You can turn this hobby into a very profitable enterprise if you have the right skills and knowledge to perform clean and professional work. Today, a good number of people are seeking to get their pets preserved, and hunters and fishermen will also want to preserve their catch. Museums are also frequent customers of taxidermy.
However, before you open up shop, you must have the required experience. No one will want to hand over their precious animals or trophy kills to someone with zero experience, even if you offer them a significant discount. If you lack experience, then seek ways to acquire industry experience. Starting a taxidermy business requires a good amount of effort, dedication, and most importantly, passion.
Steps on How to Write a Taxidermy Business Plan
Table of Content
Hero World is a new taxidermy business in Huntsville, Texas that will provide high-quality products to our customers. The sole aim of the business is to establish a diverse collection of animals from across the globe and to use the best and most life-like taxidermy techniques to build products that last.
We will strive to perfect our craft while taking part in our clients’ adventures – from making arrangements for excursions to displaying their finished prize, coupled with any other thing in between.
a. Our Products and Services
Regardless of what our clients want, be it professional, educational, or sport, we at Hero World are renowned taxidermy experts. We are familiar with proper anatomy, dissection, sculpture, painting, and habitat, and our vast range of services will ensure that we can adequately cater to the taxidermy needs of our clients.
Being one of the few USDA and EU-certified taxidermy businesses in the country; we can also import and work on all trophies from European and international hunters.
b. Nature of the Business
Taxidermy is a service industry, and raw goods are often supplied by the customer. Presently, our products include a vast supply of shrunken head replicas, squids, deer, moose, alligators, raccoons, foxes, turkeys, bears, and bobcats with a few African and Asian mammals such as tigers, lions, antelopes, and hyenas. The items are in mounts, rugs, or entire bodies.
c. The Industry You are in
The taxidermy business is a business in the Taxidermy Industry.
d. Mission Statement
Our mission at Hero World is to create a diverse collection of animals from across the globe for our customers and to provide our customers with an everlasting opportunity to keep their loving pets and showcase their trophy kills.
e. Vision Statement
At Hero World, our vision is to make use of every wildlife resource that is respectfully taken in a hunt, for their meat, the beauty of their pelts, antlers, horns, and bones, and for the memory of a stalk or hunting experience.
f. Tagline or Slogan
Hero World – Only the Best
g. Legal Structure of the Business
Hero World will be formed as a Limited Liability Company in the State of Texas.
h. Organizational Structure
- General Manager
- Quality & Creativity Director
- Project Coordinator
- Life-Size Specialist Taxidermist
- Sales Manager
- Correcting/Finish, Make-Up Artist
- Packaging And SCI Measurer
i. Ownership/Shareholder Structure and Board Members
Hero World will be owned, managed, and controlled by Sampson and Clara Baines.
- Adequately trained taxidermist and experts with substantial portfolios and industry experience
- Adequately trained retail employees with a wide repertoire, and customer-focused business practices.
- A vast range of services is offered.
- Competitive prices.
- As a new entrant to the market, we lack the brand equity that the more established competitors have earned over years of service.
- The quest to continually stay consistent in terms of the services we offer
- Massive startup costs
- A steadily growing market that is genuinely unaffected by the economic environment.
- The ability to reduce marginal fixed costs as our customer base grows.
- Increasing sales opportunities as more hunters and tourists visit Huntsville
i. How Big is the Industry?
Taxidermy is a $1 Billion Industry
ii. Is the Industry Growing or Declining?
According to industry reports, the industry grew at an annualized rate of 1.8% over the five years to 2022 and is expected to keep increasing at an annualized rate of 2.1% over the next five years.
iii. What are the Future Trends in the Industry
As the economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, experts believe that demand for industry services will genuinely expand alongside increases in consumer spending. Also have it in mind that the rise in Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in deer, elk, and moose populations, coupled with general regulations, will continue to impact the supply of these popular products.
Owing to that, prices for industry services and products are expected to keep growing, and this will definitely benefit industry revenue in the coming years.
iv. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?
- Custom Woodworking
- Diorama Design
- Museum Quality Taxidermy
- Official Measurers
- Restoration & Cleaning
- Trophy Room Design
- Zoological Art
v. Can You Sell a Franchise of your Business in the Future?
No. Our plan at Hero World is to start our first taxidermy business in Huntsville, before going on to open more outlets in strategic locations in Texas and in other states. Have it in mind that all our locations will be company-owned and will be managed using our well-defined customer-centric culture.
- Competition from other established taxidermists.
- A change in traffic patterns as they relate to our business location in Huntsville
i. Who are the Major Competitors?
- Trophies Unlimited Taxidermy
- Wildcat Taxidermy
- Idle Life Taxidermy
- Sportsman’s Choice Taxidermy
- Nature’s Design Taxidermy
- Advanced Taxidermy
- Woods and Water Taxidermy
- WW Custom Taxidermy & Hunts LLC
- Red River Taxidermy
- Stuff It Inc.
- Tucson Taxidermy
- Allen Taxidermy Studio
- Tannery Service Hides
- Scovel Taxidermy
ii. Is There a Franchise for Taxidermy Business?
No, there are no franchise opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to venture into this business.
iii. Are There Policies, Regulations, or Zoning Laws Affecting Taxidermy Business?
Yes. It is very necessary to check the laws in your area, especially if you intend to run your business out of your home. Have in mind that there may be issues with the local zoning laws that may warrant you to find another suitable location. There will also be laws in terms of how you can run your business too. Depending on the state you’re in, you may be expected to collect sales tax and send it to the state.
a. Who is your target audience?
3 million hunters and anglers in Texas
i. Age range
30 – 62 Years Old
ii. Level of Education
Bachelor’s Degree: 55%
- Associate Degree: 19%
- High School Diploma: 13%
- Diploma: 5%
- Other Degrees: 8%
iii. Income Level
- Unknown: $67,260
- White: $74,813
- Black or African American: $60,228
- Asian: $81,430
- Hispanic or Latino: $79,715
- White: 2%
- American Indian and Alaska Native: 10.5%
- Hispanic or Latino: 9.1%
- Asian: 6.0%
- Black or African American: 3.1%
- Unknown: 2.1%
Our Stores will be accessible to everyone, regardless of language and accent. By leveraging Google Translator software, we also intend to welcome and attend to foreigners and tourists in Huntsville.
vi. Geographical Location
Huntsville contains an abundance of native and exotic wildlife. Trophy white-tailed deer and large-mouth bass thrive here, coupled with over 50 species of exotic plains game from five of the world’s continents. Note that this city has played host to many hunters and anglers from all over the world.
Even though these travelers, both individuals, and corporations, have the options of different destinations, they choose this unique location due to the most exciting and satisfying outdoor experience in the city.
Local and visiting hunters of native/exotic species and guided, exotic tours.
b. Advertising and Promotion Strategies
- Leverage digital assets to communicate brand messages through powerful online channels, maximizing ROI and gaining a more direct pipeline to customers.
- Sign up for free listings in online directories that provide information on hunting activities across the country
- Build a website to market our taxidermy business
- Secure good employees
- Advertise in trade magazines, on radio and television shows that have an outdoor theme, and at sporting goods stores and with veterinarians.
- Utilize standard advertising measures
- Cross advertise on the web with other industries associated with ours, such as hunting clothing sites, fishing equipment sites, and pet product sites.
- Participate in gun shows, hunting/fishing trade shows, and tournaments.
- Sponsor safe hunting practices and restocking of fish to local lakes and waterways.
- Offer prizes for contests including weeklong hunting excursions
i. Traditional Marketing Strategies
At Hero World, we will continue to advertise on the web, in specific store locations, and on radio, and television. We also have plans to start traveling by our second year to other locations in the US and in other parts of the world to create networks and a support system for our work. Within the next two years, Hero World should have doubled its original sales expectations and we will revisit our plan at that time.
ii. Digital Marketing Strategies
- Create a community to build brand advocacy
- Add testimonials to our company web pages
- Powerful content marketing
- Make use of Micro-influencers
- Find customers through social listening
- Collaborate with broad-based hunting associations like Backcountry Hunters & Anglers
iii. Social Media Marketing Plan
- Upload Content That Will Entice our Target Customer
- Leverage Facebook as a Key Communication Tool
- Use Twitter As An Information Source About Your Services
- Offer Incentives For Instagram Word-Of-Mouth
- Provide Group Deals
- Use Twitter hashtags
c. Pricing Strategy
At Hero World, our prices will be moderate and we will guarantee that our customers will receive great value when patronizing our taxidermy business. In addition, our prices will be set based on the size of the work, the supplies needed, the labor involved, and desired profit margin.
Sales and Distribution Plan
a. Sales Channels
At Hero World, all our products will be sold from our establishment at 1448 University Ave #101, Huntsville. We will also create an easy-to-access website from which orders may be taken at any time, day or night.
b. Inventory Strategy
Our plan at Hero World is to use well-tested and verified software to manage our business inventory and processes. After extensive research, we have settled for the Trophy Mount System, which can be used to track all parts of our taxidermy business.
From the time the customer walks in the door to the time we mail them a Christmas card next year, this software tracks it all. It effectively runs on the latest Microsoft™ operating systems (both 32 and 64 bit). It also offers the following benefits:
- Customer tracking.
- Project tracking.
- Vendor tracking.
- Commission tracking.
- Customer Billing.
- Deposit Request.
- Species, Pose, Action preference.
- Measurement reminders.
- Material reminders.
c. Payment Options for Customers
At Hero World, we intend to offer the following payment options to our clients;
- Payment via bank transfer
- Payment with cash
- Payment via credit cards
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via mobile money transfer
d. Return Policy, Incentives, and Guarantees
At Hero World, all our products will be shipped in generally plain wooden boxes that include our logo/label. We will ask for a 50% deposit before beginning our work, and full payment upon receipt of the item. All our products are insured before shipping and we will work with clients to ensure complete satisfaction.
e. Customer Support Strategy
Just as was noted above, we will specialize in providing top-class taxidermy services to hunters that wish to have their game stuffed for display. At all times, Hero World will only employ licensed taxidermists that have completed a two-year educational program. We believe this will ensure the highest level of service for our customers, and we will be able to provide taxidermy services for both hunters and fishermen.
At present, our operational plan is small but effective. We will ensure that all our employees are well trained in the methods used to perform our services and can answer all questions coming from customers. At Hero World, one manager puts together a schedule of sales visits and oversees the general office. At our monthly meetings, we will share any new ideas and contacts so that the company can keep progressing and also meet any new demands.
a. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Taxidermy Business?
A typical day at Hero World will include our detailed processes and means of production to ensure quality services are offered to our clients. Our daily activities will include;
- Measurements: For us to provide taxidermy creations, we need accurate measurements of the body. The aim here is to preserve as much of the original product, or cape, as possible. Therefore the fewer cuts and tears the taxidermist can get away with will make it easier to sew up later.
- Skinning: The next step is skinning, or fleshing, the animal. The aim here is to preserve as much of the original product, or cape, as possible.
- Tanning: At this point, we tan the hides by sending the animals out to a professional tannery to ensure the mounting process is more efficient.
- Salting: After the tanning, the hide is salted for preservation. This is to pull the moisture from the skin and tighten up the hair follicles. While the skin dries out, the mold is prepared.
- Framing/Molding: While the skin dries out through salting, the mold is prepared. All our molds at Hero World are made from polyurethane foam, known for the highest quality available. The molds will be very accurate and detailed, with muscles and veins carved into place. We intend to leverage clay for the tricky areas around the eyes.
- Shipping: Once the taxidermy is complete, it is shipped off to the consumer.
b. Production Process
At Hero World, we will complete taxidermy, freeze-drying, cleaning, posing, and mounting any trophy game or pet brought in by our clients. We will also provide instruction for handling the trophy before it gets to us to ensure we have the best possible results. Shipping requirements and arrangements can be made by us upon request, while our artists will always align with the customer to guarantee a unique and special product.
c. Service Procedure
At Hero World, our store atmosphere will be very clean, and outdoorsy with numerous work samples displayed in the showroom. There will also be a more solemn office area to discuss business.
d. The Supply Chain
At Hero World, we already have an agreement with zoos and safaris in the United States, for dead animals to be sold to us at a discount instead of throwing them away. These wildlife organizations will get a portion of the profit for their contributions.
e. Sources of Income
At Hero World, we intend to generate a good portion of our revenue from stuffing animals and creating mounts for hunters throughout Huntsville and Texas. We also intend to generate income from the sale of mounts for stuffed animals. We believe this is a very viable secondary stream of revenue for the business.
a. Amount Needed to Start your Taxidermy Business?
After extensive research, we believe we need around $143,000 to start up Hero World in Huntsville, Texas.
b. What are the Costs Involved?
- Office/Retail space: $5000
- Equipment and supplies: $100,000
- Software Expenses: $575
- Advertising & Marketing Costs: $3,000
- Inventory Expenses: $9,750
- Licenses and Permits: $2,000
- Insurance: $1,200
- Miscellaneous: $5000
c. Do You Need to Build a Facility?
At Hero World, our initial plan is not to build a new facility, but instead to lease a well-positioned facility to start and grow our business.
d. What are the Ongoing Expenses for Running a Taxidermy Business?
- Stocking inventory
- Marketing strategy and related advertising investments
- Education, travel, and market research
e. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
- General Manager: $56,720
- Quality & Creativity Director: $48,900
- Project Coordinator: $43,140
- Life Size Specialist Taxidermist: $36,480
- Sales Manager: $36,000
- Accountant: $41,660
- Tanner: $29,700
- Correcting/Finish, Make-Up Artist: $25,400
- Packaging And SCI Measurer: $22,360
- Receptionist: $22,000
f. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Taxidermy Business?
- Funds from personal savings and the sale of personal stocks and properties
- Funds from investors and business partners
- Sell shares to investors
- Seeking business loans from banks
- Obtain soft loans from family members and friends.
a. How Much Should You Charge for your product/Service?
- North America Mounts: $750 – $3200
- Back Pack Mounts: $995 – $1200
- European Mounts: $145 – $425
- Fish: $320 – $900
- Birds: $750 – $1,200
- African: $1050 – $7,200
- Asian Exotics: $750 – $4500
- Rugs: $850 – $2600
- Antler Mounts: $145 – $350
- Novelties: $70 – $145
- Tanning: $75 – $495
b. Sales Forecast
Our sales goal at Hero World is to make $32,000 in sales in the first 3 months of business, gradually increasing to $130,000 a month by the end of the first year of business.
c. Estimated Profit You Will Make a Year?
According to industry reports, an average part-time taxidermist who is not entirely focused on the business might make just $10,000 – $20,000 per year; however, a full-time taxidermy business can genuinely make $100,000+ per year. At Hero World, we believe we can make more owing to our comprehensive marketing plans.
d. Profit Margin of a Taxidermy Business
Reports have it that the gross margins for taxidermist business in the United States are around 65%, and this can make it more daunting to incur new expenses and maintain profitability.
a. How do you intend to grow and expand?
Just as was noted above, our plan at Hero World is to start our first taxidermy business in Huntsville, before opening more outlets in strategic locations in Texas and in other states. Have it in mind that all our locations will be company-owned and will be managed using our well-defined customer-centric culture.
b. Where do you intend to expand to and why?
As our business grows at Huntsville, we intend to expand to other cities and cater to the needs of hunters and anglers. The cities we have chosen to expand to have two main characteristics: a percentage of the city’s population hunts and an encouraging amount of public land are open to those hunters. Other factors considered are their hunting traditions, variety of game, and Regulations. These cities include;
- Verna, Utah
- Fayetteville, West Virginia
- Deadwood, South Dakota
- Salmon, Idaho
- Whitefish, Montana
- Centerville, Iowa
- Rapid City, SD
- Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Crosset, Arkansas
10. Exit Plan
After extensive analysis, we believe that family succession as an exit plan suits our business goals and ideas. This will help us to maintain an involvement in the business and pass the assets to our founders’ heirs. We have put plans in place to involve them in the business as soon as possible, allowing them to gain an in-depth understanding of how things work.