Most successful businesses start with a strong passion, then later come to find ways to make a living out of that passion. The same goes for starting a successful equestrian business. If you like breeding horses and want to create an entire business around your hobby, pure passion is not enough to keep the business afloat. You also have to come up with a motive, a plan, and of course—funding to start and continue.
The next step is to execute the plan and take all the necessary steps to turn something you love into a self-sustaining business. But that is not where it all ends. The most challenging part is maintaining the business and keeping it galloping—and that is what you will learn after reading this detailed guide to starting a successful equestrian business.
What Not to Do When Starting an Equestrian Business
Before we talk about the steps you need to take to start an equestrian business, you might want to take note of the things you shouldn’t do, such as:
Starting The Business Without Enough Capital
Every successful business starts with having enough capital to start it and keep it running during the trial period. Not having enough money to keep your business alive during the early stages is something you do not want to happen. If you don’t have the land or facilities to start your equestrian business, you can always get horse farm loans. With that said, it might be challenging to even get a horse farm mortgage without a bulletproof plan laid out.
Underestimating Business Expenses
In relation to not having enough capital is underestimating your business expenses. If you don’t have enough cash on hand, you might want to consider getting a horse barn loan to cover all the anticipated business expenses before achieving a steady cash flow.
Not Having a Concrete Business Plan
As mentioned before, passion and love for something is not the only component of starting a successful business. You also need to be prepared for the best as well as the worst. Having a concrete business plan is one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of starting a business based on your passion.
Not Understanding Your Target Market
Part of building a business plan is to understand who your business is aimed at. If you are starting an equestrian business, you probably want to make sure who you are marketing to—so that you can create a business model that leans towards the people who are going to keep you in business. If you love equestrians, your target market is probably people similar to you and your demographic.
5 Steps to Starting a Successful Equestrian Business
Now that you know what not to do, here are the 5 steps you need to take to start and keep your equestrian business running:
Find The Right Profit Motive
The first thing you need to do before coming up with a business plan is to find a profit motive and ways to monetize your business. Yes, you love the sport, and we totally get that. However, if you want to continue to do what you love, you should find the most effective ways to profit. The last thing you want is for your business to be considered just a hobby by the IRS—which will lead you to owe more taxes than what you actually make.
You can save yourself from all the hassle by thinking of ways to earn. For example, you can charge people for training and storing their horses in your barn or charge people for using your land as training grounds for horseback riding.
Know Your Target Market
By analyzing your potential clients and customers, you can create the right marketing materials and promotions that will entice the right people. Marketing is what will save your business from failing, and many people overlook this fact. Marketing comes naturally when you know who exactly you want to sell your products or services to. So before planning your next marketing moves and business plans, analyze your target demographic first.
Set Up a Solid Business Plan
An equestrian business, or any other business for that matter, will most likely fail if you do not have a concrete plan that will keep the business running. Long-term planning is essential for any business to survive, so make sure you analyze the business-related costs and revenue associated with your business idea. If you are applying for horse farm loans, your business plan should contain formal documents and statistics that would back up your business plan.
If you have all the money you need, it doesn’t have to be too formal as long as your business plan is complete and properly executed. You should analyze everything from fixed and variable costs to your niche market, competitors, and market availability.
Once you crunch the numbers and everything looks like it is going to work out, you should still come up with alternatives before actually starting your business. You can’t be too careful, especially if a large amount of money is involved.
Ask for Advice and Get Feedback
Getting feedback might not seem vital for businesses, but on the contrary, knowing what other people think will help a lot in improving your business plans. Feedback from people you trust and from people who are experts in the horse market is important, especially when thousands of dollars are involved. Businesses might be about taking risks, but that doesn’t mean you cannot educate yourself and learn before taking the said risks.
Set Yourself Apart From Competitors
If your market is saturated with other businesses that share the same business model as yours, you have to look for ways to stand out and size up the competition. With so many people in the world, there is a high chance of someone thinking of opening the same business as yours. So with that said, you need to keep on thinking of ways to be unique, especially in highly-competitive markets like the horse and farm industry.
You must come up with at least three reasonable things that make your business better than competing businesses. Always try to make your business better than the competition and stand by it.