Running an Equine Business our Top Tips
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Top tips for running an equine business
It’s what many of us dream about – running a business doing something we love. If you’re into horses then there’s plenty of opportunities out there for you. Whether you’re a top class rider, a persuasive sales person or a great manager, read our ideas on how to work with horses…
Setting up a riding school:
If you’ve got riding expertise then this may seem like an obvious choice. However, to run a successful riding school requires more skills than simply being a good rider. First you need to find the ideal premises – use the Equine and Racing search tool on our website for our current list of properties. Then there’s the management of the teams of people you need for the school to run smoothly as well as the marketing of your school via the internet, local flyers or just word of mouth. You also need to be a qualified riding instructor and have all the correct insurances and equipment in place. Offering specialist lessons in riding for the disabled or returning riders could help strengthen your position and if you’ve got expertise in a certain area – say cross-country or dressage, then you may find yourself in greater demand.
Running a livery:
This may seem like the dream way to make money – looking after other people’s horses, but it’s a time-consuming job that requires plenty of skills. Obtaining the correct site will be the first priority and then you will need to adapt it to suit your clients’ needs.
Think about what you can offer that no-one else does? Then market your business – go to local meets, advertise locally and create a web page that will come up in web searches.
Equine specialist practices:
If you have a background in veterinary science or even as a chiropractor it is possible to specialise in treatment for horses. If you don’t have medical training there are other avenues to pursue such as training to become an equine behaviourist, where you focus on getting to the bottom of and treating problem areas such as handling, leading, trailer loading or bucking. Take a look at the Society of Equine Behaviour Consultants website for more at org.uk
If you’re naturally good with people then going into a sales role may be a good choice. It always helps to offer something a bit different so take a look at the market.
Can you offer feed for specialist diets, tack for the bigger horse, the latest waterproof blankets? Don’t overlook riding gear for humans too – there’s a big market in safety equipment, waterproof clothing and comfortable riding kit. You could even start small, selling the best riding socks or gloves that offer great grip, for example.
No matter what area of horsey business you choose to enter, make sure you do the ground work first. Just because you love horses doesn’t mean you can skip the hard work. So this means you need to:
Check out the competition
Who else is doing what you want to do in the area? How much do they charge? What can you offer that sets you apart?
Write a detailed business plan
If you have to borrow money from the bank, you’ll need a thorough business plan to show to the bank manager. But even if you are self-funding, a business plan can help you see your goals clearly and help you to stay on track when you’re in the thick of things.
Do your research
What steps will it take to reach your goal of running an equine business? Will you need to train, and if so, how much are the courses, how long do they take and where are they based? If you’re running a school, do you have the correct insurances in place? If you’re selling goods, where will you keep your stock? How will you send it out to customers?
There’s no doubt that doing a job you love is the best feeling in the world. And, with the right approach, there’s no reason why your dream of running an equine business can’t be a successful one too!