Step 5: Planning for Success
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.