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FishBiz Project

Financial and business tools for Alaska commercial seafood harvesters brought to you by the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program

Step 4: Planning for Success

Troller. Photo credit Alaska Sea Grant.

With your homework done, you're now ready to take the plunge into ownership of a fishing business. This section contains a business planning software program specific to commercial fishing operations that may help you take that big step with more confidence.

Many financial advisors recommend—and some lenders require—that you write a formal business plan to help assess where you are and where you are going, as well as to lay out various strategies for making a profit and making your payments.

The University of Minnesota, in partnership with several Sea Grant programs around the nation, has developed an on-line business plan template called FishBizPlan for commercial fishing businesses. FishBizPlan walks you through drafting a plan and includes example plans, tips and additional resources. Embedded within the plan are extensive video tutorials on developing financial statements.

Remember, your annual federal tax return is NOT a business plan; it is an annual earnings snapshot created for tax purposes only.