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WILL YOUR NEW AQUACULTURE BUSINESS BE PROFITABLE? Putting together a business plan Steeve Pomerleau Research Associate Objectives Help potential producers by: Outlining critical questions Describing components of a business plan Estimating the level of capital investment

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will your new aquaculture business be profitable putting together a business plan

WILL YOUR NEW AQUACULTURE BUSINESSBE PROFITABLE?Putting together a business plan

Steeve Pomerleau

Research Associate

objectives
Objectives
  • Help potential producers by:
    • Outlining critical questions
    • Describing components of a business plan
    • Estimating the level of capital investment
critical questions
Critical Questions
  • Which species to produce?
    • Do you have a clear understanding of the species constraints and benefits (biological and economic)?
tilapia
Tilapia

Biological and Economical Constraints

  • Tropical fish that dies in the winter in most parts of the U.S.
  • Must be overwintered indoors, raising costs.
  • Good market in U.S. for fillets, but imported fillets from tropics have lower costs.
  • Live fish sales difficult, but possible.
  • Limited market for live fish sales.
baitfish
Baitfish

Biological and Economical Constraints

  • Low production costs
  • Low yields
  • Live product that requires extensive distribution system
  • Sales tied to fishing conditions nationwide on holidays = market risk
  • Market flat
baitfish6
Baitfish

Biological and Economical Constraints

  • Difficult to break into market.
  • Wholesaling difficult.
  • Could sell baitfish on retail basis, but sales volumes will be very low.
  • Even in prime fishing areas, profits from bait sales are low.
  • Potential would exist in selling to larger baitfish wholesaler who has established distribution network.
freshwater prawns
Freshwater Prawns

Biological and Economical Constraints

  • Tropical animals.
  • All production will need to be marketed at the same time in the fall before prawns die as temperatures go down.
  • Thus, the market will be highly seasonal and prawns will be sold when their price is lowest.
  • Insecticide will kill prawns!
freshwater prawns8
Freshwater Prawns

Biological and Economical Constraints

  • Market not developed. Individual grower will need to develop the market.
  • Production risks high. Severe losses possible.
  • Seed supply unreliable and scarce.
  • Production costs not well known.
  • Harvesting requires draining.
what about
What about…
  • Eels?
  • Bullfrogs?
  • Turtles?
  • Alligators?
what about10
What about…
  • Eels?
  • Bullfrogs?
  • Turtles?
  • Alligators?

Biologically possible but often questionable economicallyHighly specialized industries that may be profitable regionallyIf something is not being raised, there is likely to be a reason.

critical questions11
Critical Questions
  • Are you aware of the risks involved?
    • low dissolved oxygen
    • diseases
    • bird depredation
    • Off flavor
    • Market fluctuations

FISH FARMERS BEAR ALL THE RISK

NO GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS TO HELP!!

critical questions12
Critical Questions
  • What will it cost you to produce this species in the production system selected?
  • Can this species be raised and sold for a profit?
tilapia production costs

Production costs

$/

lb

Tropical ponds

0.74

Tropical raceways

0.75

Subtropical greenhouse

1.12

Ponds, south. U.S.

1.03

Temperate indoor tanks

1.62

Tilapia Production Costs
catfish production costs
Catfish Production Costs
  • Assume feed costs @ $275/ton, and an average yield of 5,000 lb/acre. For top 10-15% of farms. Average yield is less.
  • Budgets $0.63 - $0.69/lb
critical questions15
Critical Questions
  • Aquaculture is management intensive.
  • You must ask yourself if you have the skills, management ability, and time to run a fish farm. If not, you will have to hire a manager.
  • Do you like to get a full night’s sleep most nights?
critical questions16
Critical Questions
  • It is critical to spend as much time studying markets
    • Are markets accessible?
    • What have market prices been over the last 5 years?
    • Are they higher during certain months than others?
    • Is the most common market price high enough to cover all your production costs?
business plan
Business Plan
  • Organized and structured document that…
    • analyzes the market potential
    • Explain the production technologies
    • Estimate the financial performance of the business
  • Necessary to…
    • Evaluate feasibility
    • Estimate capital investments & operating capital
    • Secure adequate financing
business plan18
Business Plan
  • It is the future of the business on paper.
  • A way to test dreams against expected challenges and opportunities.
why is a business plan important
Why is a Business Plan Important?
  • Many prospective and existing fish farmers have difficulty obtaining financing.
  • Lenders may not be familiar with aquaculture
  • Adequate planning for the business may help avoid mistakes.
  • Proper planning for the business can also minimize risks associated with the market, production and financing.
how long does it take to develop a complete business plan
How long does it take to develop a complete business plan?
  • A good business plan take months to develop.
  • A thorough plan cannot be developed in an hour, a day, or even a week.
  • The plan is only as good as the effort and thought that goes into it.
fundamental questions addressed with a business plan
Fundamental questions addressed with a business plan
  • How will you produce the product?

Production System

  • Who will buy the product?

Marketing Plan

  • Is the proposed business economically and financially feasible?

Economic and Financial Analysis

components of a business plan
Components of a Business Plan
  • Description of the proposed site and production system
  • Marketing plan
  • Financial analysis
  • Brief resume of borrower
description of the site
Description of the site
  • Suitability of the site in terms of soil characteristics, environmental conditions, and water supply.
  • The proximity to processing facilities, feed mills, aquaculture supply firms, equipment repair services, disease and diagnostics laboratories, and the Extension office.
  • This demonstrates to the lender both the distance the farm will be from these services and that the individual knows where to find these services.
  • Information on specific permits that will be required.
description of production system
Description of Production System
  • Thorough discussion of the proposed production system
  • Possible production problems (off flavor, etc)
  • This demonstrates to the lender awareness of the problem and warns the lender of potential cash flow or debt repayment problems.
marketing plan
Marketing Plan
  • The most successful aquaculture business:
    • are market-oriented
    • have diverse markets
    • are committed to their customers
  • Decisions on species, harvest size, and volume should be based on a market analysis.
  • Profits are made by selling fish, not producing them.
marketing plan26
Marketing Plan
  • If you’re in an area without a history of aquaculture, it is useful to present information on:
    • the size of the industry
    • current trends
    • overall growth potential
how to begin to analyze the market
How to begin to Analyze the Market
  • Talk to local retail operations that sell fish.
  • Even if you intend to sell strictly to a processing plant.
  • It is important to understand the product qualities and characteristics expected by the retail operators and end consumers.
how to begin to analyze the market28
How to begin to Analyze the Market

Talk to as many different potential buyers as possible to determine their needs.

  • Retail markets
  • Processors
  • wholesalers
  • Distributors, brokers
  • Restaurants
  • Seafood stores
  • Supermarkets
  • Consumers buying directly
how to begin to analyze the market29
How to begin to Analyze the Market

Each buyer has its own buying patterns.

  • Historical prices paid
  • Product form
  • Dockage rates
  • Transportation charges
  • Payment frequency
  • Seasonality issues
  • Delivery volume requirements
  • Quality standards
  • Procedures
  • Contracts
  • Other buyers preferences

Enough potential buyers to support your business?

marketing plan30
Marketing Plan
  • Any documentation from the plants or a letter stating that they will purchase fish from you will strengthen the business loan proposal
financial analysis
Financial Analysis
  • Estimated Annual Costs & Returns
  • Estimate of Required Financing
  • Farm Appraisal
  • Balance Sheet
  • Income Statement
  • Cash Flow Budget
  • Personal Financial Statement
enterprise budget
Enterprise Budget
  • Estimate of average costs and revenues in a typical year after the business is established.
  • Indicates generally whether the proposed production system is profitable.
  • Indicates general level of expected profit.
  • Indicates breakeven costs.
  • Indicates breakeven yields
estimate of required financing
Estimate of required financing
  • Aquaculture is capital intensive.
  • Some lenders still require as much as 50-65% owner equity.
investment cost
Investment Cost

Catfish farm: $4,900 - $5,500/acre

  • Land -- 23 - 26%
  • Pond construction -- 33 - 35%
  • Water supply -- 11 - 14%
  • Equipment, feed bins -- 28 - 30%
  • If you already own the land: investment is $3,600 - $4,200/acre
balance sheet
Balance Sheet
  • Lists what assets and liabilities would be for the new aquaculture business.
  • Used to calculate net worth (owner equity)
  • Used to determine solvency and liquidity (financial strength & position of the business)
  • Lenders prefer owner equity of 60-65% for aquaculture loans.
income statement
Income Statement
  • Itemizes farm income and expenses
  • Called profit and loss statement
  • Calculates
    • net farm income
    • return to capital
    • Return to labor & management
    • return to equity
cash flow budget
Cash Flow Budget
  • What is it?
    • It is a summary of the cash inflows and outflows over a given period of time.
    • It is an important forward planning tool.
  • Purpose :
    • Estimate future borrowing needs
    • Estimates the loan repayment capacity
    • Schedule payments and harvests
cash flow budget41
Cash Flow Budget
  • Shows cash receipts and cash expenses by month, quarter, or year
  • Includes only cash expenses
  • Indicates when cash is available for loan repayment
  • Indicates when cash is needed to keep business going
  • Should include family living expenses
cash flow budget43
Cash Flow Budget
  • Indicates when additional cash is needed in the business.
  • Can be used to plan operating lines of credit.
  • Can be used to schedule purchases of new equipment or major repairs.
  • Can be used to plan stocking and harvesting schedules to meet financial obligations.
conclusion
Conclusion
  • Fish farming is a great way of life but requires a great deal of preparation and planning
components of a business plan45
Components of a Business Plan
  • Description of the proposed site and production system
  • Marketing plan
  • Financial analysis
    • Annual Costs & Returns
    • Required Financing
    • Farm Appraisal
    • Balance Sheet
  • Brief resume of borrower
  • Income Statement
  • Cash Flow Budget
  • Personal Financial Statement

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