Step 5: Planning for Success

commercial fishing boat with nets in the water

With your homework done, you're now ready to take the plunge into ownership of a fishing business. This section contains a business planning software program specific to commercial fishing operations that may help you take that big step with more confidence.

Many financial advisors recommend—and some lenders require—that you write a formal business plan to help assess where you are and where you are going, as well as to lay out various strategies for making a profit and making your payments.

FishBiz Plan template

The University of Minnesota, in partnership with several Sea Grant programs around the nation, has developed an online business plan template called FishBizPlan for commercial fishing businesses.

FishBizPlan walks you through drafting a plan and includes example plans, tips and additional resources. Embedded within the plan are extensive video tutorials on developing financial statements.

Remember, your annual federal tax return is NOT a business plan; it is an annual earnings snapshot created for tax purposes only.