I've always felt that a man should kow his strengths AND weaknesses.Well, starting my own shop I feel confident in the taxidermy aspect.I also feel that the business aspect will be the biggest challenge,such as paperwork,bookkeeping,and general office responsibilities.I know there must be others out there that are organizationally challenged.I would like to know if anyone could suggest any books/videos/etc. that deals more with the business part of the trade.I've heard too many stories of otherwise good taxidermists failing due to bad business practices.I'm just trying to cover all the bases and avoid stupid mistakes before I get rolling.Also if anyone cares to throw in a tip from personal experience it would be greatly appreciated.Thanks,Scott
Return to Fish Taxidermy Category Menu
take a small buisness course through your comm college. It is cheap and easy to fallow.
A CPA in your state can setup your books and for a small fee will take care of posting normally every 60 days. This will keep your taxes up to date. By using one you will also find why the taxidermist who does not charge enough is working nights and weekends. The CPA will do what is required by your state laws, other than how you list the animals as they come in.
Most states DNR require a chronological order listing plus your Migratory Waterfowl book. So your birds may have two books.
Also keep a perfect inventory on each freezer.
You will have two choices on how you setup your books, cash or accruel.
Cash allows you to received the money and take it out for your labor as you earn it.
Accruel you will draw a check once, or twice a month for your labor.
If you choice cash, you cannot write off labor loss. Say you get stuck with a bunch of ducks, you cannot write your labor off.
With Accruel you can write off labor loss.
Do yourself a favor and see a lawyer and have your business set up as an LLC (limited liability corporation). That way, should you get into a legal liability hastle, your personal assets are protected.
I dislike lawyers as much as the next guy but I didn't hesitate to use one for this. There are also tax benefits for LLCs.
Set your prices and don't feel that you are charging too much for that special custom piece. In other words, quote prices so you don't lose money. Don't do favors for friends or relatives. Stick to your guns on this one! They, above everyone else, should be willing to support you in your endeavor. If you feel you are giving the client too much for their money you are not being honest with yourself.
Get one of those yearly business record keeping books from your local office supply store. This will help you through the first year and is rather inexpensive but neccessary especially when you go to file taxes your Schedule "C".
Work up a contract and have it looked over by a good attorney to make sure everything you put on it is legal in your state. Have each customer sign this with each specimen brought to you. Don't accept work without deposits, if you require one. Chances are they will never come back or at the least you will spend time on the phone talking them into bringing/sending one to you. Always make sure anything special the client wants or that you deem neccessary is written down on this contract.
WASCO offers a login system that is very efficient and inexpensive. Makes life easy.
Keep your return time promises. Work with a daily schedule as much as possible. Always be professional and never talk down another local taxidermist.
I'm sure there is a ton more info in the archives pertaining to running a business.