Starting a horse business is not just about the money.
Horse people understand that.
If it was only about the money, there are lots of other types of businesses that have a better chance of providing a higher income, more sociable hours and better conditions.
Who else but a horse person would slosh about in the mud putting on extra rugs, put their hard earned savings into their business to pay the astronomical bill for horse feed orstay up all night with a mare so they can witness the birth of a new born foal. Then be so excited that they don’t sleep for another 24 hours anyway!
Horse people understand that having a horse business really is a labour of love that stems from that special connection between man and horse.
But while starting a horse business in not just about the money, the money has to be part of starting (and keeping) a horse business.
Unless you take some financial responsibilities, your horse business won’t last very long at all. You need money to keep your horses happy and healthy, build and repair your facilities and to pay yourself.
Money will also allow you to pay staff or even just someone to feed your horses if you are away at an overnight competition, to put towards that new horse truck or even to buy the property next door to expand your business.
We talk about R.O.I. being a return on investment.
Both the return on the financial investment, as well as the return on the time and effort you have invested into your horse business have to be considered.
If you are selling goods, this is an easier calculation. You would work out the cost to purchase the product and then there should be enough profit in the sale to cover your overheads.
Selling services can be a bit more complicated. Be realistic when working out how much time it costs to sell a service in the horse industry. If you offer agistment for horses you should calculate the property repairs, maintenance and overheads (such as rates and water).
Do you also calculate your time? How much time does it cost for marketing and promotion, repairs and maintenance as well as the ‘extras’ you may offer such as catching a horse for the farrier, feeding, scrubbing out water tubs and putting on and taking off rugs.
A good rule is that if you can pay someone else to do the work you are doing then you should still make a profit.
Remember though, if you are starting a horse business there may be some time between putting in the effort and getting a return on your investment. You may need to run at a loss in the short term while you put in the extra time and effort into marketing and promoting your new horse business as well as putting together the infrastructure that will help make your horse business profitable in the long term.
Starting a horse business is not just about the money. Horse people understand that when you have a horse business, the enjoyment and satisfaction far outweighs the money you will generate. However make sure your horse business stays profitable so you can stay in business long enough to appreciate the satisfaction and enjoyment in the long term.