Business ideas
8 min read

How to Start a Profitable Taxidermy Business [11 Steps]

Learn how to start a profitable taxidermy business with our 11+ step guide. From equipment to marketing, we cover everything you need to know. Start today! #taxidermy #business #profitable

By Nick Cotter
Updated Feb 02, 2024

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This page may feature products from our affiliate partners, which could influence the products we discuss due to potential compensation. Despite this, our evaluations are impartial, based solely on our independent analysis. The content here is intended for informational purposes and should not be seen as legal advice. For professional guidance, consulting with a legal expert is recommended.
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1. Perform market analysis.

Starting a taxidermy business requires a thorough understanding of the market landscape in which it will operate. Performing a market analysis is essential to identify potential customers, competitors, and market trends that can influence your business strategy. Here's how you can begin:

  • Research the local demand for taxidermy services by looking into hunting and fishing license sales, museums, and collectors in the area.
  • Analyze the competition by examining their service offerings, pricing strategies, and customer reviews to identify gaps in the market.
  • Identify your target audience, whether they are hunters, taxidermy collectors, or educational institutions, and understand their specific needs and preferences.
  • Investigate regulations and legal requirements for taxidermy businesses in your area to ensure compliance and identify any potential barriers to entry.
  • Explore market trends, such as the rise in ethical taxidermy or the use of taxidermy in interior design, which could open new opportunities for your business.
  • Consider the impact of online sales and digital marketing, as well as the potential for shipping finished pieces to a broader market beyond your immediate locale.
taxidermy business image

Are Taxidermy businesses profitable?

Yes, taxidermy businesses can be profitable. Taxidermy services are in demand for hunters, wildlife enthusiasts, and collectors. Prices for taxidermy services can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the size, species, and complexity of the mount. With the right marketing, customer service, and business management, a taxidermy business can be profitable.

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2. Draft a taxidermy business plan.

Creating a comprehensive taxidermy business plan is crucial for establishing a successful venture. It enables you to flesh out your vision, set realistic goals, and communicate your strategy to potential investors or stakeholders. Below is a guide to help you draft an effective business plan for your taxidermy enterprise:

  • Define your business concept: Explain the types of taxidermy services you plan to offer, the unique selling points of your business, and your target market.
  • Analyze your market: Research and document potential customer demographics, competitors, market trends, and pricing strategies.
  • Outline your business structure: Detail whether you will operate as a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation, and describe the roles and responsibilities of your team.
  • Develop a marketing plan: Describe how you will attract and retain customers through advertising, social media, trade shows, and other marketing efforts.
  • Establish financial projections: Provide forecasts for revenue, expenses, cash flow, and capital requirements, including startup costs and potential funding sources.
  • Set goals and milestones: Identify short-term and long-term objectives for your business, including plans for growth and expansion.

How does a Taxidermy business make money?

A taxidermy business typically makes money by charging customers for services such as mounting, skinning, preserving, and mounting animals or fish. They may also offer additional services such as framing or customizing the mounts, or selling taxidermy supplies or materials.

3. Develop a taxidermy brand.

Creating a strong brand for your taxidermy business is crucial as it sets the tone for your company's identity and helps to attract your target market. Your brand should reflect the quality of your craftsmanship, your unique style, and the values that your business stands for. Here are some key points to consider when developing your taxidermy brand:

  • Define Your Brand Personality: Decide on the character and emotions you want associated with your business. Are you going for a traditional, rustic feel or a modern, artistic vibe?
  • Design a Memorable Logo: Your logo should be distinctive and capture the essence of your brand personality. It will appear on all your marketing materials, so make sure it's impactful.
  • Choose a Color Scheme: Colors evoke emotions and communicate messages. Select a palette that aligns with your brand’s personality and appeals to your intended clientele.
  • Create a Tagline: A catchy tagline can be a powerful branding tool. It should summarize what you offer and what sets you apart in just a few words.
  • Consistent Brand Messaging: Ensure that all your communications, from your website to social media to printed materials, have a consistent tone and message that reinforces your brand.
  • Identify Your Target Market: Understand who your clients are and tailor your branding to speak directly to their needs and preferences.

How to come up with a name for your Taxidermy business?

When considering what to name your Taxidermy business, it is important to think of something that reflects your style and creativity. Consider incorporating your name into the business name, or selecting a unique phrase or phrase that you think conveys your services. Brainstorming words that reflect the feeling you want customers to associate with your business can be a great starting point. Researching any potential trademark conflicts before settling on a name is also essential to ensure that your business name is legally protected.

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4. Formalize your business registration.

Starting a taxidermy business requires not just skill in the craft, but also ensuring that the business is legally formalized. This step is crucial for operating within the law, protecting personal assets, and establishing credibility with customers. Here is a simplified guide to help you through the formal business registration process:

  • Choose a business structure (such as a sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership, or corporation) that best suits your needs for liability protection and tax implications.
  • Register your business name with the appropriate state agency, ensuring it is unique and meets all state requirements for a business name.
  • Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for tax purposes, which is necessary for hiring employees and opening a business bank account.
  • Apply for any required state and local licenses or permits specific to taxidermy and wildlife conservation, which may involve inspections and adherence to environmental regulations.
  • Check with your local government about zoning laws to ensure your business location is compliant and that you can legally operate a taxidermy business from that premises.
  • Register for state and local taxes, including sales tax and any other applicable taxes related to your business activities.

Resources to help get you started:

Explore indispensable resources designed for taxidermy entrepreneurs, featuring market trends, operational best practices, and strategic growth advice:

5. Acquire necessary licenses and permits for taxidermy.

Starting a taxidermy business requires compliance with various regulations to ensure ethical practices and safety. Acquiring the correct licenses and permits is a crucial step that you cannot overlook. Here's what you need to do:

  • Research local and state regulations: Different regions have unique requirements, so it's important to understand the specific laws that apply to your area.
  • Obtain a Federal Taxidermy Permit: If you plan to work with migratory birds, this permit is required by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • Apply for a state taxidermy license: Most states require a specialized license for taxidermists, often issued by the state's department of wildlife or natural resources.
  • Secure business licenses: Besides taxidermy-specific permits, you'll need to acquire a general business license to operate legally.
  • Check zoning laws: Ensure that your business location is zoned for taxidermy work, as some areas may have restrictions.
  • Adhere to health and safety regulations: Obtain any necessary health and safety permits to handle biohazardous materials.

6. Open a business bank account and secure funding as needed.

Opening a business bank account and securing funding are pivotal steps in establishing the financial backbone for your taxidermy business. A dedicated bank account will help you manage cash flow, track expenses, and make tax filing easier. Should your business require additional capital, various funding options are available. Here's how to proceed:

  • Choose a Bank: Research and select a bank that offers business accounts with benefits suited to your needs, such as low fees, easy access, and good customer service.
  • Business Account Requirements: Gather necessary documents, which typically include your business registration, EIN, and personal identification, to open a business checking account.
  • Consider a Business Savings Account: To prepare for future expenses or emergencies, opening a business savings account could be beneficial.
  • Explore Funding Options: Investigate potential funding sources such as small business loans, lines of credit, grants, investors, or crowdfunding platforms.
  • Prepare a Business Plan: A solid business plan can increase your chances of securing a loan or investment by detailing your business strategy, financial projections, and growth potential.
  • Understand Terms and Conditions: Before securing funding, ensure you fully comprehend the terms and conditions, such as interest rates, repayment schedules, and any potential impact on your business assets.

7. Set pricing for taxidermy services.

Setting the right prices for your taxidermy services is crucial to ensure profitability while remaining competitive in the market. It's important to strike a balance between covering your costs, valuing your time and expertise, and offering prices that your customers are willing to pay. Consider the following guidelines when determining your pricing structure:

  • Calculate your costs: Include materials, overhead, labor, and any subcontracting fees. Ensure that your base price covers these expenses.
  • Research the competition: Look at what other taxidermists are charging for similar services. Adjust your prices to be competitive but don't undervalue your work.
  • Factor in complexity: Charge more for intricate and time-consuming projects to account for the additional effort and skill required.
  • Consider your experience: If you're a seasoned taxidermist with a strong portfolio, you can command higher prices than someone just starting out.
  • Offer tiered pricing: Provide different pricing levels based on the quality and complexity of the work to cater to a wider range of customers.
  • Be transparent: Clearly communicate your pricing structure to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings with customers.
  • Adjust as necessary: Periodically review and adjust your prices based on changes in costs, market demand, and your growing expertise.

What does it cost to start a Taxidermy business?

Initiating a taxidermy business can involve substantial financial commitment, the scale of which is significantly influenced by factors such as geographical location, market dynamics, and operational expenses, among others. Nonetheless, our extensive research and hands-on experience have revealed an estimated starting cost of approximately $11500 for launching such an business. Please note, not all of these costs may be necessary to start up your taxidermy business.

8. Acquire taxidermy equipment and supplies.

Starting a taxidermy business requires specific tools and materials that are essential for preparing and mounting specimens. Acquiring the right taxidermy equipment and supplies is crucial for ensuring high-quality workmanship and customer satisfaction. Below is a list of items you will need to get started:

  • Skinning Knives: Sharp knives for precise cuts and skin removal.
  • Scalpels: For fine and detailed dissection work.
  • Fleshing Tools: To remove flesh from hides and skins.
  • Needles and Thread: For sewing up skins and creating seamless joins.
  • Tanning Chemicals: Necessary for preserving skins and hides.
  • Form and Mannequins: Foam or other materials to mount the specimens on.
  • Modeling Clay: Used to sculpt finer details and anatomy.
  • Paintbrushes and Airbrushes: For detailed painting and finishing touches.
  • Eye Inserts: Glass or acrylic eyes to give lifelike appearance to mounted animals.
  • Protective Gear: Gloves, aprons, and safety glasses for personal protection.
  • Cleaning Supplies: To maintain a hygienic and organized workspace.

List of Software, Tools and Supplies Needed to Start a Taxidermy Business:

  • Taxidermy tools and supplies
  • Taxidermy software
  • Taxidermy workbench
  • Taxidermy mounts
  • Taxidermy forms
  • Preservatives and tanning supplies
  • Preserving and tanning equipment
  • Animal skinning supplies
  • Taxidermy reference books
  • Adhesives and glues
  • Taxidermy paints, stains, and sealants
  • Taxidermy practice specimens
  • Taxidermy cleaning supplies

9. Obtain business insurance for taxidermy, if required.

Securing the right business insurance is a crucial step in protecting your taxidermy business from potential risks. It's important to understand the types of insurance that are available and determine which ones are necessary for your specific business needs. Here are some key points to consider when obtaining business insurance for your taxidermy operation:

  • General Liability Insurance: This covers accidents that can happen on your business premises, such as customer injuries or property damage.
  • Professional Liability Insurance: Also known as Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance, it protects against claims of negligence or mistakes in your professional services.
  • Property Insurance: This ensures your equipment, inventory, and workspace are covered in case of theft, fire, or other damages.
  • Commercial Auto Insurance: If you use a vehicle for your business, such as for picking up specimens or delivering finished mounts, this type of insurance is necessary.
  • Workers' Compensation: If you employ others, workers' compensation is typically required by law to cover injuries or illnesses that occur as a result of their job.
  • Consult with an insurance agent who specializes in business policies to tailor your coverage to your specific needs and to ensure compliance with any local regulations.

10. Begin marketing your taxidermy services.

As you embark on the journey of marketing your taxidermy services, it's essential to highlight the unique qualities of your work and reach out to your target audience effectively. Here are some proven strategies to help you attract clients and grow your business.

  • Develop a Strong Brand: Create a memorable logo and consistent branding materials that reflect the quality and artistry of your work.
  • Build an Online Presence: Launch a professional website showcasing your portfolio, and utilize social media platforms to engage with potential customers and share your projects.
  • Network Locally: Attend hunting and outdoor expos, join local hunting clubs, and partner with wildlife conservation groups to connect with enthusiasts who may require your services.
  • Offer Promotions: Introduce discounts for first-time customers or referral bonuses to encourage word-of-mouth advertising.
  • Leverage Testimonials: Gather reviews and testimonials from satisfied clients to build credibility and trust with prospective customers.
  • Advertise: Consider advertising in relevant magazines, local newspapers, or online platforms targeted towards your audience.

  • Taxidermy tools and supplies
  • Taxidermy software
  • Taxidermy workbench
  • Taxidermy mounts
  • Taxidermy forms
  • Preservatives and tanning supplies
  • Preserving and tanning equipment
  • Animal skinning supplies
  • Taxidermy reference books
  • Adhesives and glues
  • Taxidermy paints, stains, and sealants
  • Taxidermy practice specimens
  • Taxidermy cleaning supplies

11. Expand your taxidermy business.

Once your taxidermy business is up and running smoothly, it's time to look at expansion strategies to scale up and increase your market presence. Here are a few tips to consider when you're ready to take your business to the next level:

  • Diversify your services: Offer a wider range of taxidermy services to attract different types of customers, such as museums, hunters, and collectors.
  • Offer classes: Teaching taxidermy can bring in extra revenue and also attract potential customers to your business.
  • Partner with hunting and outdoor stores: Establish partnerships with these stores to reach a broader customer base who may require taxidermy services.
  • Invest in marketing: Increase your online presence with a professional website, social media marketing, and SEO to reach a larger audience.
  • Attend trade shows: Showcase your work at trade shows and expos to network with others in the industry and find new clients.
  • Expand online sales: Consider selling taxidermy supplies or related products online to supplement your income.
  • Franchise or license: If your business model is successful, consider franchising or licensing to allow others to open locations under your brand.