My boyfriend and I are getting very serious about starting a bait and tackle shop here in southeastern Nebraska. In our area, there are currently only 2 stand-alone bait shops. The reviews for both of the existing shops are not and have not been positive for quite a while: rude owners/staff, bad bait being sold, over priced products, and the general consensus is that the local anglers are getting tired of the same crappy service from these two businesses. Another complaint that I've seen popping up on Social Media is that the current places are not open at convenient hours for serious anglers. I have done a little research and have a few starting points (write mission statement, business plan, budgets, find a location, decide which inventory to start with and expand from there, equipment requirements, etc). My questions that I have at this time: 1. How long of a time frame are we looking at from starting from scratch to being up and running? 2. What would you recommend as starting inventory? 3. How much cost are we looking at to get entirely up and running? 4. Would you recommend starting out with set hours or seasons to be open, or would you break out of the gate with a full-on 24-hour bait and tackle shop? 5. We fully recognize that fishing licenses and park passes, alcohol, beverages, snacks and ice are also necessities while fishing. Should we plan on starting our business with these things in stock, or grow our business a bit first, then dive into those things?
OK, here is my $.02 worth of advice. So I am average fisherman and I am fed up with the crappy service/product I have been getting and I see this new bait shop is open, so I go in and see what is what. What I would want to present is that I am a bait shop with extras. Inventory is going to be expensive, but I think I would concentrate on what every fisherman needs NOW. I would, at first, be rather seasonal with inventory and with hours of operation. I can see neatly lettered butcher paper signs where the pop and beer coolers will be saying COMING SOON POP AND BEER, and framing where store fixtures with snacks and toiletries will be that have more butcher paper that reads COMING SOON SNACKS AND SUCH. I would have all I could stock with my budget in bait and tackle that is seasonal. I do not know how B&T needs vary in Nebraska, but where I live we have different fish and techniques popular with each season. Be a bait and tackle that has some convenience first, not a convenience store that has some bait and tackle. Oh, and nice hot cup of coffee would be great in the morning (ha ha) I wish you the best of luck in this.
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