Writing a Lobster Farming Business Plan [Sample Template]

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Do you want to start a lobster farm and need to write a plan? If YES, here is a sample lobster farming business plan template & feasibility report.

Lobsters are dark colored, either bluish green or greenish brown so as to blend in with the ocean floor, but they can be found in a multitude of colors. Lobster is used in soups, bisque, lobster rolls, and cappon magro. Lobster meat may be dipped in clarified butter, resulting in a heightened flavor. Cooks boil or steam live lobsters.

It is also important to state that lobster farming does pretty well in water logged areas except you want to invest in building artificial ponds. If you are able to locate this business in a water – logged area, and area with the right climatic condition, then you likely going to struggle less in your lobster farming business.

A Sample Lobster Farming Business Plan Template

Industry Overview

Businesses in this industry farm lobsters in controlled aquatic environments. Industry operators use some form of intervention in the rearing process to enhance production, such as holding in captivity and protecting from predators, pests and disease.

Ideally, lobster farms require temperatures that are above 25º C during production seasons. Caught lobsters are graded as new-shell, hard-shell, or old-shell, and because lobsters which have recently shed their shells are the most delicate, an inverse relationship exists between the price of American lobster and its flavor.

The Fish and Seafood Aquaculture industry that lobster farming is a part of has experienced slow growth over the last half decade. This is due to the fact that the vast majority of industry revenue is derived from sale of fish, mollusks and crustaceans that will be processed into food products, the success of this industry is tied to levels of seafood consumption.

Per capita seafood consumption in the United States has declined in recent time, putting strain on farmers. Nevertheless, with the recent increase in the price of seafood, combined with a healthy export market, the revenue generated in industry revenue is expected to grow accordingly.

The Fish and Seafood Aquaculture industry is indeed a fast – growing industry and pretty much active in countries such as United States of America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, Germany, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago and South Africa et al. There is no single fish and seafood  (lobster) farm company that has dominate market share in the industry hence smaller farms can successfully make profits.

Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 2,561 registered and licensed fish and seafood farms (lobster farms inclusive) responsible for employing about 8,715 people and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $2 billion annually.

The industry was projected to enjoy 4.4 percent annual growth between 2014 and 2019. A recent report published by IBISWorld shows that the Fish and Seafood Aquaculture industry is expected to generate 27.4 percent of revenue through the sale of farmed seafood in 2016.

The report also shows that IBISWorld estimates industry revenue will decline at an average annualized rate of 4.1 percent to reach $995.0 million over the five years to 2010. Revenue has continued to struggle after the oil spill in the Gulf Coast delivered a major blow to the industry. Along with this disaster, operators have faced other threats from rising competition, increasing input prices and expanding imports.

With the price of feed expected to rise, fish farms are being hit hard. Moreover, competition from fish and seafood from Asia continues to hamper revenue, as Asia tends to offer cheaper products overall. This competition has been slightly curbed, with restrictions placed on China because of drug contamination on a number of their products.

One thing is certain when it comes to seafood cum lobster farming, if you are able to conduct your market research and feasibility studies, you are more likely not going to struggle to sell your farm produce because there are always food processing companies and consumers out there who are ready to buy from you.

Executive Summary

Jordan Hopkins® Lobster Farms, LLC is a licensed seafood farming company that will be based in the outskirts of West Palm Beach, Florida – United States. We have done our detailed market research and feasibility studies and we were able to secure 25 hectares of water – logged land to start our lobster farming.

At Jordan Hopkins® Lobster Farms, LLC we will be involved in the cultivation of different species of lobsters. Within the first seven years of officially running Jordan Hopkins® Lobster Farms, LLC, we will start our food processing and packaging plant and also start exporting our processed and packaged lobsters to other parts of the world.

Which is why aside from the fact that we’ve secured the required farming land and most of the equipment, we have also hired some key employees who are currently undergoing training so as to fit into the ideal picture of the 21st century seafood farming business workforce that we want to build.

We are in the seafood farming business because we want to leverage on the vast opportunities available in the Agriculture industry, to contribute our quota in growing the U.S. economy, in national food production, to export agriculture produce from the United States to other countries and over and above to make profit.

Jordan Hopkins® Lobster Farms, LLC is well positioned to become one of the leading lobster farms in the United States of America, which is why we have been able to source the best hands to run the business with. We have put processes and strategies in place that will help us employ best practices when it comes to seafood/lobster farming nad processing.

Jordan Hopkins® Lobster Farms, LLC is a private registered seafood farming company that is owned by Jordan Hopkins and his immediate family members. Jordan Hopkins is a graduate of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences from the University of Florida with over 10 years hands on experience working for some of the leading seafood farms in the United States.

Our Product Offerings

Jordan Hopkins® Lobster Farms, LLC is a seafood farming company that will be involved in farming lobsters and other seafood for both the United States’ market and the global market. We will also ensure that we operate a standard food processing and packaging plant as part of our complimentary business.

These are the areas we will concentrate on in our seafood farms. If need arises, we will definitely add more seafood to our list;

  • Cultivation of different species of lobsters
  • Processing and packaging of lobsters and other seafood

Our Mission and Vision Statement

  • Our vision is bold, To Lead The Charge in Making Seafood Healthy, and we stand behind every word.
  • Our lobster is fresh food, not frozen. Our lobster is organic where possible.
  • We are set to become the standard of how world – class lobster farms should be run not just in West Palm Beach – Florida, but also throughout the United States of America.
  • We want our well – packaged and processed seafood to flood every nooks and crannies of the United States and other countries of the world.

Our Business Structure

Jordan Hopkins® Lobster Farms, LLC is established with the aim of competing favorably with other leading brands in the industry. This is why we will ensure that we put the right structure in place that will support the kind of growth that we have in mind while setting up the business.

At Jordan Hopkins® Lobster Farms, LLC, we will ensure that we hire people that are qualified, hardworking, creative, customer centric and are ready to work to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all the stake holders.

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our senior management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of five years or more as agreed by the board of trustees of the company. In view of the above, we have decided to hire qualified and competent hands to occupy the following positions;

  • Chief Operating Officer
  • General Farm Manager
  • Administrator/Accountant
  • Lobster/seafood farm workers
  • Sales and Marketing Executive
  • Front Desk Officer

Job Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Executive Officer – CEO:

  • Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results
  • Creating, communicating, and implementing the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
  • Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
  • Responsible for providing direction for the business
  • Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the organization.

General Farm Manager

  • Responsible for the planning, management and coordinating all farm activities
  • Supervise other section managers
  • Ensure compliance during farming project executions
  • Providing advice on the management of farming activities across all section
  • Responsible for carrying out risk assessment
  • Using IT systems and software to keep track of people and progress of the growth of lobsters and other seafood
  • Responsible for overseeing the accounting, costing and sale of lobsters after harvest
  • Represent the organization’s interest at various stakeholders’ meetings
  • Ensures that farming goals desired result are achieved, the most efficient resources are utilized and different interests involved are satisfied.
  • Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
  • Oversee the smooth running of the daily farming activities across the various farming sections.

Administrator/Accountant

  • Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
  • Defining job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
  • Carrying out staff induction for new team members
  • Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
  • Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
  • Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
  • Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
  • Responsible for administering payrolls
  • Ensuring compliance with taxation legislation
  • Handles all financial transactions for the company
  • Serves as internal auditor for the company

Seafood/Lobster Farm Workers

  • Responsible for feeding lobsters on a daily basis
  • Ensures that the water and the temperature of the pond is within the expected standard
  • Responsible for changing the water in various ponds
  • Responsible for harvesting lobsters when they are due for harvest.
  • Work closely with the General Manager to achieve the organizations’ goals and objectives
  • Handle any other duty as assigned by the general farm manager.

Sales and Marketing Officer

  • Manage external research and coordinate all the internal sources of information to retain the organizations’ best customers and attract new ones
  • Model demographic information and analyze the volumes of transactional data generated by customer purchases
  • Identify, prioritize, and reach out to new partners, and business opportunities et al
  • Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
  • Document all customer contact and information
  • Represent the company in strategic meetings
  • Help increase sales and growth for the company

Front Desk/Customer’s Service Officer

  • Welcomes clients and visitors by greeting them in person or on the telephone; answering or directing inquiries.
  • Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
  • Through interaction with clients on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s farm produce
  • Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the organizations’ products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to potential clients when they make enquiries
  • Receives parcels/documents for the company
  • Distribute mails in the organization
  • Handles any other duties as assigned by the line manager

SWOT Analysis

Jordan Hopkins® Lobster Farms, LLC do not intend to launch out with trial and error hence the need to conduct a proper SWOT analysis. We know that if we get it right from the onset, we would have succeeded in creating the foundation that will help us build a standard lobster farm that will favorably compete with leading commercial seafood farms in the United States of America.

We are quite aware that there are several lobster farms all over West Palm Beach – Florida, which is why we are following the due process of establishing a business. We know that if a proper SWOT analysis is conducted for our business, we will be able to position our business to maximize our strength, leverage on the opportunities that will be available to us, mitigate our risks and be equipped to confront our threats.

Jordan Hopkins® Lobster Farms, LLC employed the services of an expert HR and Business Analyst with bias in the fish and seafood farming industry to help us conduct a thorough SWOT analysis and to help us create a business model that will help us achieve our business goals and objectives.

Here is a summary from the result of the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Jordan Hopkins® Lobster Farms, LLC;

Our strength as a lobster farming company is the fact that we have healthy relationships with loads of major players in the agriculture industry. We have some of the latest tools and equipment that will help us cultivate lobsters seafood in commercial quantities with less stress.

Aside from our relationship (network) and equipment, we can confidently boast of having some the most experienced hands in the business in West Palm Beach – Florida in our payroll and we have a competent management team that has what it takes to start and grown business within the shortest time frame.

Our weakness could be that we are a new lobster farming business in the United States, it might take some time for our organization to break into the market and gain acceptance especially from international markets in the already saturated and highly competitive fish and seafood farming industry; that is perhaps our major weakness. Another weakness is that we may not have the required cash to promote our business the way we would want to.

The opportunities that are available to us cannot be quantified, we know that a large number of people eat lobsters and other seafood. We are ready to take advantage of any opportunity that is available in the industry. Interestingly, the demand from seafood preparation is expected to increase in the coming year, representing a potential opportunity for the industry

Per capita seafood consumption measures how many pounds of seafood the average American consumes in a year. Seafood includes all fresh, frozen and canned fish and shellfish. As people consume more seafood, demand for the industry’s products increases. Per capita seafood consumption is expected to decrease briefly, representing a potential threat to the industry.

MARKET ANALYSIS

A close watch on happenings in the fish and seafood farming industry shows that operators in the industry are leveraging on the campaign for healthy eating in promoting their produce. As a matter of fact, lobsters and seafood are more expensive to purchase when compared to fishes et al.

It is on record that revenue for the seafood/lobster farming line of business has maintained positive growth because in recent time, a growing number of individuals shifted to healthy eating and consuming organic produce, resulting in high demand.

One of the common trends in the prawn/seafood farming business is that most players in the industry are no longer concentrating only on non – organic farming. They now find it easier to run both organic and non – organic seafood cultivation. It is fact that despite that organic food are expensive, the sale for organic food is on the increase and it is indeed profitable.

Despite these unfavorable trends in China, international trade continues to be a major source of competition for industry operators. Since the United States imports more than 70.0% of its seafood, the Fish and Seafood Aquaculture industry has been significantly affected.

Furthermore, imports are expected to increase over the current period. In light of these factors, the number of industry establishments is expected to decline slightly over the five-year period, with employment rising only marginally.

Our Target Market

The end consumer of seafood and lobsters and also those who benefits from the business value chain is all encompassing.

We have positioned our lobster farming business to service supermarkets, grocery stores, hotels, restaurants and other outlets all across West Palm Beach – Florida and other key cities all over the United States of America. We are in business to retail our lobsters to the following groups of people and businesses;

  • Supermarkets
  • Grocery Stores
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Outdoor caterers
  • Households
  • Fishermen (used as baits)

Competitive Advantage

A close study of the fish and seafood farming industry reveals that the market has become much more intensely competitive over the last decade. As a matter of fact, you have to be highly creative, customer centric and proactive if you must survive in this industry. We are aware of the stiff competition and we are prepared to compete favorably with other seafood / lobster farms in West Palm Beach – Florida.

Jordan Hopkins® Lobster Farms, LLC is fully aware that there are competitions when it comes to selling seafood/lobsters all over the globe, which is why we decided to carry out thorough research so as to know how to take advantage of the available market in the United States and in other parts of the world.

We have done our homework and we have been able to highlight some factors that will give us competitive advantage in the marketplace; some of the factors are effective and reliable lobster farming processes that can help us sell our produce at competitive prices, good network and excellent relationship management.

Our competitive advantage lies in the power of our team; our workforce. We have a team of hardworking and highly proficient farmers, a team with excellent qualifications and experience as it relates to seafood/lobster farming. Aside from the synergy that exists in our carefully selected team members, we have some of the latest and efficient equipment and we will be guided by best practices in the industry.

Another competitive advantage that we are bringing to the industry is the fact that we have designed our business in such a way that we will operate an all – round lobster farm that will be involved in processing and packaging lobsters for both local and international market.

Lastly, all our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry. It will enable them to be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our business aims and objectives.

SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY

We are quite aware that the reason why some seafood/lobster farms hardly make good profits is their inability to sell off their farm produce as at when due. In view of that, we decided to set up a standard seafood processing and packaging plan and also to cultivate our feeds for our lobsters. It will indeed help us maximize profits.

Our sales and marketing team will be recruited based on their vast experience in the industry and they will be trained on a regular basis so as to be well equipped to meet their set targets.

Our goal is to grow Jordan Hopkins® Lobster Farms, LLC to become one of the leading seafood/lobster farms in the United States of America which is why we have mapped out strategies that will help us take advantage of the available market and grow to become a major force to reckon with not only in West Palm Beach – Florida, but also in other cities in the United States of America.

In summary, Jordan Hopkins® Lobster Farms, LLC will adopt the following strategies in marketing our prawn and other seafood;

  • Introduce our business by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to stake holders in the households, hotels, restaurants, outdoor caterers and fish and seafood merchants et al.
  • Advertise our business in food related magazines and websites
  • List our lobster farming business on yellow pages ads
  • Attend related agriculture and food expos, seminars, and business fairs et al
  • Leverage on the internet to promote our business
  • Engage in direct marketing
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth marketing (referrals)

Sources of Income

Jordan Hopkins® Lobster Farms, LLC is in the lobster farming business for the purpose of maximizing profits hence we have decided to explore all the available opportunities within the industry to achieve our corporate goals and objectives.

Below are the sources we intend exploring to generate income for Jordan Hopkins® Lobster Farms, LLC;

  • Sale of different species of lobsters
  • Sale of processed and well – packaged lobsters and other seafood
  • Related training, consultancy and advisory Services

Sales Forecast

From the survey conducted, we were are able to discover that the sales generated by a (lobster) seafood commercial farm depends on the size and nature of the farm.

We have perfected our sales and marketing strategies and we are quite optimistic that we will meet or even surpass our set target of generating enough income/profits from the first year of operation and build the business from survival to sustainability.

We have been able to examine the fish and seafood commercial farming industry, we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. Below are the projections that we were able to come up with for the first three years of running Jordan Hopkins® Lobster Farms, LLC;

  • First Fiscal Year (FY1): $320,000
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $500,000
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $800,000

N.B: This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown that can impact negatively on household spending, bad weather cum natural disasters, and unfavorable government policies.

We are aware of the pricing trend in the fish and seafood farming industry which is why we have decided to package lobsters in different sizes.

In view of that, our prices will conform to what is obtainable in the industry but we will ensure that within the first 6 to 12 months our lobsters are sold a little bit below the average prices of brands in the United States of America. We have put in place business strategies that will help us run on low profits for a period of 6 months; it is a way of encouraging people to buy into our lobster farming business.

The payment policy adopted by Jordan Hopkins® Lobster Farms, LLC is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of the United States of America. Here are the payment options that Jordan Hopkins® Lobster Farms, LLC will make available to her clients;

  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer
  • Payment via bank draft

In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our client make payment for lobster purchase without any stress on their part.

Publicity and Advertising Strategy

Any business that wants to grow beyond the corner of the street or the city they are operating from must be ready and willing to utilize every available means to advertise and promote the business. We intend growing our business which is why we have perfected plans to build our brand via every available means.

Below are the platforms you can leverage on to boost our lobster commercial farm brand and to promote and advertise our business;

  • Place adverts on both print (newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community – based events / programs
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote our business
  • Install our Bill Boards on strategic locations all around West Palm Beach – Florida
  • Engage in roadshow from time to time in targeted neighborhoods
  • Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas
  • List our seafood farms in local directories / yellow pages
  • Advertise our lobster farms in our official website and employ strategies that will help us pull traffic to the site.
  • Ensure that all our staff members wear our branded shirts and all our vehicles and trucks are well branded with our company logo et al.

Financial Projections and Costing

When it comes to calculating the cost of starting a standard seafood commercial farm, there are some key factors that should serve as a guide. Below are some of the basic areas we will spend our startup capital in setting up our seafood commercial farm;

  • The total fee for incorporating the Business in United States of America – $750.
  • The budget for key insurance policies, permits and business license – $2,500
  • The amount needed to acquire/lease a farm land – $50,000
  • The amount required for preparing the farm land (for fish ponds, and fencing et al – $30,000
  • The cost for acquiring the required working tools and equipment / machines / glass casing et al – $200,000
  • The amount required for purchase of feeds and fingerlings – $20,000
  • The cost of launching an official website – $600
  • The amount required for payment of workers for a period of 3 months – $100,000
  • Additional Expenditure (Business cards, Signage, Adverts and Promotions et al) – $2,000

Going by the report from detailed research and feasibility studies conducted, we will need an average of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) to start a standard (lobster) seafood commercial farm business in the United States of America.

Seafood commercial farms do not require an office space, most people that run seafood commercial farms operate directly from their farms. But if we have decided to open a small liaison office; a place where administrative jobs will be carried out.

Generating Funds/Startup Capital for Jordan Hopkins® Lobster Farms, LLC.

Jordan Hopkins® Lobster Farms, LLC is owned and financed by Jordan Hopkins and his immediate family members. They do not intend to welcome any other business partner which is why he has decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital to 3 major sources.

  • Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings and sell of stocks
  • Source for soft loans from family members and friends
  • Apply for loan from the Bank

N.B: We have been able to generate about $100,000 (Personal savings $80,000 and soft loan from family members 20,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $150,000 from our bank. All the papers and document have been signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited with the amount.

Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

Part of the plans we have in place to sustain Jordan Hopkins® Lobster Farms, LLC is to ensure that we continue to make available different sizes and species of lobsters, deliver quality services, improvise on how to do things faster and cheaper. We are not going to relent in providing conducive environment for our workers and also the required trainings that will help them deliver excellent services at all times.

We are quite aware that our customers are key component to the growth and survival of our business hence we are going to continuously engage them to give us ideas on how to serve them better and the products they want to see in our store. We will not waste time in adopting new technology, best practices and diversifying our services; expand our product and service offerings once the need arises.

Jordan Hopkins® Lobster Farms, LLC will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner.

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of three years or more. We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.

Check List/Milestone

  • Business Name Availability Check: Completed
  • Business Incorporation: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts : Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Leasing of farm land in West Palm Beach – Florida: Completed
  • Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
  • Startup Capital Generation: Completed
  • Writing of Business Plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
  • Printing of Packaging and Promotional Materials: Completed
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Building /construction of fish ponds: In Progress
  • Purchase of the needed working tools, machines and equipment: Completed
  • Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
  • Creating Awareness for the business (Business PR): In Progress
  • Farm land Treatment, Health and Safety Arrangement: In Progress
  • Establishing business relationship with key players in the industry : Completed

Researcher / Senior Writer at Profitable Venture Magazine Ltd

Solomon O’chucks is a Researcher, Prolific Writer and a UNICEF trained & certified Facilitator and Counselor, A Graduate of Morris Cerullor School of Ministry and He Holds a Degree in Personal Development & Science of Success from IIGL Asheville, NC, USA.


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1 COMMENT

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