Assisting in opening up a new Petshop

Discussion in 'General Aquatic Talk' started by HC, May 7, 2014.

  1. HC
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    HC Plant menace

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    Hey fellow green fingers.

    So I have been approached to assist in opening a petshop in the Roodepoort area. I would like you to please post what you feel is essential to have in a LFS and your expectations of visiting a LFS. I think this will also serve as not only to tick the boxes but also keep it true in the development of the store. Starting off with the basic needs and then later developing into something much larger. The sponsor of this store will be supplying the cash and later on I will become a partner in the business as I have some contacts within the distributers.

    Could you assist me in detailing your weekly/bi-weekly purchases at your very own LFS? Not only plant/fish related but also general pet needs?

    What fishes you would be willing to buy if your LFS does stock them?

    I have made contact with a plant supplier that seems capable of bringing in plants every biweekly and a nice bunch of scarce plants every month.

    What is the first thing that makes you want to run out of a store with a flaming temper?

    Some suggestions would also be appreciated that will set this store apart from the rest?

    Cash is tight as this is testing and tuff times, so please keep that in mind. My personal standard for this store is to not completely rip people off and to have a welcoming and trustful relationship with all clients.

    Thanks for reading and for all your opinions.
     
  2. Hanekka
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    Hanekka Moderator Staff Member

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    When 2 goldfish are sold to a customer along with a tiny "goldfish bowl". No heater, no filter, nothing.
    When fish are not labeled and a customer buys a fish (1.5 m adult length) for a 100 L tank.
    When the most beautiful Betta in the entire shop is "fed" to a tank of mollies.

    In my opinion, its fine to have non-aquatic plants (for terrariums) in the shop, just make sure you label them as such.

    What I like to see at an LFS is a wide variety of products from various brands. I truly hate seeing the super cheap Chinese stuff though. (talking specifically about the stuff that breaks before you even open the packaging)

    What I would love to see, is granulated food for tiny fishies (such as CPDs) in large quantities. I hate having to buy two or three pots every time.


    What I would do with a store (if there is the space) is to separate the equipment by category. What I mean is: have the marine stuff together, have the freshwater stuff together, have the planted tank stuff together and then have an area where the generic stuff (like filters and filter media, stuff that can be used either marine or freshwater) goes.

    And lastly, labels! Label the fish, label the plants, label ALL the things! ^_^
     
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  3. Dewald
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    Dewald Valued Contributor

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    Eukanuba dog food.:cool:

    Coral Red Pencilfish (Nannostomus mortenthaleri)
    [​IMG]

    Non-aquatic plants.:angryfire:
     
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  4. Razer2007
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    Razer2007 Valued Contributor

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    Sewellia, Stiphodon, Coral red pencils (as above), cheap cardinals, Ottos.

    Shitty ornaments like plastic logs, boats, whatever, and plastic plants. Dead guppies, dying plants, display tanks with all these in, and colored gravel. Ugly but very expensive rocks, Bad quality fish food, potentially big fish like pangasius.



    AND, very important - staff must write a test/exam to be able to work there. Staff must be knowledgeable and be able to HELP even us that know a bit. I know it's hard but it's necessary.

    + available prices for all the fish and plants and they must be labelled correctly and detailed.

    Another nice thing would be to have a book/catalogue with very detailed and complete information on most fish and plant species, available to browse through in the shop.

    A price list for standard tank sizes.
     
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  5. GDT78
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    GDT78 Plant menace

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    A lot of petshops sell there pangasius when they still small. :read2: Some pangasius's gets bought when it is not much bigger than a molly.

    and then they grow and grow and grow...
     
  6. Razer2007
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    Razer2007 Valued Contributor

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    Yeah that's why I said it. It's a horrible fish anyways.
     
  7. GDT78
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    GDT78 Plant menace

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    I know about a pangasius that outgrew a 1.5meter tank. :icon_pirat:
     
  8. Razer2007
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    Razer2007 Valued Contributor

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    Know what I also like to see?
    More livestock and plant tanks that equipment shelves.

    Forgot to mention Otocinclus cocama
     
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  9. Hanekka
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    Hanekka Moderator Staff Member

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    +1 On that pencil! And such a pwetty Oto.

    Maybe we should think of a good labeling system for the fish? i.e. what info is absolutely necessary and what is just nice to know.

    I actually had a dream the other day that I opened an LFS. It was in the PnP Hypermarket. AKA. instead of a PnP, if was an LFS. That was a sweet dream. Aquatic stuff fo' days!

    What size shop are you helping to open, @HC?
     
  10. wolf
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    wolf Valued Contributor

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    tanks with filters not that crap bubble sponge filters
    one small filter cant cope with 50 fish in those small tanks
    and like to see on the walls what fish can go with what fish and what they need pH temp
    and how to acclimatize fish properly the drip way drip by drip not flout bag on top that is just stupid
     
  11. wearsbunnyslippers
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    wearsbunnyslippers Administrator Staff Member

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    no dyed fish..
     
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  12. GDT78
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    GDT78 Plant menace

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    Also pls tell the shop assistants not to tap on the tanks when you show them which fish you want.
     
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  13. green guppy
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    green guppy Algae harvester

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    Shop assistants should also have some basic training in catching fish. Some idiots think that outright speed and violence will work without hurting fish.
     
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  14. HennieRoux
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    HennieRoux Plant menace

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    How to do water changes, like don't take everything out and clean it.

    Then a variety of lights for tropical and what spectrums to use.
     
  15. saaquascaping
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    saaquascaping Green fingers

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    1. Quality and variety of stock, good service, knowlegable assistants, competitive prices
    2. Good variety of plants and healthy fish
    3. No gold fish unless you building a pond
     
  16. saaquascaping
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    saaquascaping Green fingers

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    And posters to teach customers about the bluddy nitrogen cycle and water changes
     
  17. saaquascaping
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    saaquascaping Green fingers

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    and a beautiful show tank to inspire new hobbyists to ignore the goldfish stage and the fake plant stage...and to start with the planted tank stage
     
  18. f-fish+plants
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    f-fish+plants Aquascaper

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    - now that has never been a reason to give equity away in a business. Make sure you get the details of the partnership inked and contractually agreed to on paper before you open your roller-deck and start inviting distributors to sell you stuff. Once they are supplying, your value could become underwhelming.

    Just being another pet shop on the corner might also not cut it, you need to have a true differentiator. Opening a store today - those staples that worked for the LFS / PFS might not be around much longer - have a look at all the online shops and those that are not pet shops but that sell pet supplies ( thinking of MIH's investments in kalahari.com - yes I can get that staple from them mostly at a fraction of the cost of a "specialist shop like an LFS" - heck take the example of sacamera.co.za - was an awesome shop now no more ... )
    upload_2014-5-7_22-21-1.png

    So nothing is safe in the in-store space or on the web ... you need a unique offering. What makes LFS's survive in SA, I wonder if it is not that some also try and become the distributor of some product, something that they can make that extra margin on or get the double dip profit compared to just using in-country distributors and products that already exist. That said if you can turn > 80k of live-stock on a weekend(fresh and salt) make 50K profit on that and anything from 60-200% markup on anything else you sell you could have a viable business.

    Location location location ....

    Later Ferdie
     
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  19. Luis Embalo
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    Luis Embalo Valued Contributor

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    If I had to open a pet shop I would just do fresh water, paludariums and emersed tanks.

    It is hard enough to find staff for freshwater, imagine salt water? Would keep salt water supplies, but maybe only a tank or two to learn the ropes, but that would be it..

    In fresh water I would try to have two large tanks for plants, growing them emersed. One tank easy plants, the other high tech, so easy for customers to see the difference.

    Would have only bread and butter fish, such as mollies, platies, sword fish and the smaller tetras. No plecos, unless ancistrus, no large ciclids, a few angel fish, and a large tank of malawis, and one of tanganikas..

    Two display tanks, one low tech and one high tech.

    Plenty hardscape, filters, filter media and ferts. Ferts would sell EI and the tropica/seachem/elos, etc..
     
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  20. biotopical
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    biotopical Green fingers

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    how large is to large?
    stocking of the more exotic fish or at least the option of ordering.
     

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