Wondering how to start a game birds and venison business? We take you step-by-step from start to success.
Opportunities in the Game Birds & Venison Industry
Most people don't associate game birds, venison and other exotic meats with entrepreneurial opportunity. But individuals who know their way around a meat locker know that the game birds and venison industry has the potential to be a launching point for an extremely profitable business venture.
The popularity of the food-based entertainment industry (television, books, etc.) is driving an upsurge in gourmet dining among U.S. consumers. Even though few diners have the resources to regularly participate in "foodie" travel opportunities, the idea of an unusual dining experience, either at home or at a restaurant, has widespread appeal.
Entrepreneurial opportunities in the game birds and venison exist at various levels. While some startup entrepreneurs launch game farms that raise Venison, antelope, American elk, boar and game birds, others specialize in distributing products to food retailers and restaurants throughout the nation. Aggressive entrepreneurs may even consider capturing a larger slice of industry profits by leveraging a business model that combines the farm and distribution functions in a single entity.
Requirements for Venison, Game Bird & Exotic Meat Providers
It is completely legal to raise deer, game birds and other non-domesticated animals for meat. However, the industry is highly regulated and requires startup business owners to incorporate compliance activities into their business plans.
- Farming Restrictions. The USDA clearly defines the types of meat that can (and can't) be raised and/or sold in the venison and game bird industry. Animals that are legally hunted according to federal and state game laws cannot be sold and must be harvested for personal consumption. Animals raised domestically, on the other hand, can be sold -- provided they have been raised in compliance with USDA regulations.
- Inspections. Internal quality assurance should be a part of every game bird and venison operation. But you also need to be prepared for periodic inspections from the USDA Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS), the agency that has inspection authority over domestic food products. Imported game does not fall under FSIS authority but instead, is covered by FDA inspection protocols.
- Food Safety. As you might imagine, food safety is a first-level priority in a venison and game bird business. From the beginning, you will need to raise enough startup capital to purchase commercial grade refrigeration and freezer units, commercial packaging equipment and other resources to ensure the safety of your products.
Creating Business Plans for a Game Birds & Venison Business
A carefully crafted business is your game birds and venison business's most important asset. With the right ingredients, your game birds and venison company's business plan will serve as a blueprint for success.
Although many entrepreneurs write their own business plans, others outsource business plan creation to a professional business plan writer.
Time and time again, the best entrepreneurs we see rely on professionally crafted plans to guide their decision making. But no matter how skilled they are, business plan writers can't be effective without the direct input of the business owner.
So even though a business plan writer might be the right move for your game birds and venison business, you can't completely outsource business planning. Instead, you'll need to remain proactively involved throughout the writing process.
Investigate the Competition
Prior to opening a game birds and venison business in your town, it's essential to find out how you will fit in the competitive landscape. We've provided the link below to help you generate a list of competitors near you. After clicking on the link, type in your city, state and zip code to get a list of game birds and venison businesses near you.
If there's too much competition, it may be wise to consider starting the business in a less competitive marketplace.
Finding a Non-Competitive Business Mentor
Once you've finished assessing the competion, it's a smart move to talk to somebody who is already in the business. If you think owners of nearby game birds and venison businesses will give you advice, think again. It'd be crazy for them to teach you the business.
Fortunately, somebody who runs a game birds and venison business in a location that is not competitive to you may be willing to share their entrepreneurial wisdom with you, given that you don't compete with them in their area. In fact, they are often very willing to share startup advice with you. It can take a while to find an entrepreneur who is willing to talk, but it's well worth the effort.
How do you find an owner of a game birds and venison business in another city who you can speak with?
We can help. Follow the link below, try a few city/state combos or zipcodes, and then start calling!
Is It Easier to Buy an Existing Game Birds & Venison Business?
Tough decisions are what business ownership is all about. And one of the first decisions you'll have to make is whether to start a business from scratch or buy an existing game birds and venison business.
In general, purchased game birds and venison businesses fare better than startups, at least during the initial few years. When you buy an established game birds and venison business, you gain access to a functional business operation with a customer base and a steady revenue stream.
If you can't find a suitable game birds and venison business-for-sale, you'll need to start a new business. However, in today's business-for-sale marketplace, there is an abundance of game birds and venison businesses worth considering.
Don't Rule Out Franchising
Your odds of achieving your top business goals increase when you choose to franchise in lieu of doing everything yourself.
If you planning on starting a game birds and venison business, you should check out whether there are good franchise opportunities available that might be the right move for you.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you currently own a game birds and venison business, these resources will come in handy:
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