Starting a Business

How to Start an Aquarium Business

Opening an aquarium business is a rewarding experience as long as you separate yourself from the competition. This article contains nuts-and-bolts information to develop the business successfully.

Here is some useful advice on how to open an aquarium business.

Aquarium Business

The Home & Office Aquarium Industry

Aquariums continue to be a big hit with homeowners and office managers. Situated at the nexus of the décor and fish-lover market segments, aquariums present an exceptionally broad range of possibilities for any home or work environment.

Subsequently, there is a broad range of business possibilities for entrepreneurs in the aquarium industry. In many instances, home and business aquarium customers expect their aquarium provider to be more than a simple retail equipment and supply provider.

To succeed in the aquarium business, you'll need to establish your expertise in aquarium design and demonstrate an ability to troubleshoot any problems your customers experience with their fish, tanks or aeration systems.

Custom Aquarium Startups

Custom aquariums are a popular niche within the aquarium industry. On a profitability scale, custom aquarium design and installation sits at the high end of the marketplace, commanding prices that routinely deliver profits of several thousand dollars.

The rub is that launching or transitioning into a custom aquarium business requires several unique skill sets. Custom aquarium design and installation demands architectural skills as well as a thorough knowledge of aquarium mechanics. The top custom aquarium companies regularly construct architectural pieces that are literally works of art.

If you're new to the custom aquarium field, you'll need to aggressively build a portfolio and develop first-rate customer development strategies that leverage your abilities and your unique product characteristics.

Aquarium Equipment and Supply Dealers

Equipment and supply dealers constitute the bulk of the aquarium marketplace. Using sound retail business strategies and online marketing techniques, the right entrepreneur can quickly generate a following with local aquarium enthusiasts.

The key to a successful aquarium equipment and supply dealership is customer service. During the startup phase, take time to mystery shop the other aquarium suppliers in your area, taking note of gaps in their service models.

From there, you'll want to target your market's service gaps as cornerstones of your business model. By providing aquarium customers with services (e.g. home consultations, installations, etc.) that aren't currently available, you incentivize them to transfer their loyalty to your startup.

Successful Business Plans for Aquarium Businesses

If you've done your homework, you already know that writing a business plan is the most critical thing you can do for your company.

Although it might seem like an unnecessary formality, your aquarium company's business plan is a document that will shape your goals and strategies on a go-forward basis.

Furthermore, a good business plan will help you avoid key startup mistakes. Lacking a solid business plan, many startups find themselves rudderless and incapable of executing consistent decision making processes, while committed business planners rely on their plans to guide all of their decision making and short-term planning efforts.

Look Over the Competition

Well in advance of opening an aquarium business in your area, it's a smart move to determine what the competition looks like. We've provided the link below to help you find competitors in your area. Just enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of aquarium businesses in your community.

How tough is the competition in the market you are considering? If the competition is too tough, you may need to think about starting the business in a different area or even start a completely different business instead.

Studying the Market

If you are seriously contemplating launching an aquarium business, be sure to speak with somebody who is already in the business. If you think your local competitors will give you advice, you're being overoptimistic. The last thing they want to do is help you to be a better competitor.

However, a fellow entrepreneur who has started an aquarium business outside of your community may be willing to share their entrepreneurial wisdom with you, after they realize you reside far away from them and won't be stealing their local customers. Many business owners are happy to give advice to new entrepreneurs If you are persistent, you can find a business mentor who is willing to help you out.

Where would you find an entrepreneur who is running an aquarium business in another city who you can speak with?

Simple. Let your fingers do the walking by using the link below.

Acquisitions vs. Startups

Unfortunately, many inexperienced aquarium business entrepreneurs approach ownership with the mistaken idea that a startup is their only option when they could also pursue a business acquisition.

Except for scenarios that require extreme innovation or highly unique value propositions, it's usually less risky to buy an existing aquarium business.

Established aquarium businesses are already equipped with the resources and processes new business owners struggle to acquire. In a best case scenario, you'll be able to locate a turnkey operation with proven profitability and a well oiled business model.

Consider Franchising

Your chances of achieving the entrepreneurial goal of doing well with your venture immediately improve when you choose to franchise rather than going it alone.

Prior to making the decision to open an aquarium business, it's worthwhile to assess whether purchasing a franchise might make sense 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.

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These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.

Consideration Before Buying a Franchise

How to Find Angel Investors

Business Idea Evaluation

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Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs

Lists of Venture Capital and Private Equity Firms

Franchise Opportunities


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