The number one question I get when someone is considering starting an aquarium maintenance business is, “Will an aquarium maintenance business work in my town?” That’s a good question and is one that you should address before diving into this business.

When considering starting this business in your area, there are two things that you need to look at:

  • What is the population or potential opportunities in the area that you want to serve?
  • How many other people are already offering aquarium maintenance in that area?

What’s the opportunity in your area?

I live in a small town in central Arkansas.  The population here is a little over 5000 people and there’s a couple of dozen businesses here that I would consider potential clients for my business.  Over the years, I’ve had a couple of different accounts here.  Not a lot, but they’ve made a little bit of money.  It might be hard to establish a legit business here especially if this is all you had to work with.  You might could make a few dollars but it would probably never make it out of the hobby stage.

About 20 minutes from my house, there is a larger city with a population of around 65,000 people and a few hundred businesses that I think would be a good fit for my business. I’ve had around a dozen tanks here over the years and I could probably pick up a few more accounts here if I were to market more, but this town is still not my focus and I’ll explain why in a moment.  I think you could create a very good side hustle in a town this size and possibly even up to full time depending on what you’re wanting to make, but you could definitely make some good money.

About 45 minutes from my house is the largest city in Arkansas with a population of around 250,000.  This is where most of my accounts are located because this is where I had my store years ago.  There are hundreds, if not thousands, of potential clients here and I have established my full-time business here.  I have around 50 aquariums in this city & the surrounding area that I maintain and I could get more if I were to try.  I have over 60 aquariums total that I maintain on a monthly basis and that is about all that I want to handle for now.

My service area averages about an hour drive – one way from my house.  I could move closer to my accounts if I wanted, but I choose to live where I’m at.  I love living in the small town that I’m in.

The first thing you want to do is to look at a map and see how far you are willing to travel to service aquariums.  Next, determine the population of the towns located in that area and what are the business opportunities there? 

Now, I just want you to be aware that not everyone is going to want an aquarium.  If there are twenty dentists in the area, not all twenty are going to want a fish tank…you might get one or two.  This is a luxury business and it can be a little harder to get clients, but when you do, you don’t have to spend money marketing to them again and they tend to keep you around for a long time.

As a side not, you can easily be profitable with a legit business at 3-5 maintenance accounts, have a very nice side hustle from 5 to 40 accounts and could even be full time above that depending on what you need to make.

How many other people are already offering aquarium maintenance in that area?

The second thing you want thing you want to look at is how many other people are already doing aquarium maintenance in the area that you want to cover?

The easiest way to check this is to do a quick Google search for aquarium maintenance businesses in your area and see what comes up.

In my area, there are two or three of us that come up in Google search and I know of 3-4 other smaller companies that either don’t even have a website or they are stores that don’t necessarily focus on maintenance.  There’s plenty of business here for all of us and we don’t go after each other’s accounts, either.  We all just kind of work together.

Now, it’s all going to depend on the size of the area that you want to service in relation to the number of companies that show up in the search.  If there’s only 3-4 companies that show up, and the area you want to service is a couple of hundred thousand in population, then there is probably room for more.  If you see 5 or more, then it may be a little harder to get established, but don’t give up hope just yet.

Just because someone is in the business, that does not mean that their business is healthy.  Just because they have a nice website, that does not mean that they know what they’re doing either.  In my many years of doing this, I’ve seen several new aquarium maintenance businesses come and go in my area.  I’ve gotten to where I don’t even worry about any new ones that pop up.  Chances are, they are not going to be around long because they don’t have the correct knowledge to run this business.

Here are a few other reasons why, too.  They may have money problems, they may not know how to run the business end, they may have personal issues, they don’t know the best ways to setup tanks in a maintenance environment or they might not be a good people person.  This is not a difficult business, but there is a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it.  I’m here to teach you the right way.

So, check out their websites, see what they offer and see if you can determine how long they’ve been around.

Something to remember though, is that most people who search for aquarium maintenance companies on the internet don’t know anything about the maintenance companies in the area so they rely on what they find on websites.  All you have to do is to make a better website than everyone else and to get it to rank high in Google.  I have tips in the course to help you do just that.

Something else you want to do is to check with the local, live fish stores or pet stores in your area and see if they offer aquarium maintenance or if they can tell you who does.  If they don’t offer it themselves, are they willing to work with you and advertise for you?  Maybe they will advertise for you if you buy supplies from them.  Potential clients will sometimes call fish stores looking for maintenance or when they buy an aquarium system from them, they may want maintenance.  So, stores are often a good source to learn about aquarium maintenance opportunities in your area.

If I can make this business work in Arkansas, you can probably make it work in your area, too. We are a rural state and a long way from the ocean so aquariums are not on a lot of people’s minds here.

So, do your homework to determine if an aquarium maintenance business will work in your area. if so, the How to Start an Aquarium Maintenance Business Course is a great tool to help you get started with your own maintenance business.