Are Your Customers Ready For Your Horse Business Ideas?
You may have some fantastic equine business ideas and have written some brilliant horse business plans, but the sad fact is that unless there is a need for you equine product or service in the area you intend to market to then that is all they are . . . equine business ideas and horse business plans!
Before you start your horse business, there are some important questions to ask yourself about your potential customers.
What type of customer is your business targeted towards? People who have their own horse? People who don’t have their own horse? People who ride for pleasure or serious competitors? People who ride regularly?
You should be able to describe your ideal customer that is interested in your horse product or equine service.
An ideal customer is one that
a) wants your product or services
b) has the finances to be able to pay for your product or services and
c) has the authority to pay for your product.
In identifying the type of customers you want to attract or that your horse business is aimed towards you will be able to plan your equine business and marketing better so that it is suited in that direction.
Ask yourself some questions when figuring out who your ideal customers are:-
- Who do you think your ideal customer will be?
- What are the needs or problems of the ideal customer?
- How will you address those needs/problems?
- Are your ideal customers businesses or individuals?
- What will be most important to these customers?
- What will be unimportant to them?
- How can you address what is and isn’t important to them?
Your business may appeal to a wide variety of horse people but it will profit most from your ideal customer.
What is it that your customers want from your business? Is there a service or product you can supply better in the area or is there another business which can’t meet the local demand?
Do Your Horse Business Ideas Align with Your Personal Goals?
Once you have decided on your ideal business you should also consider that operating your own horse business is likely to have an affect on other aspects of your life.
If you can align your personal goals with your equine business objectives it will help in identifying priorities and prevent distraction from your equine business plans. This is ideal if you love to compete and you plan to have a horse business buying and preparing competition horses for sale and coaching competition riders. But it could be disastrous if you love to go to horse competitions on the weekend and your horse business ideas include running a riding school every weekend.
Writing down both your personal goals and your horse business plans gives you a sense of direction and will help to distinguish what is important to you.
You can test your commitment to achieving your goals and to check if they are right for you by asking some questions:-
- Is it a goal you want or is it a goal someone else wants for you?
- Do you know how you are going to set about to achieve this goal?
- How do these goals fit with where you want to be in twenty years? Will this goal help you get there?
- Does the goal meet and abide by your values?
- Is this achievable in the given timeframe?
Goals which answer ‘no’ to any of these questions may need to be reconsidered to avoid frustration in the long run.
Short term goals assist in building towards long term goals and all goals should be reviewed regularly to make any changes to correspond with those in your life. For instance, you may plan to compete at a high level on a horse that you have bred. This is a long term goal that can be broken into smaller goals such as
- Savings plan to purchase the stud fee
- Preparation for the mare to go to stud
- Handling of the foal
- Regular training of the foal
- As the foal becomes old enough, riding the foal
- Training for first competition
- Competition plan for the year
- Plan for competing at a higher level
- Plan for team selection
- And so on
The benefits of setting long term goals are greater motivation and higher levels of self-esteem and confidence.
Here are some simple steps to help define and realise your goal.
- Write down the goal
- Give yourself a timeframe for achieving it
- Describe what you need to do to achieve it
- List any knowledge or skills that will be required to reach the goal
The preferred method for goal setting strategies is the Map Method
- Where do you want to be?
- Where are you now in relation to it?
- How are you going to get there?
- Make a map and follow it!
The S.W.O.T. analysis can also benefit goal setting strategies, but is less effective than the Map Method.
When you come up with an equine business idea, the main thing is that you can align your personal goals with your horse business plans and that your horse business ideas are making you happy