Low-Cost Advertising for Boarding Stables

These 6 low-cost advertising avenues can help barn managers promote their equine business without breaking the bank.
Advertising can help generate business and connect with your community. | iStock

Advertising is an important part of every successful equine business management. Productive advertising plans can help drive the right clients to your business, improve revenue, and increase brand recognition. Shari Patterson owns and operates a boarding stable in Payson, Arizona, and throughout her years in business, she’s tried many different methods of advertising to get the word out about her stable. “You need it (advertising) to generate business and to let people know that you are here,” she says.

While Patterson promotes her stable, she doesn’t allow advertising to claim a large portion of her barn’s budget. Instead she focuses on low-cost advertising methods, which she defines as anything she can do that’s free or inexpensive to benefit her business.

To gauge the success of a low-cost advertising method, Patterson simply asks new clients how they heard about the stable which helps her learn what efforts work best for her.

Low-Cost Advertising Avenues

Create a website. While there are many expensive website options available, simple websites can be made for free and with little or no experience in website design. The site should include basic information about your business and what it offers and can be linked to on social media pages or mentioned in printed materials.

Join social media. With a plethora of platforms available and plenty of people connected to them, social media allows Patterson to promote and advertise her stable and riding program to users at a low cost. She links her website to her social media accounts so users can easily find detailed information about her offerings. Occasionally, she also invests a low-dollar amount to promote a post and expand its reach if she feels the cost is worth the benefit.

Design brochures and pamphlets. These items can be simple and easy to make, but can easily be brought to events or local feed and tack stores to spread the word about your business. If the information is relatively general, they can be used for multiple years.

Talk to your chamber of commerce. Patterson is a member of her local chamber of commerce. She gives them brochures about her stable to share with chamber visitors. Patterson finds this is a great way to inform people who have just moved to town about her stable.

Participate in local events. Patterson suggests becoming a part of local community events. For example, she participates in a yearly parade where she creates candy bags that include vouchers for her stable’s horse club to hand out to onlookers. Patterson uses the bags to help spread awareness of her stable.

Host events. Patterson uses her stable grounds to host events that range from horse shows to holiday parties. During December, she puts together a free Christmas event where the facility is open to visitors and even offers pony rides to children. For Patterson, these events are great opportunities for members of the community and beyond to learn about her program. 

Take-Home Message

Although it can be intimidating, exploring the advertising avenues for your barn doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. For barn managers interested in trying low-cost advertising methods, Patterson recommends first creating a social media presence. “Everybody does social media now, so that to me has been the biggest game-changer with advertising,” she says. 

By investing some time and effort, barn managers can use low-cost advertising options to promote their stables without draining their budget.






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