-Reef Farm Business Planning

We are excited to report on the Mermaids and Manatees school project. They and you will be learning about planning your new reef farm. This is a great family project, and it can be a source of income.

We will combine our students farming project with the Aragonite rock making project. The students will also be starting a small home based retail reef store with an aquarium renting and tank cleaning service. Mikie and the students have plans for a busy summer, and we hope you enjoy our new pages.

coral farm diatom coral farm montipora

3). How much time do I have to give to this project?

Any type of farming takes time if you are going to do a good job. We recommend that most people start this project as a part time venture.

The skills and experience needed to be successful can be learned from the hands on growing and selling of reef animals.

Patience and faith that the reef hobby will grow as we provide more tank raised stock are important. If you are ready to build the venture over a period of several years you will not rush into doing things that overwhelm you or your systems.

4). How do I acquire the skills needed to operate a profitable reef farm?

Read as many books and magazines as you can. Keep an open mind while you do this research.

Remember there are many ways to do this project right. There are only a few basic mistakes. People who write for the hobby tend to try to convince the reader that the way they keep their aquariums is the newest and the only proper way to keep reef aquariums. Often a mixture of these techniques can be used to build a system that is both inexpensive and stable.

Attend your local marine aquarium club and talk to as many successful reef hobbyists as you can. National and Regional reef conferences are a great place to meet other people who have much of the information you can use to build a reef farm.

The Internet is a new and powerful tool to research this subject. People who can answer questions that may come up as you start to grow reef animals have many web sites.

5). How will I market the reef animals that I produce.

Your local market is the best place to start. Many stores will be able to purchase items such as mushroom rocks and other well-grown cuttings. During the winter it is hard to ship reef animals successfully. Winter is often the busiest time for the reef hobby in many parts of the Country. If you can deliver quality reef products without the risk of importing them many dealers will buy or trade you for your stock.
In most businesses when the day is done, you go home and forget it. NOT in livestock farming, and this is what this is, livestock farming. Livestock don't go 'on the shelf' when day is done, they are living creatures that need to be monitored and cared for.

If you do not have a

you will not be able to put in the
hours that you will need to.

This means, often, long hours just in their maintenance. You cannot care for livestock on a standard 40 hour week schedule. If you do not have a PASSION FOR MARINE CREATURES you will not be able to put in the hours that you will need to. If you are spawning marine fish most spawn at night or they hatch at night, when others are home eating dinner you need to be there collecting larvae or eggs. And, the examples go on and on. The first Rule for Successful Marine Enterprises: Have a PASSION for Marines!

A Business Plan is not the simple request to a lender for financing, it is your 'Blueprint' for a Business Success. The Business Plan answers questions for you on the type and direction of your company. It identifies questions that you need to answer for your business to be successful.

The Business Plan provides a basis for you to be able to make the decisions that you need to make in order for your business to be successful.

In a recent column Sally Jo asked the question, " How do you know where you are going, if you don't know where you are at"?

A Business Plan tells you where you are, and where you will be down the road. Anyone who tries to build anything without a plan is walking on very thin ice, and building a business without a plan is almost a guaranteed plan for disaster, the old cliche " failure to plan is planning to fail" is very true in this.