I love new fishing tackle products. Products that are innovative, different or fill a need better than anything on the market are always great to see. Most of these products are made by fishermen. Anglers who are creative and desperately want to create products that catch fish. Unfortunately, most of these people are not businessmen, so when they start to sell their new product to local stores they make a lot of mistakes, some that lead to their going out of business.
If you want to sell your products to stores, you have to stop selling to your friends and directly to the public. If for example, you are a small business making surf plugs and you sell to everyone you come across then stores like ours are not going to stock your product. It doesn’t make sense for us to stock a product that we need to actively push to sell when you are doing it yourself. You need to realize that coming up with a business plan and executing it is much more important than a few quick sales to your buddy’s friends.
Another major mistake guys who sell fishing tackle make is this. Let’s say Product A is red hot. Every customer is coming into our store asking for Product A. They need it and can’t go fishing without it. So what does the manufacturer do? They take funds allocated to Product A and start making Product B. They come into the store and say “Hey, check out Product B.” I say, “I need Product A. People are knocking down my door for Product A.” And he says, “Well I don’t have any Product A because I invested all of my money in Product B. I’ll have more of Product A in six months.” These people go out of business all the time. This is a very common mistake. If you’ve got a hot product, keep making it. Don’t divert resources to another product.
Also, don’t tinker with a product that is selling. A lot of anglers who invent products continually change a product to meet the needs of people who give them feedback. While this seems like a good idea, it’s not. You’ve got to have a product stay in one form for a significant amount of time, otherwise, people would be constantly looking for the newest model and all those other iterations would sit on shelves forever. Imagine Toyota decides to make changes to the Camry once a week. It would be chaos and no one would buy the car.
If you are thinking of starting a business related to fishing equipment, that is great but you need to learn about business before you start sinking your own money into the venture. Being successful in the fishing tackle industry takes more than just a great product.