If you are someone like me who loves fishing, running a tackle shop or being a fishing guide are the always on the top of the list of businesses you dream about starting. Be careful what you ask for because sometimes the grass looks greener, but the water bill is a lot higher.
The old saying goes that if you buy a boat you are basically throwing money out the back into the hole in the water. As many a fisherman has found out the same can be said for running a tackle shop. The first thing you will want to do is write a successful business plan. And probably the most important part of that business plan is sizing your local market where your tackle shop will be located, figuring out how many potential customers you could have and then how much each of them may spend. Next comes building your financial plan. This is key because it is where you will be able to model what your margins will be on rods, reels, lures, flies and clothing. From here you will model how many customers you need a month to cover your costs of rent, electricity, marketing, and people to run the place. If you are starting to see where this is going I’m suggesting running a tackle store might not be a glamorous as it first seems and maybe fishing on weekends and sticking to the day job is a better bet for fishing fun.
Then take the fact that you are going to need to have a web presence because online fishing tackle stores have started to put pressure on brick and mortar stores. Online stores do not have retail rent costs and can take advantage of that by discounting the tackle when puts pressure on the brink and mortar tackle stores.
A lot of tackle stores have realized that better margins exist on fishing vacation packages or guided fishing trips. Success in this area usually results in setting up fishing trips for the local area where the tackle shop is located and then offering a few destination fishing trips hosted by the tackle shop owner. Yes, you can get a free fishing trip out of a set up like this, but it’s not really free because of all the logistics you have to coordinate and trust you will always have that one customers where everything is wrong. Dealing with that can be a real downer.
So is running a fishing tackle shop a great business to be in? Build your business plan, run the numbers and decide for yourself. But, be warned, it’s probably not as easy a business as it appears and may not translate into more fishing, actually you could be fishing a lot less.