Everyone who owns a horse business ideally wants to make money or, at the very least, have it be self supporting. This presentation is designed to help you do just that without spending a fortune.


Lanier Cordell has worked as a marketing, advertising and public relations professional for over 30 years. She is a frequent speaker at horse events including national and regional equine expos. She writes for numerous equine publications and the author of Equinomics: The Secret to Making Money with Your Horse Business, an Amazon Top Seller for two straight years.


Why is it so hard to make a living with a horse business?

Yearly Cost of Supporting the Average Horse
Not including tack, training, lessons, showing or medical care
Feed ($10 per week) $ 520
Hay ($12 per week based on 3 bales @ $4 each)  624
Shavings ($16 per week based on 4 bags @ $4 each)  832
Grooming Supplies (fly spray, hoof treatments and shampoo)  142
Dewormer (12 per year @ $15 each)  180
Shoes (every 6 weeks @ $70 each)  2,130
Vaccinations (2 per year @ $45 each)  90
Teeth Floating (2 per year @ $100 each)  200
Coggins (1 per year)  30
 Total  $ 4,784

The Starting Point
Assessing where you are and what you have in hand.

Things you need to know at the start of any marketing campaign:
 • The size of your market.
 • How many direct competitors you have.
 • Your annual gross or anticipated annual gross.
 • How much profit you make off each customer and service.
 • How much new customers must spend for you to make a profit.
 • How many customers you presently have.
 • How many new customers you can handle without hiring additional personnel, increasing the size of your facility or purchasing additional horse or equipment.

The Size and Composition of Your Potential Market
Name of the Location (nation, province, county, or city) you plan to sell your products or services to
Size of the area in square miles: ______________ (relevant if customers come to you or you go to them.
Less important if you plan to do business via internet or catalogue sales.)
Total Population of area: _________________
Number of Females: under 8 yrs _______ 8-14 _______ 15-18 _______ 18-29_______ 30-40_______
45–55 _______ 56 & up _______
Number of Males: under 8 yrs _______ 8-14 _______ 15-18 _______ 18-29_______ 30-40_______
45–55 _______ 56 & up _______
Size of geographical area _________ sq miles

Total Annual Household Income
(the number of families in this geographical area that make each of these amounts)
Below $25,000 ________
$26,000 - $35,000 ________ $50,000 - $75,000 ________
$36,000 - $40,000 ________ $75,000 - $100,000 ________
$40,000 - $50,000 ________ Above $100,000 ________

Horses in this area -(information may be available through dept of agriculture or provincial horse council and breed associations)
Total Horse population is this geographical area ___________________ head
# of Quarter Horses ____________ Thoroughbreds __________ Arabians _________
Warmbloods __________ Saddlebreds __________ Paints _________
Drafts __________ Appaloosaa ___________ Paso Finos ___________
Miniatures __________ (Add other breeds your business may require)

Riding styles and the number of people in the area for each -(information is available through the various riding associations and magazines aimed at each discipline)
Western Pleasure __________ Hunters __________ Reining__________ Jumpers __________
Tennessee Walkers_________ Dressage__________ Cutting __________ Driving __________
Quarter Horse _________ Arabians __________ Roping __________ Eventing __________
Therapeutic Riding _________ Trail __________

Distance from the largest concentration of this population to your place of business _____ miles (relevant if customers come to you or you go to them. Less important if you plan to do business via Internet or catalogue sales.)

Number of direct competitors that are between you and the largest concentration of your target market ________ (How many similar businesses are closer than you to the largest concentration of your target market?)
Number of the following in your market area:
Tack Shops _____________ Farriers _______________ Haulers _______________
Boarding Facilities ______________ Available Stalls____________ Show Facilities _______________
Riding Instructors _______________ Trainers _______________ Equine Veterinarians ____________
Equine Message Therapists ________ Equine Dentists __________ Equine Acupuncturists ___________
Breeders* ______________ Feed Stores _______________ Horse Insurance Brokers ______________
*(This may need to be broken down by each individual breed if your business focuses on a particular breed)
Number of Horse or Riding Specific Local Magazines or Tabloids _____________
Number of Other Magazines or Papers Aimed at Your Target Market ____________

Showing Opportunities in Your Discipline
Number of shows requiring little travel from home per year: Schooling _______ Rated _________
Number of shows requiring you to travel more than one hour from home: Schooling _____ Rated ______
Number of colleges/schools that have riding team: Colleges _____ Middle/High schools _____
Number of colleges or schools that may be interested in sponsoring a riding team: Colleges _____            Middle/High schools _____

Identify The Goals
What do you want to accomplish with your marketing campaign?

The Target Market
Who do you want to hit with your marketing efforts?

The Strategy
What actions are you going to take to reach your goals?

Marketing Actions Include
Advertising -
  Print Ads in Magazines, Newspapers, Prize Lists, etc.
  Electronic Ads on Radio and Television
  Booth at Trade and Retail Shows
  Discount Coupons & Other Sales Incentives
Marketing communications --
  Informational/Promotional CD’s, DVD’s, & Video Tapes
Public Relations -
  Press Releases
 News Stories
 Appearances on TV and Radio (that are not directly paid for)
 Charitable Events
Additional Marketing  Strategies -
 Creating New Services for Existing Market/Clients
 Creating New Services for Additional Market
 Repackaging or New “Spin” on Existing Service
 Group Activities

What’s in it for the Customer
The Biggest BENEFIT You Offer

Benefit vs. Feature
Benefit: What the customer ultimately wants to gain.
Feature: A device or modification that provides a benefit

Feature     Benefit
Gelding     Consistent Temperament
Quality Instruction    More Effective in Less Time
Standard Transmission   Better Gas Mileage
Label Dresses in Smaller Sizes  Improves Self-Esteem

Benefits Appeal to an Emotional Need
Benefits are your promise to make the client or someone they care about:
 More Popular
 More Successful
 A Better Parent

Timing is Everything
When are you going to begin your marketing campaign?

How long is it going to last?

Are you going to place all of your ads to run at the same time or are you going to spread them out over the entire length of the campaign?

When are you going to send out press releases, articles, schedule appearances on radio and television?

When do you need to have your marketing communications materials ready? When are you going to distribute them?

When? When? When?!!

The Budget
There is no need to panic. The Budget is simply a matter of determining how much can you comfortably afford to spend per month, quarter, half-year, full year?

Don’t worry, if all you can afford is $25 a month, there are ways to effectively market your business.

How are you going to spend your money
Marketing Communications?
Public Relations?
Special Events?

Cost Per Contact
While it is not a hard fast rule, advertising and marketing professionals use the cost per contact - the amount it actually costs you to reach each individual potential customer - as a guideline for determining the value of an ad, article, television or radio appearance, post card, flyer, consumer or trade show.

Calculating the Cost per Contact 1 - Print Ad
Print Ad Cost:
 Production—artwork, copywriting, and layout $ 250
 Placement—Cost of space for a print ad (or time for a TV or radio spot)  1,500
 Total Cost  $1,750
—Number of subscribers and newsstand purchases for each issue of the publication. 62,000

  Cost per contact: $1,750 ÷ 62, 000 ≈ $.03 each

Calculating the Cost per Contact 2 - 100 Flyers
Flyer Cost:
 Production—artwork, copywriting, layout and printing  $ 50.00
 Placement—Cost of postage (for 75 flyers @ $.37)  27.75
 Total Cost  $77.75
Circulation — Number of People on Your Mailing List — 75
Number of People who frequent the places
You posted the flyer—300*
  Cost per contact: $77.75 ÷ 375 ≈ $.12 each
*Not everyone who goes into the places where you posted the flyer are necessarily going to see or read it, nor are they all going to be your customers. Generally speaking you can only count about a 25% rate of potential customers among the total who see the flyer. So your cost per contact may actually be approximately $.40.

The greater the number of readers who match the demographics of your target market, the more cost effective a publication (or other medium) is. For example, if only 20,000 of the previous sample magazine’s readership, matches your target market, your cost per target market contact
(people who are most likely to become clients) is $1,750 ÷20,000 ≈ $.09 each. 3 times more per contact.

The Why of it All
Knowing why you decide on a specific marketing effort and your expectations for that effort will help you to become better at making marketing choices. Writing down why you have made each choice, allows you to go back and see if your expectations were met, and if your rationale was sound.

Measuring the Results
What are you going to use to determine if each marketing effort you use during your campaign works? What will you need to know to make sure that you only repeat those things that worked?

Possible Measurements
 • How many phone calls did you get after each ad, article, flyer, etc.?
 • How much has your gross increased?
 • How many new clients do you have?
 • How many existing clients have increased the number of times they use your services or   increased the different types of services they use?
 • Whatever type of measurement you use, be consistent. Use the same measurement each    time, and make certain that EVERYONE in your business knows what you are using and    keeps accurate track.

What Next?
Once the marketing plan has been put together, and set down on paper, get busy EXECUTING it.
No marketing plan will work if you don’t put it into action.



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