop
- J & J Bait and Tackle Outfitters
- Kendall Bait & Tackle Inc.
When it comes to starting a fishing bait and tackle shop you just have to get your costing cum economic analysis right if your intention of building the business is to generate profits, grow and expand the business and start selling franchise.
When conducting costing and economic analysis for your fishing bait and tackle shop, you just have to critically examine these key factors; place, pricing, and promotion.
As a matter of fact, you would have to continue to review these key factors at regular interval while running your fishing bait and tackle shop. As fishing bait and tackle shop owner, you just have to have a proper grasp of your competitive landscape if indeed you want to maximize profits and be in the frontline of the industry.
The bottom line is that fishing bait and tackle shop business is not a Green business, as a matter of fact, you will come across several fishing bait and tackle shops when you go shopping for baits and tackles.
So, if you are mapping out your economic analysis, you should carry out thorough market survey and costing of what is required to rent a store and the amount needed to stock your store with a wide range of products from different manufacturing brands.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to choosing how you intend starting a business. Basically, you should be guided by your overall business vision and mission statement.
If you are looking towards starting a fishing bait and tackle shop business, you have the options of either starting from the scratch or buying the franchise of an existing fishing bait and tackle shop. Starting a fishing bait and tackle shop from the scratch is less stressful when compared to other small – scale businesses.
With fishing bait and tackle shop business, you just need to secure a shop that is close to a fishing community and then leverage on every marketing tools within your disposal especially the internet to market your hooks, lines, sinkers, floats, rods, reels, baits, lures, spears, nets, gaffs, traps, waders and tackle boxes and other related products.
Please note that most of the successful fishing bait and tackle shops around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
If you decide to open your own fishing bait and tackle shop today, one of the major challenge you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established fishing bait and tackle shops and of course pet shops that also retail fishing baits and tackles in your target market location. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.
Other threats and challenges that you are likely going to face are mature markets, bad economy (economy downturn), and stiff competition.
So also, unfavorable government policies, seasonal fluctuations, demographic / social factors, downturn in the economy which is likely going to affect consumer spending for leisure services such as fishing for fun and of course emergence of new competitors within the same location where yours is located.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
Generally, you have the option of choosing a general partnership, Limited Liability Company which is commonly called an LLC, or a sole proprietorship for your fishing bait and tackle shop. Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small – scale fishing bait and tackle shop especially if you are just starting out with a moderate startup capital in a small neighborhood.
But if your intention is to grow the business and have chains of fishing bait and tackle shops across the United States of America and other countries of the world via franchising and opening online store, then choosing sole proprietor is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name
Normally, when it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. Typically, it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business.
9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policies that are required by the industry you want to operate from. Thus, it is imperative to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your business.
Here is some of the basic insurance policies that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own fishing bait and tackle shop in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Risk Insurance
- Workers compensation
- Building/Property insurance
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own fishing bait and tackle shop, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection / trademark. This is because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
On the other hand, if you want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even operation concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO. The final approval of your trademark is subjected to the review of attorneys as required by USPTO.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
When it comes to operating fishing bait and tackle shop, you do not need to have any formal training or special certification before you come into the business. All you need is informal training that will expose you to the in and out of managing fishing bait and tackle shop and also effectively running the business.
On the other hand, if you come across any form of certification that can aid you to effectively conduct your fishing bait and tackle shop business, then by all means try and pursue such certification.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hands of the law catches up with you. These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own business in the United States of America;
- Business and liability insurance
- Federal Tax Payer’s ID
- State Permit
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Business Plan for your bait & tackle shop
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Starting a fishing bait and tackle shop business can be cost effective especially if you choose to start on a small scale by running a fishing bait and tackle shop in a street corner.
Securing a standard and well – positioned store facility and stocking your store with a wide range of fishing baits and tackles from different manufacturing brands are part of what will consume a large chunk of your startup capital, but if you choose to start the business on a large scale, you would need to go source for fund to finance the business because it is expensive to start a standard large scale fishing bait and tackle shop business.
No doubt when it comes to financing a business, one of the major factors that you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.
Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your fishing bait and tackle shop business;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell shares to interested investors
- Applying for Loan from your Bank
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from, government, donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
Starting a fishing bait and tackle shop business comes with its own challenges; it is a business that cannot be started in any location. As a matter of fact, you will need approval from local council and other regulating authorities in the city you intend opening your business.
Generally, in business, it cannot be overemphasized that the location you choose to start your business is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consist of fishermen and people who fish for fun and adventure with the require purchasing power, and lifestyle.
If you make the mistake of renting or leasing a facility for your fishing bait and tackle shop business in a not too visible or hidden location simply because it is cheap, then you must be prepared to spend more in promoting the business.
Most importantly, before choosing a location for your fishing bait and tackle shop business, ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey. The possibility of you coming across similar business that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out.
These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your fishing bait and tackle shop business;
- The demography of the location especially as it relates to people who love fishing
- The demand for fishing baits and tackles in the location
- The purchasing power of residents of the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The number of fishing bait and tackle shops and pet shops that retail fishing bait and tackle in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community / state
- Traffic, parking and security et al
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
On the average, there are no special technology or equipment needed to run this type of business except for Point of Sales (POS) Machines, shelves, and software applications. You will also need computers/laptops, internet facility, telephone, fax machine and office furniture (chairs, tables, and shelves) amongst others and all these can be gotten as fairly used.
As regard leasing or outright purchase of a store facility, the choice is dependent on your financial standings, but the truth is that to be on the safe side, it is advisable to start off with a short – term rent/lease while test running the business in the location.
If things work out as planned, then you go on a long – term lease or outright purchase of the property but if not, then move on and source for other ideal location / facility for such business.
When it comes to hiring employees for a standard fishing bait and tackle shop business, you should make plans to hire a competent Chief Executive Officer (you can occupy this role), Admin and Human Resources Manager, Merchandize Manager, Store Manager, Sales and Marketing Officer/Sales Girls and Sales Boys, Accounting Clerk, and Cleaners.
On the average, you will need a minimum of 3 to 6 key staff members to run a small – scale but standard fishing bait and tackle shop business.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
When it comes to buying and selling stuffs, there are no hard and fast rule about it. Basically, it is the duty of the merchandize manager to help the store stock goods (a wide range of hooks, lines, sinkers, floats, rods, reels, baits, lures, spears, nets, gaffs, traps, waders and tackle boxes and other related products from different manufacturing brands).
They source for good purchasing deals and they also ensure that they do not only purchase at the right prices that will guarantee them good profits, but also they ensure that they purchase supplies that are in demand in their business location.
Once the supplies are bought, they are properly arranged in the store for customers to see and purchase. On the other hand, they are also expected to deliver orders made by clients if such services are available in their store. So also, stocks are taken after the close of business every day and account are balanced.
It is important to state that a fishing bait and tackle shop may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility; the above stated fishing bait and tackle shop business process is not cast on stone.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed With ideas & Strategies
The fact that the entry barrier for starting a small – scale fishing bait and tackle shop business is not too high means that there is bound to be more players in the industry no matter the location you choose to start yours. In essence, you must come up with unique marketing strategies if you must carve out a market for yourself within the available market in your community, city, state or country.
So, when you are drafting your marketing plans, make sure that you create a compelling company profile. Aside from your qualifications and experience, it is important to clearly state what you have been able to achieve in time past. This will help boost your chances in the market place when marketing your fishing baits and tackles.
Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your fishing bait and tackle shop;
- Introduce your fishing bait and tackle shop by sending introductory letters alongside your catalog to fishermen and women, children fishing clubs, schools, households and key stakeholders in and around the location where your shop is located
- Print out fliers and business cards and strategically drop them in offices, libraries, public facilities and train stations et al.
- Making your first impression count positively to those patronize your fishing bait and tackle shop for the first time
- Make use of attractive hand bills to create awareness and also to give direction to your fishing bait and tackle shop
- Engage in roadshow in targeted communities from time to time to market your fishing bait and tackle shop
- Advertise your services in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List your business and products on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Leverage on the internet to promote your fishing bait and tackle shop
- Engage in direct marketing and sales
- Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals)
- Leverage on the internet to promote your fishing bait and tackle shop (when you blog regularly on key issues as it relates to your business, people who consider you an expert in the field)
- Join local chambers of commerce and industries around you with the main aim of networking and marketing your fishing bait and tackle shop; you are likely going to get referrals from such networks.
Engage the services of marketing executives and business developers to carry out direct marketing for you
17. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
One key factor that will help you sell your products at rock bottom prices is to purchase your items directly from the manufacturers in pretty large quantities. The truth is the higher the quantity of items that you purchase directly from the manufacturers, the cheaper you tend to get them.
Another strategy that will help you retail your fishing baits and tackles at the right price is to ensure that you cut operational cost to the barest minimum, channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name. Aside from the fact that this strategy will help you save cost, it will also help you get the right pricing for your products.
So also, if you are able to secure business partnership as it relates to getting referrals, then you will be able to get the right pricing and of course maximize profits from your business.
18. Develop an Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
The availability of a wide range of hooks, lines, sinkers, floats, rods, reels, baits, lures, spears, nets, gaffs, traps, waders and tackle boxes and other related products from different manufacturing brands in your store, your business process and of course your pricing model are part of what you need to stay competitive in the industry.
Another possible competitive strategy for winning your competitors in this particular industry is to build a robust clientele base. Over and above, ensure that your organization is well positioned, key members of your team are highly qualified and your product can favorably compete with the some of the best in the industry.
19. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers
When it comes to business, no matter the industry that you choose to pitch your tent in, one of the easiest ways to increase customer retention and perhaps attract new customers is to produce results and satisfy your customers always.
If your customers are satisfied with your products and service delivery, they can hardly source for alternative service providers.
One of the strategies that you would need to employ in order to generate repeated sales from your customers and also to retain them is to ensure that you offer your customers incentives if you want to retain them and of course continue to generate repeated sales from them and also to attract new customers.
If your services and customer service fluctuate, you are likely going to struggle to get your customers retaining your services. Ensure that you offer your customers incentives if you want to retain them and of course continue to generate repeated sales from them and also to attract new customers.
Part of what you need to do to achieve this is to track progress, results or outputs with the aim of improving on them quickly as the case demands. When it comes to managing your customers and building a loyal clientele base, you should purchase a customized CRM software.
With a customized CRM system, you can easily stay in touch with your clients (you can carry out quick surveys, you can introduce new products and prices to them without any hitch, you can felicitate with them on their birthdays and other anniversaries, you can keep track of their progress, you can send bulk sms and customized emails and above all, you can easily receive complaints and feedback from them).
20. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If you are in business and you are not conscious about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portray your business to be.
One of the secrets of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend fortunes year in and year out to boost their brand awareness and to continue to communicate their corporate identity the way they want people to perceive them to be.
No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and brand boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand and create a corporate identity for your fishing bait and tackle shop;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community – based events
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your indoor trampoline park
- Install your billboards in strategic locations all around your city or state
- Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted neighborhoods to create awareness of your fishing bait and tackle shop
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- List your fishing bait and tackle shop business in local directories / yellow pages
- Advertise your fishing bait and tackle shop in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site
- Position our Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your fishing bait and tackle shop is located.
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles are branded with your company logo.