John Ready, BA’04, grew up a lobsterman — with a strong independent, entrepreneurial streak.
For his co-ops, he’d go back to Maine to catch as many lobsters as he could, then use his business school education to market his catch and resell the bounty to wholesalers — for profit.
During his senior year at Northeastern, Ready entered — and won — an annual business-plan competition. He used the projections and analysis he put together for the competition as the framework for his first business, Ready Seafood.
The business plan, coupled with what he’d learned in his business administration classes over the years, created just the right formula. Today, Ready’s company has close to a 10 percent share of Maine’s lobster market, with more than 100,000 pounds of just-off-the-boat product shipped each week to customers far beyond New England, reaching faraway locales in Asia and Europe.
Looking to expand his multimillion-dollar business even further, Ready also launched Catch a Piece of Maine, which lets lobstermen sell the freshest seafood, harvested according to sustainable practices, direct to consumers around the United States.
Although the company’s growth means Ready isn’t out on the water hauling in lobsters, it hasn’t made the job any less hands-on or less rewarding.
“I’m not on the boat anymore,” Ready said. “I’m not on the floor packing boxes. But we run our business as a team, so we all work together to do whatever needs doing.”
“You grow a business for more than just making money — you have to do this because you love it.”