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Re: should I go for it???
What does it take to make a little money with killies?
Well, here's my US$0.02. [Flame shield going up, too! ;-)]
First, it would take incredible husbandry talent, for, on any realistic
commercial scale, a disaster could be ruinous. Rearing techniques that actually
keep whole fins on fish (that are worse than Bettas for savaging each other)
might be a real challenge, for many species (especially at US labor rates). Low
egg-production rates would increase that challenge, for tetra/cichlid style
losses would be quite intolerable.
Second, it would take location. Florida is about the only mainland possibility,
but Puerto Rico or Hawaii would be better. The energy costs of raising
commercial amounts year-round would be prohibitive, any farther north than that.
Customs problems and delays rule out foreign locations, like Texas.
And last, it would take masterful persuasive skills to market the product. That
would include superb communication skills, both orally and written, as well as
some real talent as a photographer/publisher. [The late Herbert Axelrod comes to
mind.] The stores would need a lot of education on how to display and keep them
alive in their environment. Since the average fish store clerk practically
defines the concept of "knuckle dragger," that task alone could represent 80% or
more of the time spent on the activity.
If you feel you have those three bases very well covered, *and* can learn all
the other stuff about running a hatchery business, I say go for it. Just
invoicing, running trial balances, keeping tax records, dealing with regulators,
shipping, customer relations, vendor qualification, collecting overdue
receivables, etc., are enough to discourage me, and I don't have *any* of the
first three covered. ;-) Did I forget to mention lawyers? ...or accountants?
Otherwise, enjoy your fish and friends,
Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679 huntley1 at home dot com
Libertarians prefer to do it free!