StableManagement.com has published a number of articles that could be of benefit to you as you are wrapping up 2014 and getting ready to start a new year. Maybe you need to conduct an annual inventory, or get your budget ready for 2015, or even plan for a big purchase.
2015 might be the year you start offering lessons, or full board, or bring in an outside instructor. Maybe you are planning to build a barn, run-in shed or indoor arena.
Or perhaps you would just like to make more money doing what you are doing now!
We encourage you to look through the archives of past articles, especially those in the Stable Management category about business.
An ideal debt-to-income ratio should be 15% or less. Ratios between 15% and 20% may lead to problems making payments while paying other bills on time.
Paying living expenses with fluctuating income can be overwhelming and frustrating. Dealing with irregular income to pay personal living expenses requires planning and management skills.
Break-even analysis is a useful tool to study the relationship between fixed costs, variable costs and returns.
No amount is too small to save. Make sure you make saving a habit, and if you have to take money out of your savings, put it back in as soon as possible.
Utilizing these tools and being proactive in generating a budget can prepare any equine business for unexpected events and help you better manage the shortfalls as well as the excess income that is earned.
It is important to clearly define goals for your business.
Understanding your target market will help your stable or farm be more successful, with less stress and disagreements.
What if you are trying to get more folks to your schooling show or recognized show? Do you know what your customers and potential customers would like to have for amenities, facilities, classes or outside activities? Today it is very simple to find that out.
Your business card should tell potential customers what you can do to help them, and give them a way to contact you.
Make a plan on how to get the most out of any industry meeting.
A well-written, up-to-date contract can reduce, and sometimes eliminate, the misunderstandings that often plague boarding arrangements.
The plan for your equine business or farm should include how the business and property will go to the next generation or the next owner.
Ultimately insurance boils down to risk management and the level of risk you are comfortable living with. If you’re lying awake at night fretting about disasters that could happen, that might be a sign you need to revisit the policies you have.
Farm- and Stable-Specific
Here are some options for keeping ownership of your horses while they either add income to your equine business, or to keep them from costing you the expense of their upkeep.
Everyone would like to have more time every day, but the trick is to make the most of the time you have!
Is your facility better off with one or two resident trainers or should you go with multiple freelance trainers who provide services for your boarders?
Creating an inventory of your farm and barn might seem like a daunting task, but it is an important part of your business.
Is that a captive audience you already have lined up around the ring? Parents (and even grandparents) are a wonderful source of untapped revenue for you—and they already know your barn’s “ropes.”
As the owner or manager, you don't want to get "stuck" providing free services to friends who are boarders.
Leasing a facility, in part or in its entirety, to an outside horse owner or trainer can be a mutually beneficial proposition, but it can have its own problems.
Starting or expanding a boarding operation can be a pleasurable, fulfilling and profitable undertaking.
Know your services and rates and share them with your boarders.
You have to be a business person in order to keep your barn operating smoothly.
Jobs that take more experience--such as wrapping legs or administering medications--that owners ask the stable to perform should result in a charge to the owner.
The cost of muck removal and equipment must be factored into your expenses when you calculate board.
Before you hire someone to work on your farm, make sure you know what type of employee they are based on IRS guidelines.
It doesn't matter if it's tacked to your tack trunk, pinned to the cork board in the barn or punched into memos on your cell phone, have a written priority list. This will help you avoid getting off track and wasting time.
Store important information on a flash drive that can be quickly taken with you in case of emergency, or stored in a separate, secure location.
Strategic planning is the key to success.