1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

Ok I know the variables but how long from the time you went full time did....

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by John L, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. John L

    John L Active Member

    ...it take for you to make in the 45000 to 50000 dollar range after paying your supplies and overhead but not taxes. I realize most may not be there but if you are any information would help. Also, if you are supplementing your income with something besides taxidermy (ex.. meat processing) info on that would help too.

    Lost my job and weighing my options. I have benefits through my wife. So, I would have low overhead, supplies, retirement of some kind, and taxes.

    I know there is not much of a way to answer the question with all the variables involved but I am kind of overly lost right now and any help is appreciated.
  2. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    About 10 years.... IF you add them all up - lol!

  3. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)

    My question to you is ..............

    My question to you is: How much are you charging for deer heads right now?

    For a 1 man shop there is only so much money you can make ....... and having 3 freezers full of stuff that you can't get done within a year is not the answer.


  4. Paul B

    Paul B Active Member

    Figure you will need to get in around 100 shoulder mounts at $500.00 plus 20 life size small to large game, euro's, birds and fish if you want to be an all around guy. It will take years to build up a good customer base
  5. Richard C

    Richard C Well-Known Member

    I was visiting a friend and high quality taxidermist in a Western Mountain State We were in a store and he bought a bunch of lottery tickets. I asked him , "what will you do if you win a couple of million " , he replied " I'll do taxidermy until the money runs out " .
  6. jhunter13

    jhunter13 Member

    Love this line.....
  7. John L

    John L Active Member

    Right now I am at 350 but if I went full time I would start out about 425. I have a fairly good but small client base (loyal customers) and more this year than ever with good word of mouth working for me.

    Just kicking ideas around would like to get away from going back to working for someone else.
  8. Why 350 and if you go full time raise your price??? If you are not at 425 now you will never get there if you go full time.

    Big ass mistake assuming you can go up. hell man you are or have been workign taxidermy during overtime hours and cheaper than if you would be full time, it should be either 425 or not at all.
  9. John L

    John L Active Member

    Well just haven't increased the price in probably 5 years and didn't get anything until right before the season ended this year but then they rolled in after I had quoted a couple at 350 I didn't feel right raising the price on some and not all.
  10. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    If watermelons cost you a dollar and you sell them fir a dollar, getting a bigger truck ain't going to make much difference. I simply do not believe a one-man shop can make that much ever. In fact, I don't think can ever do 300+ pieces in a timely manner well enough to maintain clients. With that king of numbers, one piece has to go out the door every day. You can't get sick, you can't take a day off, you can't take a vacation , and you can forget detailed finishing and diorama work. You can't take in big lifetime mounts.
  11. grumpa

    grumpa Active Member

    Honestly, It's an Impossibility!!
  12. dc taxidermy

    dc taxidermy Me and My Baby's senior picture

    OK, I am going to stir the pot. You can do it. It is a Lot of work. You have to out work your skins or at least most of them and you have to get up every day and go to work...Make a plan and follow it. I plan on being through with all my mounts by Late may...And if everything continues as last year I will turn out between 280 and 300 mounts..I did 285 last season...only two big lifesizes...10 foot Gators. The rest were game heads, small lifesize, fish, and birds..You can make a very good liveing but you have to know when to tell your buddies to go home and you can't take a bunch of breaks....DC
  13. papagoose

    papagoose papagoose and goslings

    If your gonna work for yourself you have to be your own boss I agree with most of theses guys you gotta work. I take 1 night a week off for my kids b ball games thank god they play the same night most of the time. And some nights I'm in the shop till 2-4 in the morning then to work the next day . It's called keeping your eye on the prize work your azz off and it will pay off dick off and it won't work good luck.
  14. James Parrish

    James Parrish Tundra Swan...Its What's For Dinner!

    I believe you can make that much. I know folks who do. They didn't get there in a day or even a year, but they make that kind of money. There are a couple things that I know about these guys. #1) They don't work an 8 hour day and spend half of it on taxi net. They work like 10-12 hrs per day 5 days a week (sometimes 6)...and yes, they do take a day off here and there and they do take vacations. #2) They are extremely efficient and manage their supply/overhead costs extremely well. #3) They charge appropriate prices for their work.

    Dave Ramsey says that if you are self-employed and really going after it, you will be the toughest boss you've ever had. As you already know, building a client base is probably the biggest obstacle you will face. To do that, you'll need to advertise.

    Let's look at some numbers. I'm oversimplifying these numbers, but you can see where I'm going with it. The overhead costs are pretty low since your shop is at your home and you don't have to pay for a commercial bldg, etc. If you buy in bulk at shows (usually 15% discount) and pick up your supplies (I believe you are close enough to drive to McKenzie) you can keep your supply costs under control.

    100 Deer heads @ $450 (assuming $250 in supplies/overhead) = $200 cleared X 100 = $20000
    50 European Mounts/Horn Mounts @ $175 (assuming $50 for plaque/chemicals/overhead) = $125 X 50 = $6250
    25 Ducks @ $250 (assuming $75 supplies/overhead) = $175 X 25 = $4375
    10 Small Lifesize @ $450 avg (assuming $250 supplies/overhead) = $200 X 10 = $2000
    5 Large Lifesize @ 2500 avg (assuming $1000 supplies/overhead) = $1500 X 5 = $7500
    5 Turkeys @ $750 (assuming $250 supplies/overhead) = $500 X 5 = $2500
    10 Fish @ $275 avg (assuming $75 supplies/overhead) = $200 x 10 = $2000

    Total "cleared" = $44625

    A full-time taxidermist ought to be able to handle that work load and still have plenty of time to loaf. The prices I listed are what I would consider appropriate given your location. Like I said, getting that amount of work in the door is going to be the biggest challenge.
  15. gab

    gab Active Member

    I have a decent size shop with employees.years ago,i realized I was making no profit. I have a business background,but I wasn't using it,buying in to everyone telling me taxidermy is different.I sat down and wrote down a plan ,step by step of what I was going to do and what I was going to change.It works.The only thing I should have done different is to take the list out further to accomplish more.
  16. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    James you certainly did over simplify it. Who pays for the extra amount of utilities required by the shop? The gas and maintenance of the vehicles going to these shows to pick up supplies (as if there are any shows close by who'll actually have all that you need)? What happens during all this time you're at a show? Who's doing the bookkeeping and paying for it?

    I suspect Michael P. nets figures like that but he IS NOT a "one man shop". I also know that Michael will work at a frenetic pace for 24-36+ hours straight and maintain efficiency and quality while doing it. Not many people out there can keep up with that kind of regimen. (And he is also active on here and Facebook while doing it, James.)

    Now just to be fair, ANYONE on here who runs a "one-man" shop and NETTED over $45,000 on your IRS 1098 please tell me and I'll admit I was wrong.
  17. James Marsico

    James Marsico Well-Known Member

    If a person diversifies and books commission hunts, sculpts or paints or sells some sporting goods in the show room, etc. plus if they work 60 plus hours a week at taxidermy and completely devotes every minute to it and does this all by himself unless he has free help they could pull NETTING 45 grand a year off for a few years or maybe even several before they burn out. Taxidermy alone? I do not believe it. A excellent taxidermist working at a big studio can do it but not a one man shop person who also keeps the shop clean and writes up the work orders, deals with clients and charges the low prices most taxidermists charge; not going to happen. .
  18. *

    * Liberalism IS A MENTAL ILLNESS !

  19. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    X3. I am a one man shop. I must "net" $20,000 before I can start making any money for me. It took me 40 years to paInt myself into this corner. If I didn't love it I'd quit today.
  20. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    IMO, $45K ain't "making a good living" IF you could do it. There's SO many other jobs one could do (with benefits) to make that kind of money and work a lot less! I've always looked at this taxidermy thing as a good part-time job to eventually semi-retire on. If I wanted to make the big bucks doing this I'd be running a full service shop with employees so I wouldn't have to work so hard. There's SO many things that have to come together for a one man shop to make that kind of money that I'm sure there are very few that can do it...