Running and expanding a small aquarium business in South Australia.
Ashleighs Aquariums, a local aquarium shop from Whyalla Playford, South Australia, offers a large range of marine products including live fish and reptiles. Today Ashleigh Masters shares his journey to setting up and running an aquarium business.
Ashleigh used to work in security, however with a medical condition that impacted him from working at full capacity, he decided to take his knowledge of marine creatures, and love for customer service, and start a business with his family. Today the business is thriving and considered to be one of the best shops within the region.
“We have supportive customers and I’m excited about a whole new world of marine fish and reptiles.”
Read more about Ashleigh’s aquarium journey.
Setting up and support
I have a medical disability related to my bad back, so working for someone was very hard. I come from a security background but hadn’t worked for seven or eight years as I was looking after my son. If I’m having an off day, I can potter around the shop and manage things.
We’ve been going since November 2018 and it’s going well.
We sell aquarium products and live fish. We just got into marine fish and reptiles, as well as selling freshwater fish.
I had just done the two-day NEIS training course but not the NEIS program where you get payments, when I heard of Many Rivers.
We got a loan for $5,000 to expand in June 2019. We’ve expanded and now we’re talking about getting another loan to expand again. Peni (Whyalla business coach) also explained a few things to us, like how to do a cashflow properly. The help Peni gave us was with cashflow, preparing a business plan and Peni showing us what we needed to do.
Biggest change since starting the business
The amount of time we can spend together as a family as we’re open seven days a week. We’ve done over 12 months now, so we know when our busy periods are, and we’re now closed on public holidays. It’s good to work for ourselves. If my son has something on, we can go to that and close a bit earlier. It’s a bit more flexible than if we were working for someone else.
Probably the whole lot in general. We have supportive customers and I’m excited about a whole new world of marine fish and reptiles.
I would like to expand to another town if possible. There would be demand for a store about 45 minutes away. It’s something we’re looking at.
If you love fish and reptiles and live in the area, pop in or visit their Facebook page @AshleighsAquariums or Instagram @Ashleighs_Aquariums9 and Ashleigh can share a lot of knowledge. Now is the perfect time to set up a tank and add some lovely fish to your home. Ashleighs Aquariums have starter kit ready to go!
Ashleigh encourages people to drop in to see what great deals they have on offer. You can contact Ashleigh here.
We want to encourage more and more people to take that first step towards building on their passions and business ideas. We’re here to support you the whole way. Please take the Small Business Self Assessment and see if we are right for you.