How to Start a Fishing Tackle Business

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Spending the weekend or a weeklong vacation at a nearby lake is a favorite activity during the summer months and around major holidays such as Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day weekend. While some people relax by swimming or boating, as of 2008 approximately 40 million people spend their time catching fish, according to the American Sportfishing Association. To supply individuals who enjoy fishing with the supplies they need to make a catch, start a fishing tackle business.

Create a business plan. Perform an assessment of the current fishing and tackle businesses in existence in your community. Determine what needs or niche of the market isn’t being served. Establish a plan for how to finance your own fishing tackle business including how you plan to transition from using startup funds to making a profit from your business. Develop goals and a timeline for making your business successful while also deciding how you’ll market and staff your business.

Seek out financing. Review your credit report for inaccuracies before visiting with a loan officer from a bank or credit union to get the funds needed to start your new business. Apply for loans with the bank or credit union as well as the Small Business Administration, which offers guaranteed and low-interest loans specifically designed for new business owners. Take on a partner to finance the startup of your fishing tackle business if a poor credit history prevents you from getting the financing you need on your own.

Obtain licenses and registrations. Apply for an employer identification number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service to register your fishing tackle business with the federal government. Learn what sales tax regulations apply to your business by contacting a representative from the local and state department of revenue. Get a business license from your local city or county government by completing an application and submitting a licensing fee at city hall or the county municipal building. Contact the fish and game department in your state to learn what process you need to complete to be able to sell fishing licenses at your location.

Seek out a facility. Look for commercial properties near lakes and other bodies of water frequented by people who enjoy fishing. Hire a commercial real estate agent to assist you with finding the right facility. Consider purchasing land zoned for commercial use and constructing your own building if you are unable to find a property that suits your needs.

Purchase products and supplies. Learn what common items are used for bait in your area, and keep them in stock for people to buy before or during their fishing trips. Get other fishing equipment a person may need to replace his or her own if destroyed or damaged while reeling in a fish. 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 a wholesale price.

Hire staff. Recruit employees to work in your fishing tackle shop who are knowledgeable about fishing and provide good customer service. Encourage them to make recommendations to clients on specific products and bait to use since this can help increase sales. Seek out an administrative assistant to help you in managing the daily operations of your business including answering the phone and managing the finances and records for your tackle shop.

Promote your business. 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.

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About the Author

Allison Dodge has been a writer since 2005, specializing in education, careers, health and travel. She has worked at educational institutions for more than 10 years. Dodge has a master's degree in education administration.

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