Adventures with Corndog: Corndog's Fish Store

Gator

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Yeah I love fish, even when I was a kid I was always fascinated with the fish thank. Too bad I suck at actually keeping them and every time I try they all die within 6mos.
To echo the other comments to this quote also make sure you are not using city tap water. The chemicals are deadly so you have to make use dechlorinator. Also the softness/hardness could cause issues. I've been maintaining nano shrimp tanks for awhile now and those are key thing in ensuring their little lives. Also, temperature and ammonia are biggies.

I definitely need to reread this whole thread. What he has done for the aquarium industry had been great. Also, making easier for newbs like me to learn and purchase products. I never would of thought I'd have nano tanks with freshwater shrimp but here I am.

I bought some plants from C Corndog shop awhile back and found it funny that the plants came from a Florida nursery only a few hours from where I live. So those plants flew to the opposite side of the country just to come right back. Found that funny for some reason.
 

Corndog

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Mostly a lurker. Covid has put such a wrench into the last year and continues to do so. Essentially there seems to be a never ending "gotta figure that out" list.

Covid - how to keep employees working. Buying paper towels by the pallets, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide by the cases. CDC mandates, state mandates, local city walk through for compliance. Spotty child care for employees, leading to call outs etc.
Snow Storm
Vendor outages.
Our manufactured products held at the port. Original land date was 12/2. As of 1/9 "we can't get to it yet, it's in the stack"
Sales down by 25% from previous year.
Fish and plants coming in from around the world/ or even Florida. When you see the headlines of airline X canceled 2000 flights over the weekend. That's 2000 less flights to move mail, shipments etc. On average once a plane lands, it's 6+ hours. Airline carriers are way under staffed. Often times flights are rebooked, what was 2x a week airport runs are now 3+ every week.


Most everything has been touched and made harder. Just apply that every single thing is 1 step harder. Takes 10% more effort to do anything. Stack that with everything costing 15% more.

We are still profitable. Stress/burnout is at an all time high. Continually waiting for the, ok no fires to put out these couple of weeks and recover. I know we've been in this mode since July basically.
 

Shonuff

Mr. Poopybutthole
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Mostly a lurker. Covid has put such a wrench into the last year and continues to do so. Essentially there seems to be a never ending "gotta figure that out" list.

Covid - how to keep employees working. Buying paper towels by the pallets, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide by the cases. CDC mandates, state mandates, local city walk through for compliance. Spotty child care for employees, leading to call outs etc.
Snow Storm
Vendor outages.
Our manufactured products held at the port. Original land date was 12/2. As of 1/9 "we can't get to it yet, it's in the stack"
Sales down by 25% from previous year.
Fish and plants coming in from around the world/ or even Florida. When you see the headlines of airline X canceled 2000 flights over the weekend. That's 2000 less flights to move mail, shipments etc. On average once a plane lands, it's 6+ hours. Airline carriers are way under staffed. Often times flights are rebooked, what was 2x a week airport runs are now 3+ every week.


Most everything has been touched and made harder. Just apply that every single thing is 1 step harder. Takes 10% more effort to do anything. Stack that with everything costing 15% more.

We are still profitable. Stress/burnout is at an all time high. Continually waiting for the, ok no fires to put out these couple of weeks and recover. I know we've been in this mode since July basically.
Are sales down from a lack of demand, a lack of product, or both?

I find it hard to believe people are into pets less. We were actually down only 10% last year, and that had more to do with the fact that we missed 22 days due to rainouts. We benefited from people staying at home. They didn't go anywhere, so they spent more on things for the home. Go figure. Covid kind of helped us.
 

Shonuff

Mr. Poopybutthole
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I see a lot of Business Owners are stressed right now. You have to do things to make you feel happy, eat right and workout. I'm 51, I've seen people have heart attacks from doing their own thing younger than me. Just did a Zoom meeting the other week trying to help a friend who owned a plumbing business. She's literally pulling her hair while we are talking.
You can't execute well when stressed. You have to able to step back, meditate and then execute. If you are "store blind," meaning all you see is things like covid safety and inventory issues, you never make it.
Owning your own business is rewarding, but can also be punishing.
 
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Corndog

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I'm not sure what is causing the downward trend. Everyone in the industry that I talk to has seen it though. Normally, kids go back to school. Sales come back. Kids going back to school has been spotty, so that may have something to do with it. Perhaps missing days at work has lead to some less income etc. Normally we basically double every year.

The last 5 years of revenue.
2017 1.1 million in sales
2018 2.5 million in sales
2019 4.6 million in sales
2020 8.3 million in sales
2021 11 million in sales

Early in 2021 when stimulus money was out, we were on track to double again. However once the stimulus money stopped, we started dropping below previous year numbers. We are seeing our post Christmas increase, and that is a good sign. We have had some products miss launches. Normally we have a new product launch for November/December. However this year it's been stuck at the port. Hoping things settle down and smooth out so I can reduce stress. It's managable, but you're completely correct in that time spent chasing down a cargo container, a lost flight etc. Is time spent not innovating.
 

Hateyou

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I'm not sure what is causing the downward trend. Everyone in the industry that I talk to has seen it though. Normally, kids go back to school. Sales come back. Kids going back to school has been spotty, so that may have something to do with it. Perhaps missing days at work has lead to some less income etc. Normally we basically double every year.

The last 5 years of revenue.
2017 1.1 million in sales
2018 2.5 million in sales
2019 4.6 million in sales
2020 8.3 million in sales
2021 11 million in sales

Early in 2021 when stimulus money was out, we were on track to double again. However once the stimulus money stopped, we started dropping below previous year numbers. We are seeing our post Christmas increase, and that is a good sign. We have had some products miss launches. Normally we have a new product launch for November/December. However this year it's been stuck at the port. Hoping things settle down and smooth out so I can reduce stress. It's managable, but you're completely correct in that time spent chasing down a cargo container, a lost flight etc. Is time spent not innovating.
I’ll be ordering some more when winter is done! I assume the plants would freeze and die sitting in my mailbox in Indiana winter, so I’m just waiting it out. Sounds like you’re doing well with all things considered, everything’s fucked in nearly every industry now.
 

Shonuff

Mr. Poopybutthole
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11d 22h 19m
I'm not sure what is causing the downward trend. Everyone in the industry that I talk to has seen it though.
I don't even talk to anyone in my industry. Misery loves company. All they do is try to pry you for ideas, and then lie about their actual numbers. Hell, we had a competitor bragging about how he won a 54M government contract. But we talked to the bidders to see where they were, and it was less than 1M for the whole year.

Your sales numbers are awesome, congrats. You are an inspiration.

As far as the downward drag, sounds like you have work to do to even define what the cause is. Most of the corporate people here are still at home, so we are steady. We blast out social media, because a lot of these customers are at their PCs. Was interesting, with covid, we had to increase our bids on PCs and tablets and lower phones, because people aren't on their phone nearly as much. My consulting company had me increase PC bids by 25%.

I would think you'd be a beneficiary of stay at home. But, like I said, social media usage is up, so that's where I am.
 
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Gator

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I went with the family to Aquashella (a large aquarium convention) a few weeks ago in Orlando and C Corndog was there with his company giving out free shirts along with being a guest speaker. So I join the line, everyones talking to him about aquarium topics, and when I get up to him I'm like "Hey! Are you Corndog on FoH?" He laughs and states he's never met anyone from the forum before (same here). We talked a few seconds before moving along. Cool guy. It's amazing what he has accomplished.
 
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Tmac

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I went with the family to Aquashella (a large aquarium convention) a few weeks ago in Orlando and C Corndog was there with his company giving out free shirts along with being a guest speaker. So I join the line, everyones talking to him about aquarium topics, and when I get up to him I'm like "Hey! Are you Corndog on FoH?" He laughs and states he's never met anyone from the forum before (same here). We talked a few seconds before moving along. Cool guy. It's amazing what he has accomplished.

You totally weirded him out man!

Over It Reaction GIF by X Factor Global
 

CaughtCross

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I went with the family to Aquashella (a large aquarium convention) a few weeks ago in Orlando and C Corndog was there with his company giving out free shirts along with being a guest speaker. So I join the line, everyones talking to him about aquarium topics, and when I get up to him I'm like "Hey! Are you Corndog on FoH?" He laughs and states he's never met anyone from the forum before (same here). We talked a few seconds before moving along. Cool guy. It's amazing what he has accomplished.

It amazes me to no end that he went from just being a guy starting his own local fish store to now being a huge brand in the aquarium industry to the point he has people waiting in lines at conventions to talk to him. This is by far one of my favorite threads on FOH. Corndog came a long way from the start of this thread.
 

Ortega

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It amazes me to no end that he went from just being a guy starting his own local fish store to now being a huge brand in the aquarium industry to the point he has people waiting in lines at conventions to talk to him. This is by far one of my favorite threads on FOH. Corndog came a long way from the start of this thread.
I haven't visited this thread in a long time, but I'll admit his success has certainly made me reconsider my shyness about YouTube, etc. Definitely very cool!

I've done pretty good in my businesses, but have shied away from YouTube and CornDog has definitely proven that there's nothing to fear and it's worth the time investment. Especially when I look at the current content regarding Thrift Stores on Youtube. They're all sub 2K sq ft podunk things that don't do anything correctly then boast about making a few grand a month at best.