Before you know it, the New Year’s Eve Ball will descend in Times Square in New York City and a new year will begin. Here are 10 Tips to help you get a jump start on making your business more profitable in the new year.
1. Plan your first 100 days.
This is more than a New Year’s resolution. Set specific, attainable and meaningful goals to accomplish in the first 100 days of 2018. For example, instead of saying "I’m going to bring in more boarders," commit to bringing in three new clients in the month of February. Then work to attain that goal.
2. Revisit your business plan.
Don’t have one? Get started with these tips in the Stable Management article Creating a Business Plan.
3. Get organized.
The beginning of the year is often the slower time of the year. These tips can help in the article Clutter Buster Tips for the Stable.
4. Stay current with trends.
Attend local workshops to stay on top of evolving veterinary techniques, nutrition concerns and solutions, and training strategies.
5. Hire help.
If you need help with chores, find and hire an employee now to get a jump start on the upcoming busy season. If you need help on taxes, or marketing, or any of the number of projects that come up at a boarding farm or riding stable, look for it early in the year.
6. Calendar major events.
If you operate a competitive stable, create a calendar with events you’ll be attending so clients and employees know what to anticipate in the coming months. Make sure to keep that calendar up-to-date on your website as well as in your stable office or tack room.
7. Review operations.
Evaluate what works and doesn’t work for your stable. Be honest. Are there ways to improve feeding efficiency? If you made a change to stall cleaning routines last year, did it work or not? Does your lesson schedule work to maximize your space and horses? Check out the article "Marketing For Profit: Analytics Basics to see if Your Marketing is Worth the Investment."
8. Determine which services make you money.
Stables operate on thin margins. Know which services create short-term cash flow and those that generate long-term profits. Focus on increasing the long-term profits. Also make sure you are charging appropriately for the services you are providing. Check out the article "Charging Boarders for Extras."
9. Send invoices, get paid.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it's amazing how many business owners are late getting invoicing out, or don't follow up often and with the right messages to have late invoices paid. Try these tips in the article "I'm Late On My Payment, But..." for getting notoriously slow payers to pay on time
10. Market, Market, Market
Pick a marketing vehicle that works for your business and stick to it. If you have a neglected social media account, rejuvenate it with updates and client success stories. Your website is your most important marketing tool. If you don't have one, get one. If you have one, update it. If you think you have a good one, ask people who have never been to your website to perform specific tasks. For example, ask them whether you teach lessons on weekends to beginners (or something similar to your business). Check out the article "Stable and Farm Marketing 101."