"In addition to being a taxidermist and publisher, I consider myself a businessman. I ran a successful taxidermy studio for 35 years, I started and ran a successful taxidermy supply company for 14 years before I sold it, and I have had good success as a publisher and trade show promoter. I am not trying to brag on my accomplishments but to let you know that my praise for John Jennings' knowledge of business and how it relates to taxidermy is based on many years of experience, learning, practicing, in addition to making mistakes and correcting them. The words he writes and speaks, in my opinion, are “right on” and I am proud to have the opportunity to publish his articles."
"His advice and insight are paramount to developing and running a sound taxidermy business. For years I have hoped to fill a gap related to business practices that we only occasionally publish information on. Employing solid business practices is as important to your success in taxidermy as the quality of your work. When both knowledge of business and quality taxidermy come together, you will have the ingredients necessary for success."
"Be sure to visit John’s web site at www.taxidermy-direct.com to learn about his software for taxidermists. You can also send him a question by email for advice or an idea for a future article in BREAKTHROUGH: firstname.lastname@example.org."
This method will also reduce your risk if your clients cannot pay their final installment in a timely fashion, or worse yet, fail to pick up their trophy altogether.
If you have been in business for a while, or are continually honing your skills through seminars, competitions, or continuing education then your compensation should reflect your commitment to your craft. You should put a premium on your expertise.
Quality and service are the factors that create value for your clients. People will pay more for quality and service if you can show them how you are better than your competitors. This requires a fundamental shift in how you price your work.
The difference between financial accounting and cost accounting is how they classify and treat costs. Financial accounting classifies costs as either direct costs (cost of goods sold) or indirect costs (overhead). Cost accounting ushers in new terms; fixed costs and variable costs.
Once you’ve eliminated all sources of bad discounts you can dig into the actual costs of running your studio. Don’t forget to carve out a decent salary for you and a reasonable profit for your business. Let your clients know when you are raising prices due to increasing costs. They will understand the situation and the reasons behind the increase. They will continue to buy from you.
The first thing your accountant will want to know is if you are in the taxidermy business to make a profit or if you are just exploring a hobby. According to IRS rules, if your business is set up to make a profit, and you are actively involved in the pursuit of this profit, then you can be considered ‘in business’. About 30% of your profit is going out the door in the form of taxes.
The key to pricing success is a firm grasp of your overhead rate. Once this is known everything else falls into place. Your overhead rate should be calculated periodically, perhaps annually. It will vary depending on your actual costs and how well you manage them, and how efficiently you work.
Most taxidermists own fixed assets of one kind or another. You probably own a freezer or two, equipment like a fleshing machine or band saw, and maybe even a computer or a smartphone. These assets will wear out and lose value over time. You need to account for this wear and tear, and eventually replace them as needed
Most taxidermists think of their competition as the full or part-time guy down the street. But it’s more complex than that. It’s not about who takes in the most deer heads, who’s the cheapest, or who does the best work. It’s about making money and being profitable.
It is a lot more difficult to spot theft when you are both the employer and the employee. Sound business practices with checks and balances will help you run a successful shop. Use paper trails as an early warning system to detect theft and how that affects your profit.