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Keeping Fish Happy: How to Start an Aquarium Maintenance Business

Were you the kid who watched your pet fish swim for hours on end? Do you enjoy cleaning and maintaining aquariums? Then a career in aquarium maintenance may be just the job for you. 

Starting a business can be a challenge. It can also be anxiety-provoking to think about all the responsibilities you’ll need to take on. But, starting a business also comes with an abundance of rewards. 

To start, you may be able to quit your 9 to 5 job. You’ll also have the freedom to set your own schedule and be your own boss. Plus, you’ll be doing exactly what you love which can give you an improved sense of motivation. 

Aquarium maintenance is a versatile field. You can work with a variety of differences species in both saltwater and freshwater tanks. You can also consider selling additional products or aquarium species to clients. 

But, aquarium maintenance isn’t just about working with fish and other aquarium animals. It’s also about pleasing the client.

If you’re interested in starting an aquarium maintenance business, then you’ll need to know how to get started. You’ll also need to conduct research about business practices and regulations in your area. 

Read on to discover how to start an aquarium maintenance business. 

How to Start an Aquarium Maintenance Business for Beginners

If you’ve never started a business before, then you may feel like it’s too overwhelming to try. But, many people have ventured into the realm of entrepreneurship and found great success. 

But make no mistake, starting a business does require a lot of effort and dedication. It will also require a lot of planning. 

If you currently have a 9 to 5 job, then don’t quit right away. It’s best to start your aquarium maintenance business as a side gig, build clientele, and then resign once you feel financially secure. Prematurely quitting your 9 to 5 could also cause additional stress when building your business from the ground up. 

So, what do you need to know before starting an aquarium maintenance business? 

Explore the following tips for starting an aquarium maintenance business to aid in your success. 

1. Gain Experience

To start, consider working with an experienced aquarium maintenance business owner. Volunteer, shadow, or work as an apprentice to gain experience. By gaining experience, you will also build up your business resume which future clients will value. 

While working to gain experience, make sure to ask a lot of questions. If you already are proficient in aquarium maintenance, then ask your boss/mentor about the business side of the industry. You can also ask them to look over your business plan to determine its viability. 

Once you understand the intricacies of the aquarium maintenance industry, then consider starting your own side business. Keep in mind that a side business still needs to operate in a legal and professional manner. 

2. Work with a Pet Store

To avoid the added expense of rent, consider working with a pet or aquarium store. Working with a pet store can also help you to find clients. The pet store will likely allow you to advertise from their store as well. 

Consider creating business cards, flyers, and other marketing materials to spread the word about your aquarium maintenance business. 

3. Select a Business Structure

Selecting a business structure is sometimes the most difficult task for entrepreneurs. It can be intimidating to determine which will work best for you. When in doubt, consider talking to a lawyer who is experienced in business law. 

One business structure to consider is a Limited Liability Company. An LLC business structure can protect your personal assets in case a legal issue arises.

4. Insurance and Other Protections

Clients want to know that they can trust the individuals coming into their business or homes. To gain their trust, it’s important to be bonded, licensed, and insured. These factors not only protect you but also the homeowner or business owner in the event that a dispute arises. 

Speak with a lawyer or insurance agent to learn exactly which protections you’ll need for your aquarium maintenance business. 

5. Create a Website

Many business owners don’t create a website because they don’t have the technical skills to do so. But, having a website can help you to find new clients and expand your business. It can also act as a hub for your business where you can list all your services, products, and prices. 

There are many website builders available that will provide you with a website template. You can customize these templates to suit your needs as well. You can also consider outsourcing your website development to a third party company. 

6. Marketing

Marketing is essential for most businesses. Especially, for startup companies. 

The Digital Age makes marketing accessible to all. To start marketing, create one to two social media profiles. Connect with potential clients and post regularly on these sites. 

It’s important to first research your target audience. This will give you a better idea of where your target audience frequents and what websites they are on. Knowing your target audience will also help you to determine where other ads would be useful such as on the radio or TV.

7. Equipment and Supplies

When creating your business plan, it’s important to take into account all the equipment, supplies, and products you will need to buy. This will be a part of the startup costs associated with starting your aquarium maintenance business.

Some equipment and supplies you’ll need include 5-gallon buckets, algae pads, and towels. Make note of all the supplies and equipment your mentor uses to gain more insight into exactly what you need. 

To diversify your business offerings, you might also want to consider selling fish and other species. See options for aquarium species to sell in addition to your aquarium maintenance services. 

Starting an Aquarium Maintenance Business

If you’re determined to start an aquarium maintenance business, then you’re ready to start taking action. Even taking just one small step such as researching LLCs can help you to get closer to achieving your dreams. 

When anyone starts a business, it’s important for them to seek out support. First, consider finding a mentor in your field. Your mentor can help you to overcome challenges and answer any questions you have. 

They can also help you to better your aquarium maintenance skills.

It’s also a good idea to seek out legal counsel and an accountant for legal and bookkeeping/tax purposes.

Want to learn more about starting an LLC? Check out our blog post to learn about the steps for starting an LLC.