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Running a Sucessful Equine Business
Your Equine Business Components
Every equestrian business involves a skill or service such as farrier services or horse boarding at a barn. Additionally, every horse business has the business end which includes finance, marketing, planning, accounting, cash flow, and risk management.
Running a business is not easy. It is not enough to be the best at your equestrian skills or services, you must also be able to get new customers and keep existing customers through an effective marketing plan. Without sales, there is no business.
Have a Business Plan
The purpose of these pages is to help you be a successful business person, not to teach you equine professional skills. You should have those skills before going into business.
First, you will need a business plan. The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides a very useful tool for building a business plan. The process of building a business plan is hard work, but having your business fail is even harder work. When you start with a sound business plan you will have a much better chance of succeeding.
Finance Your Business
Every new business needs to have capital to start. That means cash or credit resources to fund the business from start up to break even. The amount of capital needed depends on the resources needed to run your business. If you are going to run your business from home, the initial capital required is much less.
Part of your business plan will be to project income and expenses over the first two years of activity. Projecting income is not to be taken lightly since you must have income to survive. Your income will derive from sales so you have to find a realistic way to project your sales volume. For example, if you are a farrier, you will determine what your market area will be and who your target customers will be within that target area.
Since there are probably other farriers already established in your market area, is there enough business to support one more farrier? And how will you take that business away from existing farriers? This leads us to the Marketing section of your Business Plan.
Marketing Your Horse Business
If you determine that your business is viable after reviewing the competition, you will want to decide on how you will differentiate your farrier business from others. If you set your pricing to match competitors, how long will it take you to break even? But more importantly, how will you get customers to begin with?
Failure to constantly promote your business through effective marketing techniques will result in the failure of your business. Part of your business plan will mean you
There are many ways to market without expensive advertising and you should be aware of these methods. A marketing plan can include word of mouth, asking friends for referrals, posting business cards on bulletin boards at the local feed store, establishing a Facebook page, advertising online or in the local weekly papers, and visiting all the local boarding barns to talk about your service.
As the main employee of your business, you must pay yourself a living wage. If your business income does not allow you to do this, you don't have a business and you should go to work for someone else so you can meet your personal financial obligations.
Most people have personal financial obligations in addition to business financial obligations. You cannot ignore your personal financial obligations in favor of your business obligations. Each should be kept separate so you can budget for both and see the results of your business.
Because of the need to support themselves, many entrepreneurs start their new business on a part time basis, holding down a full time job while building a new business as a side hustle. Once the side business produces enough income to have the potential to support them, they then move into the business full time.
There are many advantages to this approach, not the least being that you will come to understand the market. And as we have mentioned previously, understanding your market is the most important first step for any new business.
Incorporating Your Horse Business
Protect yourself and your assets. There are many advantages to incorporating your business, the most important being that it will protect your personal assests. You don't want to lost your savings, truck, horses and other personal assets due to a horse business setback. While you can incorporate your business yourself, it is advisable to consult and attorney familiar with equestrian businesses. More about incorporation here.
Business Loans for LLCs
Get Multiple Quotes with one application and get several offers. Lenders will make offers based on your business credit and income. It cost nothing to apply so it is worth a few minutes to see what kind of loan offer suits your needs. Apply here.
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