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Starting My Own Tackle Business..


WhiteMike1018

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OK everyone I have some serious questions and feedback is greatly appreciated.

Im thinking of starting my own tackle business that would sell Spinnerbaits, Buzzbaits, Soft Plastics, and maybe some Jigs.

I might be applying for a small loan to get started financially and need some serious suggestions.

How much do you think i will need to start with money wise?. This includes everyhting needed to make spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, jigs and molds.

Have any of you ever tried this also?

And finally..Are there any online turotials that show how to make spinnerbaits and buzzers and jigs? Maybe like a step by step illustrated walk through.

I am totally new to this and never even tried swapping a blade off of a spinnerbait, so just imagine what i need to learn here.

Any infoormation or suggestions greatly appreciated.

Thanks again -WM  ;)

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By no means am I trying to discourage you but I realy think you need to learn how to make the baits before you get a loan. I had been pouring for probably 10 years before I started my buisiness. The good news is that the baits you want to sell are very easy to make. The bad news is It will be dificult to break into a market that is grossly flooded. There are tackle making sites on the web that have tutorials that will speed up the learning curve. Just google tackle making.

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I agree with Matt, I have been making a lure for the past 15 months. I have been told by everybody that uses it that I have a great product. I still haven't paid for my supplies and I have sold over 1000 of them. I am glad I'm not paying interest on it.

It is very hard to get a product out. The baits your talking about,t everybody is making and I would think harder to get folks to swap over to use your lure.

But good luck with it I just would be really worried about getting a loan for it, Unless you use your mother-in-law as collateral.

Fedxpress

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  • Super User

I think you should really listen to what these guys are trying to tell you. Your business plan needs more thought. Start slow , make a few baits , pass them around to your friends , get their opinions and go from there.

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Sorry to discourage you to but I agree with all of the above. Get to know how to make your baits first and make your own twist on them that makes them different from other baits and a little proof that they catch fish never hurts either. I've been making baits for 3 years now and I don't feel that I am anywhere near starting a business. Yeah I sell alot of baits to my friends and other Bassresource members, heck I've even made my own website, but I'm not ready to go to the big show yet.

Harshman

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The first thing is were are you going to sell your tackle if it's to retailers who is going to make the sales call.

You can have the greatest baits with the best packaging and nobody will call.

How many wholes sale shows are you going to count on $5000/show cost.

It's a tuff biz do lots of thinking.

Garnet

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I've been thinking of doing the same thing.  But like everyone else said learn before you sell.  The worst thing to happen is get bad publicity.  I would just start small and aquire one part of it like jigs, the later add spinnerbaits, etc.  I wouldnt get myself into dept for this type of business venture.

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A little story that may give you some insight.........

About 5 years ago my tournament partner had the same idea. He recruited a guy he worked with to go into business with him. The idea originally was to have an online business but this other guy talked him into a small shop and online business. They had a small shop which guy 2 already owned so rent was not an issue.

They got a loan, bought a bunch of tackle, paid to have a website designed, and opened up.

It didn't last 2 years. Year one they were way in the hole and just couldn't climb out. They found there was just too many other established and cheaper business (Like Bass Pro Shops) and they just couldn't compete.

I tried to tell my friend that and I tried to talk him out of it before he jumped in.

When they closed up they had about $9000 in unsold tackle and debt to prove it. Over the years they have sold some of the stuff but the they are still paying off the loan 5 years later and the business has been closed for over 3 years. Boxes of unsold tackle still sits in my friends garage.

If you really want to have your own business and it's your dream, follow your heart if you must but carefully weigh the decision first before you jump in.

Hope this helps and good luck with your decision.

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Wow thats insane. Very upsetting too. Yeh ill definately give it some thought, but there are a lot of events around here etc where i would beable to promote my product etc. But competing with bass pro and cabelas would be almost impossible its true. So i guess ill just learn how to make the stuff first and than think about it later down the road.

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Yeah I agree with the above statements too, WhiteMike.  However you can still accomplish some goals, just take baby steps.  Here are a few suggestions.

-Buy some lure making materials using out of pocket expenses.  A spinnerbait mold, materials, etc. and get good at cranking them out and painting them.

-Start a website (you can do this yourself for like $10 a year) with your products and maybe have a fishing report/weather local to your area.

-Go to your local events you mentioned with some stickers and promote your website.  Some sample baits may be a good Idea as well.  Have a couple t-shirts made up and wear them around, you never know who will see the web address and look it up.

This way you will still have a "business", maybe not as upscale as you'de like, but you gotta start somewhere.  Also this can be achieved with very little $ and

risk.

Good Luck - Ben

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Start making your product and selling them, When you get  to the point you can't meet the demand, then maybe hire some help and get a loan etc.

But see if you can do it your self first. Buy small amounts and when you sell them use the profit to buy more parts.

Good luck

Fedxpress

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  • 2 weeks later...
As in any business...it takes time and money . . . and then more money. But if it is going to be your full time effort you better have the financial backing to keep you up and running for a while. This includes the additional $$ to pay ALL your monthly debts... There is a great business program out there that is called S.C.O.R.E. I used this to start a business 20 years ago and it was a wealth of information from previous business owners from the area I lived in.. SCORE, I believe stands for Service Corps of Retired Executives.

Here is a link: http://www.score.org

Hope this helps.

Great advice, thanks for sharing  ;)

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You should work on trying to develop something unique to the market like Ike did with his Stone jig, Matt did with his beautiful swimbait lineup, Bill Lewis with the rat-l-trap, or like Yamamoto did with his senko.  Research would be fun (you get to fish with stuff you built).  It might only take you a day to come up with an idea to refine or improve current baits and a few weeks to put all the pieces together, but that new idea might be the next Jelly Worm.  You never know.  Just don't make the next waking worm/kicktail lure ok ;)

Things you could consider to improve on and test are:

Jig head styles and weights

Soft plastic densities and flavors/scents

Spinnerbait head styles and blade shapes

Skirt colors for jigs and spinnerbaits

In-line buzzbait designs (I LOVE THESE BAITS)

Something else to consider is your soft plastic lineup.  Everyone and their mother sells the same thing.  I'd go with the following lineup:

Finesse worm

Drop shot worm

Senko worm

Horny toad

Spider Grub

Fat Ika

U-tail worm

Auger tail worm

beaver

brush hog

baby brush hog

Chunk jig trailer

Action jig trailer

Baby Craw

Craw

3", 5", and 7" Sassy Shad type swimbait

All that stuff will take $$ to buy, but would make a heck of a lineup.  Jumping in headfirst would be a mistake and a waste of a loan.  Get your molds one by one and start developing your soft plastic formula (what works for you or test different densities in different types of water).  

With your jigs, research your jighead styles for the types of jigs you want to make and market.  If you would like, I can help you with this.  Testing each style of jighead in each type of environment is somewhat of a hobby of mine.  

Spinnerbaits and buzzbaits will take a little bit of tweaking, but finding the right blades (or creating your own) is essential.  Oversized blades will be detrimental to the fishability of the spinnerbaits.  Undersized ones will just plain suck.  You'll have to find the right blend.

I'll help you in any way that I can when I get back from Iraq.  I'm not even sure if I will have the internet when I go back in a few weeks due to us relocating.  But when I get back, I'll be willing to test product, offer opinions, and help with research and development.  LOL sounds like I'm asking you to sponsor me.   ;D  Haven't even opened the business yet and you're already getting pro-staff offers.  What is this industry coming to??? ;D

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Advertisement is the most important thing in business. I sold lures in the '80s thru the early 2000s to pay for my tournament/fishing addiction. I had a very good friend, Billy Westmoreland, who endorsed my baits and advertised them on his TV show. Billy was, IMHO & many others. the best Smallmouth fisherman of all times. I also had a bait, Marabou Spinn that made the Bassmaster magazine(Feb 2000). I sold a ton of baits with this national exposure. I was lucky enough to get this advertisement for only the cost of a few baits. Send samples of your baits to every Pro and TV fishing host you know and if they fish it and happen to show it nationaly you will more than make back the money you spent on the lures you gave away.

Kelley

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I teach entrepreneurship. Regardless of the type of business you are interested in starting, you need a business plan first. This will tell you whether the business is finacially feasible and has any chance of success. In order to be sucessful in small business you need to find a niche in the market. This means doing things such as selling cheaper, being unique, or producing higher quality product. The lure business can be especially difficult because of the large corporations such as Wal-Mart, Bass Pro, Cabelas & a few others. You will never compete with them on price, and they generally sell quality lures. So, if I were you I would focus on have something unique, excellent customer service, an excellent location, or something else along those lines. Regardless of what you decide, you definitely need a business plan.

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I would just like to say thanks to everone who responded to my post.

I really appreciate all this info and insight, I couldnt have got it better anywhere else.

Amazing how much help you can get just from a few clicks and words away...right in front of me over the coomputer.  ;D

-White Mike

I teach entrepreneurship.  Regardless of the type of business you are interested in starting, you need a business plan first.  This will tell you whether the business is finacially feasible and has any chance of success.  In order to be sucessful in small business you need to find a niche in the market.  This means doing things such as selling cheaper, being unique, or producing higher quality product.  The lure business can be especially difficult because of the large corporations such as Wal-Mart, Bass Pro, Cabelas & a few others.  You will never compete with them on price, and they generally sell quality lures.  So, if I were you I would focus on have something unique, excellent customer service, an excellent location, or something else along those lines.  Regardless of what you decide, you definitely need a business plan.

What are the steps to developing this plan JerkBate?

I have a marketing book that I own from a orevious class..I think i actually might sit down and read the textbook, all the work we did in class didnt really focus too much on the textbook, but the information the professor had to offer...I know that book is loaded with information that could help me out.  ;)

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What are the steps to developing this plan JerkBate?

You need an executive summary, company summary, market analysis summary, strategy and implementation summary, management summary, and financial plan.

There are a lot of great references online in addition to the SCORE site. I think SBA.gov has sample business plans online and a lot of start up info. Don't forget about your 2 new business partners(state and fed take their share).

First thing a business plan is good for is feasability. If it doesn't work on paper it doesn't work. Also, if you are gonna try to get money from a bank, you are going to need a business plan. Lastly it's good to keep a business plan while your running your business to keep track of your progress. You can't achieve goals without taking the next step. How do you know what the next step is when you don't know what step you're on? See?

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Yeh lol I get it..Ill definately look into all that though

-WM

It may seem overwhelming, but it's not as much as you think. I'm not trying to discourage you, I'm trying to encourage you to set yourself up to succeed. While you are looking into a business model that will work, start making some baits for yourself and friends. Be as original as you can. It could be an innovative product or the same stuff with an incredible marketing plan or image. You never know whats gonna catch on. As long as you are not selling junk, you can succeed(some people are even successful selling junk!). Good luck.

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White Mike sorry I haven't replied. I've been away from the computer. Fishin Phil gave you some good advice. SBA is a good site with a lot of information. Startupnation.com is another very good small business site. They put keep things simple & easy to understand.

When you start to prepare your business plan, I recommend that you interview owners of similar businesses that are already successful. Be professional about everything. Call, explain your situation, & setup a meeting to discuss their business model, finances, and other information you feel relevant. Some business owners won't give you the time of day, but others will be more than glad to help you. The startup will not be easy & will take a lot of work. However, with the proper planning and effort you can make it successful. Good luck & keep us informed about what happens.

If you have specific questions about anything shoot me an e-mail at cbaker@holmescc.edu, & I'll help you as much as possible.  I must warn you that I will be VERY honest about everything.  If it's wrong or will not work, I'll tell you.

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when i first started pouring plastics i got the idea to maybe try to sell some of the baits i was making.  i was pleased with the quality and had a few baits that were original and worked.  after crunching the numbers though i decided that there was just not that much money in it the way i wanted to do it.  some folks seem to do well at it but they seem to be very much the exception.

if i were going to go into the tackle business i would consider swimbaits to be the best route.  they are gaining popularity every year and you can sell them for enough that you can actually make money at it.  the first step however is coming up with a great product.  original is great but even more importantly is high quality.  it sounds like you have not made tackle before, so i would start with that before even considering borrowing money and doing anything else.

matt

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  • 14 years later...

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