Ever see a business offer a unique activity or service and think, “Gee, wish I had come up with that idea!” Some business owners have a knack for predicting the next hot trend. Chances are those managers are listening to their customers. Feedback often comes disguised in casual conversation when a client expresses his or her wishes, dreams or frustrations.
Knowing what services are in demand for your geographic region or discipline can help you be ahead of the curve when it comes to adding new services to your equine business. Before launching a new service, identify what you’re good at and how to maximize the resources you have. You might only be able to add a new service—for example, lessons—or you might jump into a new customer base by adding something like an onsite obstacle course.
Adding new services can be fun and can satisfy a desire to get creative. Sometimes new ideas come from the least expected places. Try these tips for discovering new services that might meet a demand in your barn or area:
- Ask your veterinarian and farrier what horse owners tell them they are missing.
- Listen to your clients. Sometimes they might simply lament they “wish” they had access to ….
- Find the reward in the criticism. When clients (yours or other stables') vent, dig below the surface of their anger or frustration and consider if a new service is a potential solution to their problem.
- Join online groups and pay attention to what members are posting. Are the same questions or requests coming up over and over? Is there a way to implement something in your equine business someone is doing successfully in a different state?
- Look outside the horse industry. What activities are people paying to participate in and is there a way to incorporate that at your equine facility? Guy's nights, painting with a twist, and holiday-themed crafting activities are all wildly popular ways to gather groups of people to participate in unmounted activities.
Keep in mind that during the pandemic, you might have to be even more creative to have gatherings that are done safely and with proper social distancing.