Running a horse business isn’t easy. It requires horse and human skills and the resiliency to survive economic ups and downs. This month we have a series of articles from CHA instructors who offer tips from their experiences on how to better run your equine business.
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Trisha Kiefer-Reed is a Region 5 representative for the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA). She operates Run A Muck Ranch in Helena, Montana. She is a certified master trainer and instructor in classical horsemanship, dressage and working equitation.
In this article she shares three pieces of advice for running a successful business.
Don’t be afraid to learn new skills, even new disciplines. “We will never know it all, and by allowing yourself to be a student, I think we stay even more humble and compassionate towards those we are instructing,” she said. “It’s easy to accidentally become a one-trick pony and to forget the wonder and oftentimes the struggle of learning something new.”
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Recognize you can’t please everyone. It’s impossible to make every person happy all the time, and that’s just a reality, Kiefer-Reed said. Offering good customer service is important, but so is sticking to the services you’re best at and can serve the most people. And, she said when you try too hard to be everything to everybody, you lose what you’re good at and could sacrifice all your customers.
“You’re never going to make everyone happy. And it’s okay,” she said. “Just stick to the standards of excellence, be honest and treat everyone with respect.”
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Be yourself. Clients are drawn to the people behind the business. Find a unique way of expressing an idea or connecting with clients. It will help you distinguish yourself from others in the area.
“As long as you adhere to a high standard of safety, your style of teaching can be entirely your own,” she said. “We’re not trying to create cookie-cutter instructors at CHA. Add the spunk. Add the sparkle. Your clients will recognize your passion and your authenticity.”