making a living...[store owners comments are appriciated]

Discussion in 'Frags' started by HxCxHaley, Aug 18, 2009.

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  1. HxCxHaley

    HxCxHaley Astrea Snail

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Connecticut. where i live doesnt exist on a map...
    okay well
    il be completely honest, im 15
    and i love this whole salt water thing so far
    all of my summer has been full of this stuff
    and everyday i get a ride to a store and check stuff out.
    not always buying
    at the time i have just a measly 40gal breeder tank
    with a shrimp, scopus tang, false percula, snails, and frags of...

    kenya trees/asperagus tip [x2, one is 3-4in tall and the other is 2in tall]
    armor of god/button polyps [2heads as of now, started with one.. long wait..]
    green star polyps[almost doubled in size]
    anthellia/feather star [pink, started with one star, now i have 6 or 7]
    and 2 encrusting leather which have grown but not too much.


    but i have a few questions,
    in the future could i make a living out of this? i know the economy sucks... but still. is it possible these days?!
    im very... ambitious i guess youd say, and if i had the supplies i would have frags and everything and tons of tanks selling them already.

    thoughts? haha im going crazy with this salt water stuff!
    all of my birthday presents are going to be saltwater giftcards, or supplies! haha. whats my problem?! i need a life, or some guidance. hah
     
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  3. zjpeter

    zjpeter Ritteri Anemone

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    609
    Location:
    Iowa
    honestly, breaking even is a miracle in this hobby. i know people who maintain tanks for a living, not sure how much they actually make. really, this hobby is more of a drain on the wallet than anything else.

    advice, go to college and major in biology. go to grad school get masters/phd in marine bio
     
  4. Siddique

    Siddique Dragon Wrasse

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Messages:
    2,163
    Location:
    Trinidad and Tobago
    I've been involved with aquariums for since I can remember. But have came into the salt water world since I was about 16 yrs old, 5yrs ago.
    I recently invested in a bunch of aquariums and equipment in an attempt to start up a business because there are not many people in Trinidad involved in the business but the hobby is rapidly growing.
    So far, I've been spending and pumping a lot of time and money into my business with an okay return so far.
    I haven't begun importing fish and/or coral as yet but I'll get there soon enough.
    I'd say, make your education first priority and then surely open your marine business.
    Location and demographics are the most important factors when starting up your business.
     
  5. Siddique

    Siddique Dragon Wrasse

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Messages:
    2,163
    Location:
    Trinidad and Tobago
    Hey, I agree with this too...
    I'm currently majoring in Business Management but I really want to do marine biology. My cousin is a marine biologist/zoologist. It's a fun and exciting career;)
     
  6. ReefSparky

    ReefSparky Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,675
    Location:
    South Florida
    Very true. If you wanted to get your feet wet, so to speak; consider starting out with your own frag tank, and growing out your inventory. You could then try your hand at a website for much less money than starting a business of brick and mortar. Many coral sellers are internet based.

    If you find success in this aspect, they sky is the limit. Remember though, reefkeepers are an elite group, and do not represent the average joe. Disposable income is less common these days. This is a consideration when embarking upon a business venture that caters to "pleasure spenders."

    There's an old expression, "If I went into the undertaking business, people would stop dying." That somewhat humorously captures the difficulty of starting a new business. However, never let naysayers stop you.

    Good luck! :)
     
  7. ZachB

    ZachB Giant Squid

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    3,111
    Location:
    Earth
    Most are lucky if they break even. Get an education, a day job, and build your tank as you go. Maybe by the time you're out in the workforce you will have enough experience and equipment / livestock built up you'll be able to start selling frags and making extra $$. You will then have enough experience to start commercial sized frag tanks and use the capital gained from your frag sales to buy the equipment. Then you will be able to go large.
     
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  9. Da_Gopherboy

    Da_Gopherboy Fire Shrimp

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Messages:
    311
    Location:
    Morgan Hill, CA
    I personally own a corporation that runs two seperate business endevors, neither of which are involved with the Saltwater Hobby. Now what I can tell you from experience, is that what you need to make versus what people are willing to pay are two very different articles. You'll find yourself working around the clock, chasing your tail trying to get something to work. Unless you have a proven plan of attack and there is a market for it.

    Now in regards to your education, I would go along with the people who said above to pursue that instead. You can ALWAYS use the hobby to suppliment your income. From the people whom I've spoken with that own LFS. Thats how they said they got started, and it just grew into what it was.... when it (not they) was ready.
     
  10. target001

    target001 Skunk Shrimp

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Messages:
    293
    Location:
    South Australia
    the owner of my local lfs makes most of his cash from managing display tanks for large companys, he said that 1 of the tanks he manages gets him around 50k a year, but he has to stock the tank with that money. so the first year u stock the tank with the 50k then u spend minimum on it to keep it running.
     
  11. LoJack

    LoJack Sea Dragon

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Messages:
    535
    Location:
    Thompson, Manitoba, Canada
    I was just talking with a store owner. And he said the most dissappointing part about owning a shop, is that you lose your passion for the hobby.

    Maintaining tanks becomes work instead of pleasure ... and you slowly don'twant tanks at home anymore.

    You work long long hours, and get no holidays ... long weekends and christmas while everyone is on holidays ... you have to work, because its retail, and when everyone is off, is when you need to be open.

    Go to university, Its a lot of work, but nothing will pay dividends like a good education.
     
  12. oceanparadise1

    oceanparadise1 Fire Squid

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Messages:
    2,932
    Location:
    Rochester,NY
    I main tain a small aqua culture at my home. I jsut invested into a nice frag system and sell about 10-15 frags locally a day, i dont plan on shipping or ever becomeing big, but it pays for the hobby np