Being a fishmonger requires much more than just being able to appreciate fish as a food source. The profession needs its employees to be able to work long working days, and a typical shift could begin as early as 5.30am in the morning, if not earlier. This exciting business demands the skills of someone who is able to make it down to the fish market every day and source the freshest produce available to then sell it to customers in the store.
The trade also requires for professionals to understand that cleanliness in a fishmongers is of paramount importance and this means that an average of two hours of cleaning needs to be done at the end of each working day. In between getting the fish from the market and selling it directly to your customers, you will need to ensure this is also descaled and clean, without forgetting the all-important filleting process that will see your produce become sellable.
Being a fishmonger is therefore not for the faint-at-heart, but if you have a passion for fresh produce, are able to wake up early every morning and become excited at the sight of locally-sourced fish in a market, then this could be your chance to set up your own fishmongers.
Here’s how to run your first fish-related business.
Be prepared to make some sacrifices.
Working in the fish industry is not for everyone. Few people like running a business that involves waking up at stupid hours in the morning and having to clean up their stores for up to two hours after its closing time. You will need to bear in mind that these are part of a typical working day at a fishmongers. Running your own business will also require that you put in some time aside to work on the admin that you will inevitably need to do and you will have to be really passionate about what you are selling because…Guess what? Your clothes and hands will be stinking of fish most if not all of the time. If you think you can handle getting up at 5 am every morning and still have the energy to be excited about seeing fresh fish on the market’s counters, this could be your chance to become a top fishmonger.
Have the best tools on board.
Running a fishmongers is just like running any other business; you will need to have the best tools in order to deliver the best product. Having your own store will ensure your salary is higher than if you were working for someone else but initially you might see your shop struggling until you have found the right clientele. Fishmongers spend vast amounts of time preparing the fish ahead of this being sold, and as a result, you will need to ensure that your business has all the right tools in place in order for it not to let its customers down. To be a top fishmonger in your area, you will need good sets of knives, fish hand scalers, excellent and sharp scissors, robust aprons and a few shears. These items will help you deliver the best cut and filleted fish around, as long as you have been given the right training to do this properly of course. Invest in the right tools, and you will see your customer base grow. If you would like to make use of machinery in order to scale your produce, these fish scaler machines could be what you are looking for to see your business become better prepared.
Any business can start trading, but not every company does this successfully. In fact, most companies fail to see healthy growth as time passes. If you want to set up your own fishmongers, you will need to be selective about the type of produce you decide to sell, and this will need to be the best, no ifs or buts. If you would like to see customers flock to your store day in and day out, you will need to ensure that whatever it is you are offering them is something you would also pay money for and that aside from being tactful and conversational to your customers, you are able to provide them with high-quality produce. Experts advise not to rush to the market, and to look for traders whose stalls are popular and not empty. This will give you a good indication of who to buy your fish from. With time, you will become an expert at telling the difference between good and excellent fish, but initially, you will probably need to invest some time and money in being trained for this purposes. Knowing your fish is vital if you are going to sell it; book one of these courses now.
Build a strong network of suppliers.
Your suppliers will be your treasure in this business. They are the ones who will be able to source the best fish for you so that you can then trade this for a higher value with your customers. You will need to know everything there is to know about fish: from how this is caught to the impact fishing techniques have on things like price and sustainability. Each fishing boat in your region will have a reputation, so you need to do some research and learn who will be able to provide you with the best produce for you to offer your customers. Study the market first, and once you know who the best players out there are, build strong relationships with them so that they can offer you their best catch of the day.
Build on your unique set of skills.
Before supermarkets started having a massive impact on our economic environment, fishmongers were the places from which buyers would get their fish. Nowadays, these big retail centres have become so popular, the presence of fishmongers has inevitably suffered. If you would like to be a top fishmonger you need to remember to build on your unique set of skills. You should be practical and have physical stamina, have excellent communication skills and be able to handle complaints in a calm manner. Being able to cope with the sight of blood is also a skill that is seldom mentioned when referring to the fishmonger industry as is the ability to cope well under pressure. If you would like for your business to grow, you will also need to understand marketing, and how advertising your business correctly will bring you the amount and type of customers you are after.
Know what being a fishmonger requires.
This article has already outlined what your primary responsibilities will be as a fishmonger, and it is essential that you become familiar with these in order for your journey towards being a professional in the fish industry to be as smooth as possible. Being a fishmonger has a lot to do with dealing with customers, and as you would have probably already guessed, this means you will be taking and placing orders regularly. Like any business in which items are sold, you will also be counting and reviewing your stock on a regular basis, and you need to ensure that your fish sources are second-to-none. Descaling the fish will be another one of your important responsibilities, as will be gutting and cleaning this. If you would like for your fishmongers to have that ‘wow’ factor, you will also need to be good at arranging displays in counters, unless you have the help of someone who can do this for you. The fish cannot go to waste, and this will involve that you ensure this is being stored properly, and being able to advise your customers on how to cook the fish they purchase will also be something you will need to do.
Being a fishmonger comes with its own set of challenges, and it certainly isn’t a profession many out there would choose. However, if you have the right training, tools and expectations in place, this could be a career that could not only fulfil you but provide you with the lifestyle of your dreams. Being close to fresh fish every day could be what you are after since after all, you are incredibly passionate about this particular type of food. If you have some knowledge about fish and you would like to deliver top produce to your customers, this could be your chance of becoming a top fishmonger in your region. Some do it for their love of fish, others in an attempt to save this planet from becoming ruled by giant supermarkets and the rest decide to become fishmongers as it’s been something that has been running in their families. If you are ready to take the next step into fishmongerland, this is your opportunity to do it in style. Arm yourself with loads of support and determination and don’t let the obstacles that will inevitably pop up along the way make you take your eyes off the bigger picture.
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