Do you want to start a bait and tackle shop online? If YES, here is a detailed guide on how to start a fishing tackle business with no money or experience.
Starting a fishing tackle business is a good idea if you think you’re capable of supplying fishing enthusiasts with the necessary items for catching a lot of fish.
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.
What Does It Take to Start a Fishing Tackle Business?
The first thing to do when planning to start this business is to put together a good business plan and assess the competition in your community. Understand your immediate market and how you can get into the fishing tackle business.
Establish a plan on how you will finance your business. Also take your time to analyse your timeline with your goals while you decide on how you will promote and hire staff for your business.
If you need financial assistance, find banks or credit unions with low interest rates so that you can finance your business or find a partner if you can’t finance your fishing tackle business on your own.
You will also need to research your location and find out the necessary registrations and licenses for your business. You will also have to obtain an EIN or Employer Identification Number from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) and register your business legitimately with the federal government.
You will also want to understand the sales-tax regulation applicable to your business and get a business license from the county government.
Don’t forget to ask the department of game and fish in your area to know the necessary things you need in selling fishing equipment. For your business facility, take a closer look at the lakes or other bodies of water where people go to fish. Purchase a facility that suits your needs and requirements.
It’s also advisable that your find out first what items are commonly used as bait in the area and stock them so that when people go to your store, they can find what they need. Also, stock up some fishing lines, hooks, bobbers, and new reels just in case they might need one.
Don’t forget to buy these products and supplies directly from manufacturers only at a wholesale price so that you can make good profits. When it gets to the point of employing helpers and staff, hire those who are knowledgeable in fishing and can provide satisfactory customer service.
Hire only those you need. Promote your business on television, radio, newspaper, and even through the web. You can create a website or post on blogs or make articles that feature what you offer and establish good relationship to customers.
Steps to Starting a Fishing Tackle Business Online
1. Understand the Industry
Note that fishing is one of the most popular outdoor recreational activities in the united states. According to reports, more than 49 million Americans participated in freshwater, saltwater and fly fishing in 2017. Only running activities had more participants.
Fishing as a hobby is generally more prevalent the older generation, but more than 60 percent of participants were under 45 in 2017.
Meanwhile, the exact number of annual outings among fishing participants can vary in the United States. Statistics also has it that the largest share of fishing participants went on four to eleven trips, but a small percentage went on fishing outings more than 104 times in the year 2017.
Have it in mind that the most commonly used locations for these trips included the shoreline and from boats. But most people, the positive attributes of participating in fishing include the opportunity to enjoy nature and to escape from the usual demands of life.
It’s also important to state that the average annual expenditure per consumer unit on fishing and hunting equipment increased significantly in 2016. The average U.S. consumer unit spend reached 52.43 U.S. dollars.
Note that equipment is not the only thing participants must buy, they must also hold a fishing license in the United States. In 2018, there was just under 30 million paid license holders in the country. The gross cost of these fishing licenses exceeded 720 million U.S. dollars in that year.
Also, increased backing of reputed organizations like American Sport fishing Association and others are making fishing activity more and more popular. That is why in a bid to grow the participation of common people in recreational activities like fishing many different associations are now focusing on various awareness programmes and promotional activities.
A lot of developed economies in the West such as the United Stated, united kingdom are in the process of expanding their platforms of fishing thereby making an upgrade in the access of various water bodies for the purpose of fishing thereby making it a social sport.
That is why, of late fishing has been gaining grounds and it has become important to come up with efficient and effective platforms on these various water bodies. The market for fishing equipment is made up of baits, flies, tools and pliers, lures, hooks, sinkers, tippers and swivels, reels, sinkers, rigs and poles.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
This business is perfect for individuals who love to fish, especially those who love fishing on the ocean, on lakes or on rivers.
It is also ideal for friendly sport-lovers. Owners of fishing tackle businesses are normally people-oriented. If you like the small shop environment, then this business can be for you. Have it in mind that as the owners of a fishing tackle business, you have many responsibilities.
First, you will need to maintain the live bait. To do so, you will need to keep the tanks, aerators, and water supplies clean. You must also keep fishing tackle stocked. It’s also pertinent that your other bait is kept refrigerated. Vending machines need to be restocked, and customers need to be kept happy.
A successful fishing tackle business owner also cleans, works the register, markets, and manages the area. Meanwhile, your ideal customers are fishermen. Instead of targeting a specific type of client, focus on the area.
Start and run your fishing tackle business near a beach, a pier, a lake, or a river. Preferred clients are locals, because they buy bait in bulk. If you have to pay extra money for an extra location, do it. It’s worthwhile to pick a location with return customers.
3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
To successfully start and run this business, you have to first find out the common items that are used as bait in your area, and keep them in stock. Also get other fishing equipment a person may need to replace his or her own if destroyed or damaged.
This includes fishing line, bobbers, hooks and even a new reel in some cases. Contact manufacturers of fishing equipment to buy products directly from them at wholesale price.
Note that a fishing tackle business is a deceptively simple start-up business. On the surface, it would seem like all you need to get up and running is a small store front and a passion for the sport of fishing. But what many fishing tackle entrepreneurs fail to consider is the amount of resources it takes to get even a modest fishing tackle store off the ground.
Today’s fishing enthusiasts demand much more than a garage-based bait shop selling worms in a Styrofoam cup. Convenience, industry expertise and access to cutting edge products are essential elements for highly profitable bait and tackle shops.
But instead of targeting a specific type of client, focus on the area. Start and run your fishing tackle business near a beach, a pier, a lake, or a river.
The Level of Competition in the Industry
Depending on the type of technique of fishing, different types of tools and equipment have been invented. Globally, the market for Fishing is very broad and it is expected to continue with its sound rate of growth in years to come.
Because of the growing demand that is prevailing in the sea food segment, the industry of fishing will most likely experience a jump in years to come. The constantly changing and evolving food habits of people worldwide is in all likelihood expected to ginger the international market for fishing equipment.
Note that the trend of going for non-vegetarian diet and the increasing base of human population are also foreseen to heighten the demand for equipment for fishing in forthcoming years. Coupled with that, conservation of fisheries and fish recreational programs are obtaining worldwide prominence together with increasing spending by anglers worldwide.
Also have it in mind that taxes are also being levied on fishing and fuel of motorboats. Fish come with a lot of medicinal benefits and more and more people are become aware of it, activities related to fishing are thus expected to see a massive growth over the forthcoming years, thereby bolstering demand for fishing equipment.
4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
- Rome Specialty Company
- Arcom International
- Lureflash International Ltd.
- Daiwa Corporation
- Penn Fishing Tackle Manufacturing Company
- Sea Master Enterprise Co. Ltd
Most fishing tackle businesses make money by selling bait alone, and some bait stands, in fact, only have a single tank with live bait. Others, meanwhile, offer lures, hooks, line, and even spare rod pieces. But it all depends on the location; a fishing tackle business can offer different items.
Ocean fishing is different from freshwater fishing, and it needs additional gear. These businesses can also sell food and drinks for money.
Some tackle shops sell beer and liquor, others open a café. While rare, some shops are also seafood restaurants. Really, it depends on the shop’s location. Bait can be charged by the bucket, or it can be charged by individual fish, worm, etc. Tackle is sold on a per item basis.
Normally, fishing tackle shops stay local. It’s rare to see a fishing tackle chain, but they do exist. Large fishing tackle shops may expand, stocking hunting, camping, and survival supplies. Stores like Outdoor World, for example, sell many supplies. For the most part; a fishing tackle business will serve a very specific area.
Fishers search by location, when fishing. For this reason, they’ll buy fishing tackle from whichever shop is closest. There isn’t too much competition with fishing tackle shops, but you should still have a competitive pricing mind set. If your shop is in a popular fishing area, fishers may still turn to other shops if their prices are better.
Have it in mind that in this business you will charge customers between 25 and 95 cents for live bait, per bait. Fishing lures can be priced between 95 cents and $10. As for tackle, prices range from $15 to $80, depending on what you’re selling.
If you’re selling rod necessities, like spinning reels, you can sell products up to $100. Note that your tackle shop will need to source its live bait. You might decide to always catch yours. Expenses include gasoline for water trips and bait nets.
If you want to source your own bait from another provider, expect to pay about $20 per bucket of shiners, snappers, suckers, or fat heads.
Meanwhile, a profitable fishing tackle shop can make about $45,000 per year, if it’s small. Larger franchised fishing tackle shops, meanwhile, can make over $200,000 in profit per year. A lot of your business success depends on its availability—as well as the area’s fishing needs.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
Normally, as adventurous beings, the impulse to build a company from scratch is in our veins. But the harsh reality is that startup fishing tackle businesses are exposed to a high failure rate compared to other business owners who buy existing fishing tackle businesses.
Meanwhile, there are so many factors to be considered when looking to make this decision. Although starting from the scratch can provide you with greater control over the shape and scope of your companies, you lack the advantage of a proven Business model.
Along the same lines, it can take years for a startup company to achieve brand recognition while an existing business may already be a trusted name in your target market.
That is why going the franchise route is always successful because it lets you take advantage of the knowledge that the franchisor has accumulated over the years. But before you jump into the fishing tackle business, it’s advisable you investigate whether buying a franchise could elevate your startup process, because surely it will.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
Managing or starting this business is without doubt a strong and stressful arrangement. Just the thought of it can make it seem like a fun pastime, but have it in mind that owning and operating a fishing tackle shop requires plenty of effort and careful planning.
Note that the success of your Fishing Tackle business depends on creating a positive atmosphere and meeting your customers’ needs. Selling baits and tackles requires complying with regulations, upholding certain standards and performing necessary procedures. Possible challenges may include;
- Viable market
- Experience and knowledge
- Time management
- Sustainable supply chain
- Pricing model
- Cash flow management
- Hiring trustworthy and competent staffs
- Good communication skills and awesome customer service
- writing a business plan
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
There are a lot of factors you should consider strictly when choosing the best legal structure for your Fishing Tackle business. Don’t forget that the type of legal structure you decide on can have an edge on many aspects of your business, including taxes, liability, and your exit strategy.
You have five basic choices to choose from: a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a Limited Liability Company or a corporation–either an S corporation or a C Corporation. When starting your Fishing Tackle business in the United States, a LLC structure is strongly advised because LLCs are simpler and more flexible.
Have it in mind that this legal structure does not need a committee of directors, meeting of shareholders, and other managerial formalities to make a decision on the business. Forming the LLC also gives you the benefit of enticing your employees with a share of the profits, even if those employees didn’t aid in the start up of the business. This business structure also offers tax-treatment flexibility.
Your profits can be taxed as a corporate entity (a C Corporation) or as a “straight” entity (an S corporation), which means you can avoid paying tax on both corporate profits and the owners’ personal income. Most entrepreneurs choose the “straight or rather the pass-through option”.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name
Starting a Fishing Tackle business can be very interesting, but choosing a good name for your business will go a long way in helping to grow your business. Here are some few names you can choose from:
- Apex Fishing Tackle
- Fishing Crackers
- Fishing Shop
- Fish mart
- Fish Ketchup
- Family store
- Mini store Baits
- Happy Fishers
- Greenland equipment Shop
- Healthy baits
- Nocturnal homes
- Clear Fishing Tackle
- Milo’s fish Shop
- Olympic fishing
- Bone zone
- Fish Project
- Ocean World
9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
Note that Fishing Tackle businesses are far more than just retail establishments where people can buy fishing equipment and baits. The business also houses many resources, and this leads to their having more risks and exposures than most stores face.
We all know that these baits and fragile equipment can be unpredictable, which heightens the risk of injuries or liability claims.
Also disruptions in power or disasters such as a fire can threaten the health and lives of the baits in your care. That is why is very important that you protect your business with a suitable Fishing Tackle business insurance policy. Your Fishing Tackle business is open to a lot of risk and the insurance you will need may include:
- General Liability Insurance
- spoilage insurance
- Property Insurance Coverage
- Commercial Auto Insurance
- Crime and fraud insurance
- Flood insurance
- Business income insurance
- Inland Marine Insurance
- Business interruption insurance
- Life insurance
- Employment Practices Liability Insurance
- Employee Dishonesty insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
The growing acceptance of fishing as a recreational activity is drawing more and more people into the industry. This we believe have in turn fueled growth in the business and also has resulted in a huge increase in the number of trademarks being filed by Fishing Tackle businesses to protect their new brands.
We strongly advice that you protect your intellectual properties and make sure that your brand is well represented. You can start by understanding what needs to be protected in your business, and filing an application with the USPTO.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
When planning to start this business, you should consider getting fishing certifications that will tell how good your company is and how experienced you are, or if you are currently majoring in marketing or information systems, you could benefit from earning a few certifications. These certifications include;
- Certified Fisheries Professional (FP-C)
- Associate Fisheries Professional (FP-A)
- Basic Safety Course (MED A1)
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
As a business owner, you have to understand the licenses and permits you will need for your Fishing Tackle business. Getting all the legal documents require time, energy and paperwork. It’s very important to state that doing business without the proper licensing is a criminal offense in some states, while many might hand out hefty fines. Here are some legal documents needed for your Fishing Tackle business;
- Federal tax identification number
- Business plan
- Business license
- Resale certificate
- Nondisclosure agreement
- Business name registration certificate
- Certificate of occupancy
- Insurance certificate
- Alarm system permit
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
The cost of starting a fishing tackle business is relatively low. Normally, it takes $5,000 to start one. This cost covers the rent, the utilities, and insurance. It will also cover the shop’s basic supplies like tanks, aerators, refrigeration, gear, tackle, and vending machines.
But as your shop grows, it’ll need more supplies to keep fishers happy. You’ll need to find potential sources of funding, meet all the requirements, and prepare your applications or pitches to be able to land funding to grow your Fishing Tackle business. Ways to get funding may include:
- Family loans
- Community schemes
- Peer-to-peer loans
- Micro loans
- angel investors
- Asset-based lending
- Cash advances
- Bank overdrafts
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
In the fishing tackle business, location decisions are often important. This is because location decision has a direct effect on an operation’s cost as well as its ability to serve customers (and therefore its revenues). Also, location decisions, once made, are difficult and costly to undo.
The costs of moving an operation is often significant and runs the risk of inconveniencing customers and staff. This is why it is always best to get the location decision right the first time. Things you should consider when choosing a location for your fishing tackle business may include;
- Style of Operation
- Human traffic
- Accessibility and Parking
- Proximity to other businesses and services
- Utilities and other costs.
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
Note that a successful fishing tackle shop will understand it’s business area and what is obtainable. They’ll know which fish can be caught, and also know how to catch them. More importantly: They’ll know how to use their bait. Have it in mind that a good fishing tackle shop will also offer high-quality lures, bait, and tackle.
Fishers lose their tackle and bait a lot, and they’ll pay extra for high-quality products. If your fishing tackle shop is on a pier, near a restaurant, or on the beach, it’ll need to be non-invasive. Serve customers, give information, and let them fish. Meanwhile, you can start and operate a fishing tackle shop alone at first.
But sooner or later, however, you should bring on at least two or three employees. These employees will be required to help with bait refrigeration, cleaning, processing orders, and stocking the shop. If you plan on franchising, you’ll need to have a team of at least five employees.
Also, assuming you already have access to a viable location, you will need at least $5,000 in start up capital to start a fishing tackle shop. But that figure can easily become higher based on the inventory and equipment you stock in your shop.
- Fishing tackle shops use aerators and tanks to stock live minnows and other baitfish. If you buy cheap aeration systems, you run the risk of losing your entire baitfish inventory.
- Gear & tackle. Most fishing tackle shops also sell fishing gear and tackle. Stocking your shelves with quality fishing gear isn’t cheap. Depending on the size of your shop, you could easily incur thousands of dollars worth of expenses to secure a minimal amount of inventory.
- Have it in mind that many types of bait require refrigeration. Fishermen want their baits to be “fresh” — and that could mean you’ll need to purchase multiple refrigeration units to provide quality bait to your customers.
- Bait vending machines. As your fishing tackle shop grows, you may want to consider purchasing bait vending machines. Bait vending units can be placed on site, but a more productive strategy may be to place them at various locations throughout the community to expand your reach and create additional revenue streams.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
Agreeably, this business in a great way differs from other retail businesses, but still has a process involving a number of operational activities. Understanding this basic operational process and workflow can help you to structure operations and lay a concrete foundation of your own business. This process includes:
- Handling inventory
- Customer Service
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
To succeed in this business, you have to be light on your feet to stay ahead of the curve, especially when you’re promoting a fishing tackle business.
Note that the marketing model for a fishing tackle business has historically adapted to changes in consumer buying patterns and the market itself. Indeed marketing increases the brand footprint of a fishing tackle business using a carefully crafted mix of techniques and tactics.
Have it in mind that in today’s competitive environment, it’s very hard to market a fishing tackle business to every possible buyer. Market segmentation has been around for years and it has allowed many smaller companies to dominate parts of the market, even when they face competition from larger firms.
Filtered mailing lists facilitate market segmentation by focusing your resources on customers within your segment. The best list providers are equipped to accommodate various segments contained within your fishing tackle business market agenda.
Note that competitive awareness is the beginning of creativity in marketing. There’s nothing wrong with creativity, but if it precludes your messaging from being represented alongside other fishing tackle businesses, there’s a good chance that you’re missing something.
Although you might be convinced that a new strategy will give your company an edge, it’s reassuring to consult with a professional marketer before you go too far down the road.
Broadcast advertising in recent years have clearly taken some hits. The number of consumers who tune-in to local TV and radio has greatly reduced, and the industry has struggled to regain its footing. But, it would be a mistake to discount broadcast advertising entirely.
A lot of fishing tackle businesses continue to find ways to attract audience to their brand. It’s very important to understand the limits and opportunities available in today’s broadcast advertising industry. One area in which marketers continue to have success is during drive times when a large number of listeners still tune-in to local radio.
Note that when broadcast strategies are applied to fishing tackle businesses, the target audience is almost always local or regional. For broader reach, you’ll likely need to look beyond broadcast venues and explore other online and offline marketing vehicles.
17. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
The earlier you understand that industry competition could greatly affect your growth opportunities and reduce profitability for your Fishing Tackle business the better for your business. It’s your duty and should be your obligation to understand and work to overcome the constant Competition that arises every now and then in your industry if you really want to survive.
Since competition is inevitable, you need to state strategies to win your business competitors. Fortunately, fishing tackle shops frequently promote themselves. Reach out to local restaurants, fishing areas, and near-water locations. A lot of fishers rely on big-name brands to get their tackle, but they’ll turn to local fishing tackle shops for convenience.
Again, a lot of shops thrive from being near the water. As for marketing, make a Facebook page. Put flyers around local businesses, and reach out to local business owners. A lot of your marketing will be word-of-mouth marketing.
18. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
Commercial fishing is a big business, but it might not be big in your area. Instead of expanding your floor space off the bat, look for better locations.
Host special events like contests, and sponsor charitable community works. Place advertisements on radio, television and newspapers before and during major summer holidays when many people enjoy fishing. Create billboards advertising your business and place them near entrances to parks and lakes.
Network with park rangers and game wardens who can refer customers to you when they ask where to go to get more bait or specific supplies and equipment. Consider offering additional supplies and products for camping, swimming and other lake activities since this can bring people who aren’t fishing into your store to spend money.