Missouri Trout Hunter

Blog for sharing thoughts, beliefs and opinions on issues affecting the world of trout fishing in the Ozarks.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Changes to Trout Hunter Retail Efforts

Hello all!

Of course, it's no secret that Missouri Trout Hunter is a business endeavor. While the website is free (does anyone even try to sell website memberships anymore?), it's designed to pay my bills, in addition to spreading the trout fishing gospel. Missouri Trout Hunter is marketing vehicle for Trout Hunter Guide Service as well as Ozark Taxidermy, and both businesses continue to grow rapidly -- thanks for spreading the word.

In addition to our two primary business endeavors we also offer website advertising and have a .99 flyshop online. Neither is what you might call profitable. In fact, between the two, we basically earn enough to pay for the web-hosting bills. Every little bit helps, I suppose. Well, we've decided to ramp up the sales side of things (hopefully). Here's what's in the works.

(1) Trout Hunter Flyshop will be changing it's name and it's focus. Our original intention was to have a full-service flyshop online, but we've found that wholesale distributors do not want to supply flyshops that don't have a brick and mortar storefront. This is the reason we've only been offering flies. HOWEVER, we have identified a few distributors who are willing to stock us, so you'll start seeing some additional items soon. These items will include a few fly-tying supplies as well as supplies to help you when you're on the river. It will also include items for our bait and lure fishermen as well. THEREFORE, the flyshop will be changing its name to Trout Hunter Tackle Shop immediately! Er, well, ok... as soon as I get around to it.

(2) You might have noticed that we still haven't launched our custom rod building service, as promised. It's becoming more and more unlikely that we're going to do this, and it's for a couple of simple reasons. First, we're already fairly buried with taxidermy shop work, so adding more labor-intensive stuff to mix doesn't hold a lot of appeal right now. Second, we're having the same wholesale distributor issues we had trying to stock a flyshop, but its mainly a volume issue. We want to offer customers a wide variety of options, but buying such a variety of parts in such huge numbers is just not possible for us. We have found some retail suppliers that are willing to offer us deep discounts while selling us smaller quantities, but we'd still be paying more for our rod building components than many competitors, forcing our prices up. We're considering purchasing rod-building components for resale, which might make things more feasible, but this is a long ways off. In other words, Trout Hunter Custom Rod-building is off the table for now.

(3) HOWEVER, we have launched something new that we're pretty excited about. We have a line of gift items for sale, including caps, mousepads, coffee mugs, T-shirts, baby bibs, etc. Now, this isn't one of those things where every item says "www.MissouriTroutHunter.com" on it. I've never thought that was kosher, asking someone to pay for the privilege of advertising your company. HOWEVER, if someone were to ask where you got that cool hat or shirt, we trust you'll tell them! Click Trout Hunter Gifts to take a look.

That's it folks. Keep warm out there, and go fishing. Yes, I know it's winter and its chilly outside. Stop your whining, and go catch a fish!


Anonymous Mark Frederick said...

Have you considered getting a booth at local fishing "shows". I have no idea what the expense might be, but I have yet to see any Missouri Trout Fishing Adventures offered most are out of state or country? Just an Idea.
Good Luck


5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mark!

I've done trade shows in the past, but they tend to not be worth the money or time for local guides that offer day-trips. That's why you tend to only see outfitters that charge many hundreds or thousands of dollars for multiple-day fishing vacations. We're not in financial trouble or anything, and Lord knows I'm over my head with things to keep me occupied. I'm just always looking to improve what I can offer clients and customers. I LIKE GROWTH!

Thanks for the suggestion.


5:31 PM  
Anonymous Mark F said...

That would make sence, I was thining that the booth cost may be low, but signage and handouts would make your break-even costs higher. Time and travel expenses may also pose a problem and effort may far out way the benifit, and cut into prime fishing time.


7:44 PM  

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