Once you’ve got your own Koi, you’ll be hooked – if you’ll pardon the pun! For many owners, having their own pond filled with these beautiful fish is satisfying enough, but if you become a real enthusiast and have an entrepreneurial spirit, breeding and selling Koi carp can be a very rewarding enterprise. Obviously, the key requirement is knowing enough about the needs of the fish to be able to care for them properly, plus having the facilities to breed and house the fish. But what else do you need to consider if you’re thinking of starting your own business?
In their stripped-down form, all businesses have the same basic requirements. The first is a comprehensive business plan that defines the working model of the business, target market, revenue streams, costs, and income projections. You will find many templates and resources that offer guidance on writing a business plan, or if you find it difficult, speak to a professional and get their expert help to write the plan. You also need to have a marketing strategy in your plan, that shows how you will promote sales and bring in new customers, the specific methods you will use, and how much you plan to invest in marketing activities. When preparing the budget section, be realistic and don’t overestimate your forecasted revenue. Remember, profit is the goal of running a business, and you need to work your figures out accurately to make sure your plan is commercially viable.
An IT system will enable you to make use of online marketing and communications, and you can run your accounting and business management systems far more effectively. You can get sole trader software packages, and use the cloud for all your storage needs, and don’t forget to have robust security measures in place. Recovering lost data can be achieved using specialist security companies, but it’s important to make every effort to avoid data losses as far as possible. You will need adequate facilities for your fish, including established ponds of sufficient depth, breeding pools, holding tanks and isolation facilities. You need a safe place to secure feed and equipment out of the way of vermin, and somewhere to keep your paperwork and undertake your office duties. You’ll need to have all the handling and bagging equipment, medications you might need, and tools for keeping the water clear. Pumps and filters for the ponds and tanks will also need setting up, to keep the water clear and oxygenated.
Your priority must be adhering to the highest standards of welfare for your fish, so first, you need to be confident that you have the required knowledge. Not only to be able to feed them, but to keep the water quality, clarity, and temperature at the required standards, understand stocking densities and be able to spot health problems and treat them. You can expand on your amateur knowledge with expert-led courses that will cover all the topics you need, and read as many authoritative books, magazines, and online resources as you can. Only when you are fully confident in all aspects of fish care should you consider starting your business, but the investment will be well worthwhile if you have a passion for these amazing creatures!