Whether you own your farm or boarding facility, manage one for someone else, work at one of these facilities, or are looking to get into the business, a good question to ask yourself is: Do I need more education? Or perhaps the better question is: What kind of education do I need to help my business succeed?
In this world where many young people are not only getting four-year degrees, but going on to do Masters degrees or attend other types of training in their field, do you have the type of education that will make your business run better, attract and retain more clients and be more profitable?
Most people think of getting more education as going back to a college or university. And that isn't a bad idea. But you don't have to get a degree or certificate in order to get education that will benefit you and your business. For example, are you in an area where most of the farm and stable workers speak Spanish? Then perhaps an online or local course in conversational Spanish would make your farm run smoother.
Look around for ways to get fresh ideas; that's another form of education! Attend local association or group meetings and use networking as a means of expanding your education.
Do you put on schooling shows? Maybe you could volunteer at a large local show that you think is run well. Volunteer to work the office to learn how they handle the details of a show and maybe pick up some pointers on how you can make your shows better.
Are you looking to make your farm more ecologically friendly for yourself and your boarders? Then inquire at the local extension office about courses or one-on-one training that they offer.
Do you need to understand the financial side of your business better? Look for some basic business courses offered through your local Small Business Administration. Or ask your local Chamber of Commerce to offer a course.
Sometimes you can find specific training in something like QuickBooks (bookkeeping software) through a local business or education group.
Also consider that some of the training you might be interested in also might be interesting for your boarders. Would any of them want to take the course in conversational Spanish? Maybe you can host a weekly or monthly class at your facility.
Along those same lines, maybe you (and your boarders) want to learn more about equine dentistry, foot care or something like acupuncture or chiropractic. Ask the local service professionals to come to your facility or farm and give a clinic for you and your boarders.
Or maybe you want to host an emergency first aid and CPR class. Contact your local Red Cross for training in your area.
Is there an online webinar being conducted that you want to see? Hold it in the tack room or indoor arena and let all of your clients attend along with you!
Have you thought about offering non-horse training as a profit center? Would your boarders come an hour early or stay an hour late to take a horse-related yoga or exercise class?
Continuing education is important for everyone, and it can make a tremendous difference in your bottom line. The world is changing, and in order to do our jobs better we need to continuously be learning. That doesn't mean you have to go sit in a classroom; be open to the wide variety of ways that you can learn today.