A hobby can be turned into a business when it is conducted with the intention to make money–as a matter of fact, there can be BIG money in horses, whether from a small barn, mid-size facility or large operation or a one man (woman) or ten men (women) team… it is possible to create and run a successful equine business! The horses are out there.
The American Horse Council has determined, that the horse industry is a very large and important part of the American economy on a national, state and local level. There are horses everywhere and horse owners are looking for services.
The market is diverse, involving agriculture, business, sport, gaming, entertainment and recreation. 2 million people own horses, 4.6 million Americans are involved in the industry as horse owners, service providers, employees and volunteers. Tens of millions more take part as spectators. This means there is plenty of opportunity in any chosen field. A business savvy person, or team certainly can live out their dream by turning their passion and talents into a rewarding career and MAKE MONEY with horses.
Those who are taking the initiative to start their own horse related business or career should first and foremost pick a specific niche, know EVERYTHING about that focus area and concentrate directly on building the business around it. Know what is involved, research the need, study the aspects of running a business, understand the competition, cost, laws and regulations, and then organize and put together your plan, including advertising, so that the word gets out.
Let everyone know about your service, including your veterinarian, farrier, equine dentist and every one that comes to the facility know what you offer. If it is horse boarding, riding instruction, breeding, or training, tell them you have x-number of clean stalls available, room for new students, or a place on your pasture for more horses. Some forms of direct advertising includes a well designed website, blog, facebook business page, classified ads in the Yellowpages, horse magazines and online equine directories, business cards pinned to the community board at the feed shop and any place you know your target audience goes–it all helps.
A well-run business pays special attention to attracting, serving and RETAINING their customers. Understand and meet your client’s expectations, keep the business relationships courteous and professional, and create an environment and attitude that is mutually rewarding. Know-how, dedication, proper planning, organization, commitment and a vision is the key to success.
If you shake the tree hard enough, something will fall.