Over the past few weeks I have seriously enjoyed being a part of this community, I haven’t found one that is as friendly or as enthusiastic towards new members as here (for many years before here I relied on Reddit mainly… Not so friendly), so firstly I’d like to take the opportunity to thank you for being… well, just you.
Since being around 8 years old I have owned aquariums, from goldfish to cichlids, frogs, crabs, snails, eals and oxolotls, spiders, turtles and pretty much everything in between.
Over the past 5 years though I have brought my interest in reptiles home with me and replaced the aquariums. Starting with Yemen chameleons. Since then I have acquired 2 boa constrictors and care for a 3rd that lives elsewhere with cornsnakes. I’m about to buy my first ball python in the new year and I have my heart set on some garter snakes.
I know my fish and reptiles (obviously not like some of you guys or even to a professional level of any standard) and have spent every moment of free time researching random stuff, even for animals I don’t even own and ones I never plan on owning. Information is sort of my hobby. I’m about to start a herpetology course and wish to make a lifelong career in animal care.
I don’t wish to become a breeder or even a supplier of live animals. My plan is to open a store completely dedicated to husbandry and equipment, food and medicine and eventually in 10 years either train someone within or hire a reptile vet to work along side.
I don’t want a head to head competition with the (surprisingly very, very few) local stores, although it is inevitable. I want my store to be more of a “let’s kit your enclosures out properly and to your individual animal” rather than “buy this, buy that, buy this, you need another ball python” which is all you get from the major store here.
I have my business plan set and all things are in place except finances, but I’m working my butt off on that. I’d just like to hear from you guys that own stores/shops/supply chains about what routes I should avoid, the mistakes you made along the way and how you overcame them, the best decisions you made, just any advice you can give me to help me make this as smooth as possible.
It is still at least a year or two from becoming a reality, but I want to plan out every single thing I can possibly plan out beforehand.
Also anyone with any type of certificates/diploma or professional education on reptiles. What courses/classes did you take, where did you study, what did you need to apply for them?
I have loads more questions but this is getting a bit long as it is, ill take any advice on absolutely anything at all.
Thank you for any help you guys can give me.
And again thank you for making this a amazing place to come and read about everyone’s pets. I like you guys, a lot.