There are plenty of avid fishermen who have turned their love of the sport into a profitable business. One way to do this is to start a fishing tackle business. Tackle businesses like tying flies or making lures can be the perfect home-based business for a fishing enthusiast who enjoys working with their hands.
Fishing enthusiasts who are already making their own tackle may find it an easy transition from hobby to home-based business. However, there are also successful fly tying businesses run by people who do not fly fish. An eye for detail and liking to work with your hands are the essential ingredients in starting a successful, home-based fishing tackle business.
Small, home-based fishing tackle makers typically specialize in either making lures or tying flies. Specializing in one type of tackle may reflect the interests of the tackle maker or it may reflect a marketing decision to focus on a particular niche. There is no reason you cannot make both types of tackle if you choose to though.
Before starting a fishing tackle business you will need to decide what tackle you plan to make, how you will sell your tackle, and whether you want to be a wholesaler or retailer. For example, tying flies will require different tools and supplies than making lures. Likewise, selling tackle primarily from a home-based shop will require a different marketing approach than selling tackle primarily online. Developing a business plan that addresses these questions before you start your business can save money and headaches down the road.
Decide on your specialty or niche before promoting your business. For example, perhaps your products are of a better quality than the competition, you have unique and proven designs that no one else makes, or you may have the largest selection of tackle for a niche fishing market. Promote your niche or specialty in your advertising and in every communication with a potential customer since this is what sets you apart from every other tackle company.
Setting up a business website for your fishing tackle business allows you to reach a much larger market than you could reach otherwise. Whether you sell tackle through the website or use the website to attract customers to your shop, a website is one of the most inexpensive, yet cost effective, marketing tools available.
Trade shows are an excellent way to promote your fishing tackle and to sell directly to customers at the same time. Setting up a booth at a fishing show or outdoor sports show will cost some money; however, people at fishing shows are interested in fishing and are willing to spend money on fishing. This approach will put you in contact with hundreds or thousands of interested customers. Set up displays to show off your tackle, bring plenty of business cards and brochures, and be prepared to explain what makes your products unique or different from the competition.
Advertising in trade publications is another option for reaching people interested in fishing. People who subscribe to fishing magazines probably also spend money on fishing tackle. National fishing publications will be expensive for advertising space, but local or regional publications will likely be much more affordable. Discounts are usually offered to advertisers who commit to a long-term advertising agreement.
Participating in online forums that cater to your niche or specialty is a great way to build relationships with customers. Never “spam” the forum with unsolicited advertising. However, regular involvement in forums will naturally lead to some opportunities to talk about your business and the tackle that you offer. This can result in new customers.
Finally, don’t forget to go fishing! Fishing at your favorite lake or stream will provide natural opportunities to talk to other fishing enthusiasts while you try out your own tackle. Additional marketing ideas to use while you are fishing include having a sign on your vehicle, wearing a hat or shirt with your business name and logo, and occasionally giving out sample tackle along with a business card and brochure.
The wholesale fishing tackle business may be difficult to compete in for the home-based entrepreneur. Most home-based businesses seem to focus on direct sales to customers rather than selling to wholesalers.
Consider purchasing business insurance for your fishing tackle business, particularly if you will operate a retail shop at home. Business insurance can help to protect you if someone is injured while at your home-based tackle shop.
Use caution when shipping orders out of the country if you are selling online. Fraudulent orders are not uncommon when selling online – particularly those originating in other countries. Many sellers are able to navigate this situation, but many more have been the victims of fraud.
Starting a home-based fishing tackle business can be the ideal home-based business opportunity for fishing enthusiasts. Entrepreneurs who enjoy working with their hands and are able to be attentive to detail may enjoy this business. Fly tying and lure making can be a fun and profitable business that can be operated completely from home.
Ray Sasser. Teen’s fly-tying business is a also a pleasure: Plano boy supports his love of fishing with sales on flies. The Dallas Morning News. Site accessed on 23 November 2010.
Mike Hogue. About Mike Hogue and How I Started Badger Creek Fly Tying. Eflytyer.com. Site accessed on 23 November 2010.
The Lure of the Living – Starting a Fishing Tackle Business. TackleMaking Magazine. Site accessed on 23 November 2010.