The standards for equestrian businesses are set in the dirt.
“It’s hard to find insurance”
“Finding an accountant to work with my equestrian business is difficult”
“The bank won’t extend any loans”
These are familiar statements for equestrian entrepreneurs.
There’s a reason why professionals don’t want to work with businesses in the equine space.
We don’t operate as businesses, we’re still very much approaching business with a hobbyist mindset. This isn’t a post to shit on the industry, instead it’s a post created to say; we can do better. We already are doing better, in under the three years of operating Equestrian Entrepreneur there has been a shift seen and felt. Equestrian businesses are changing their lead from struggling and suffering to profitable and stable; one stride at a time.
It’s an industry built on passion. An industry that has lead from the heart and left bleeding too many times. If we do better, it only benefits the equestrians and equines within it.
We’re not on a high horse over here at EE, we understand the industry has been built on passion and has tradition weaved deep within its roots. It’s possible to move forward with intentional shifts while preserving the good of what has been built.
The subsidizing of others’ dreams needs to stop.
Labour requires living wages, it’s a skilled position; no one wants a high schooler handling their horse that has no idea what they’re doing.
Learning to make money in innovative and gap-filling ways both within existing businesses and the ones yet to be made. It’s not just coaches and barn owners making money in the industry. In fact, those are the ones statistically struggling the most.
Financial data should be consistent and concise to use the data to leverage growth and keep the government happy with compliance.
Raising the standards on who we work with, the amount of money we’re willing to accept for the value provided, how and where we work, and creating a little bit of that “balance” often heard but seldom felt.
There’s a good chance that you’re already running around like a loose horse, daily. As an equestrian entrepreneur, your business isn’t succeeding because we’re often chasing the things that don’t make us money (ahem.. loose horses?!). The step forward you’re looking for in your business actually comes from the step back you’re terrified to take. Intentional time spent working on your business. Choosing to spend that time with EE looks a little like this..
Focusing on the services or products that actually make you money.
Fixing the financial drains to keep the profit you do make, in your bank account.
Figuring out how to lean into softwares to do the majority of your bookkeeping.
Create a financial strategy to grow your business in both the short and long term to avoid the runaway horse feeling of equestrian entrepreneurship.
The equestrian entrepreneurs who work with us step into their role as CEQO of their soon-to-be profitable, stable equestrian business.
Let’s dive into four fundamentally basic things you can do today to help you drop the hobbyist approach to business..
This isn’t just for compliance and record keeping by separating your business and personal money, you’re creating boundaries and clarity in your money. Make this a hard stop; don’t go setting up these accounts just to swipe your business card at the grocery store; don’t mix means don’t mix.
No, this doesn’t mean spending even longer on google trying to beef up the client agreement you’ve pieced together from others’ agreements and what buckery you’ve experienced in your own business. You’re an equestrian entrepreneur, not a lawyer; let them protect you. If you’re not ready to work with a lawyer one-on-one, there’s may options for templates. From one CEQO to another, don’t spend your time trying to do something like this, I did for the first few months in my business, when I purchased my templates; there was so much I had left myself open to and I totally wasted hours of my time trying to cover my rear. You can use code CEQOENERGY at either The Creative Lawshop or Fairway Stables for a discount at checkout.
Protect your A$$ET$.
Start giving your bookkeeping the opportunity to show you the way forward. In horses, we don’t make progress by ignoring our bad habits. No, we do that when we acknowledge and correct it.
If you’re starting at the in-gate, book a CEQO Consult and we’ll figure out where you are in your bookkeeping, discuss some steps to implement and ease pain points while creating a plan to get your books streamlined and help your equestrian business create more money.
Perhaps they don’t need an increase, but your prices do require some review consistently. Make sure you’re making profit on all your offers and review your expenses to make sure you’re not funding anything that should be paid for by clients. It’s always guaranteed for EE to find expenses that should have been reimbursed when we’re analyzing boarding, lessons, or even training barns.
Choose an interval to review your prices: yearly, every six months, every three months and schedule it into your calendar as a coffee date with your money.
CEQO Advice: set up a way to track the expenses you purchase for your clients and bill them back for those expenses, you can even add an administrative fee to anything that passes through your business.
The industry as a whole has to raise their standards of business. It’s a tough industry to make money in because we’ve made it a tough industry to make money in it. The financial facts prove the industry has money; it contributed 122 billion to the US Economy in 2017. We are known for suffering and struggling, let’s shift the industry into profitable and stable. Where the businesses are funded through profit from our passion and purpose; the end of the broke horse girl era is a collective shift, we hope you join.