Taxidermy is a highly regulated business, as it seems like most businesses are. The cost of supplies and the cost of an outside tanning company will shock the average person. Building a business is much like building any other business. Start slow, learn the craft and once you become great at your craft, market to clients.
Taxidermy takes a high level of skill and tremendous attention to detail. You must be able to see the animal as it was in life and be able to recreate that is a mannequin form. This means sculpting a mold to create all of the details that will make the animal look and feel alive.
Taxidermy is a job that will require long hours, but most are in the industry because they love the work. This is good for those who want to learn the craft and start their own business. It is a good idea to work under an expert taxidermist for a while. Learn the tricks of the trade. There will be a lot that an experienced taxidermist will teach you that you cannot learn from a book, a conference or you-tube video.
Going to School
There are schools that teach the craft of taxidermy and can even be a major in some colleges and universities. These are all avenues that will teach you the skills that will be needed in order to start your own taxidermy business.
Once you have the experience and the skills the first step to starting a business is to create a business. The first is to have a business plan. This will discuss what needs to be done. What licenses will be needed in order to run your business. What will you outsource and what processes will be completed in house? It will also discuss a marketing plan. This is how you will get your name out. You might be the greatest taxidermist in the world, but if potential customers do not know you are available, then you cannot make a living doing what you love.
The business plan will be the compass for the business. It will help you determine how you expand, what business you specialize in and how the business is run. When presented with new opportunity, consult the business plan and see if it is in line with your goals. This will help give you business direction and it will grow much faster and be more successful if the business plan is used as it was meant to be used.
Build Your Equipment
The next step is to build up your equipment and supplies. Look for business owners who might be retiring or getting out of the business. This can provide an opportunity to acquire the supplies at a much reduced price. The more money you save in the setup, the faster you will be able to turn a profit. Also please, please, please get a security system to protect your taxidermy equipment. It’s expensive and I had mine stolen once.
Next check with you city and state about the regulations and licenses that must be obtained. This will affect where you practice and what continuing education and care must be taken in order to run the business according to local laws.
Once these steps are completed you are ready to open the doors to a successful business as a taxidermist.