So how do you make a million dollars in the horse industry?  You start with five million!  All kidding aside, in the equine industry, we need to know how to successfully create a business entity and then market it to the right potential clients through the right mediums. Whether you are a riding coach, horse trainer, farrier, equine massage therapist, freelance photojournalist, tack shop owner or boarding barn owner – targeted marketing is the key to your success.

Industry Trends
The equine industry is a constantly changing environment that you need to keep up with in order to have a successful business within it.  Some of the changing trends involve public concern with safety and certification. The equine industry tends to be fragmented and preaches to the choir on many issues. It is time for us to start drawing in new people by doing some out- of-the-box networking with non-equine groups to get our messages out there.

Marketing Plan/Branding
All successful companies need to have a written business plan as well as a marketing plan. SWOT analysis and strategic planning are key to be done on a yearly basis. Very important to establish branding for your company whether you own a tack shop or are a horse massage therapist that travels from barn to barn. This includes a logo, mission and purpose statement, press releases, brochures, business cards, website, online media presence and much more!

Know Your Competition
You might think that your riding stable has no competition, as there is no other stable near you. Think again - what about karate, soccer, basketball, video games, and piano lessons to name a few activities that youth are involved with or family, work, church, volunteering and clubs that many of us are involved with. These all take time away from being able to buy a horse and come and board at your barn. Know what differentiates you from the boarding barn down the street – do you have a wonderful lighted and heated indoor arena and can cater to the show rider or do you have access to many trails and can cater more to the recreational rider? Partnerships can work well with others that you might deem as competitors, find out each other’s strengths and weaknesses and play to them. For example if you coach beginners you might want to find another local riding coach that doesn’t enjoy teaching beginners, but loves going to shows with more advanced riders and you can funnel clients to each other.

Customers
Know who the influencer, user, decision maker and buyer are for each of your customer families.  Find out your clients’ demographics (where, what, when) as well as their psychographics (motivation and needs) and then play to them to target them and keep them as clients.

Online Presence
What is the difference between a FaceBook Fan Page and Group Page and should you have both or just one?  Learn about social media virility and how you can use it to your advantage.  Find out about free scheduling tools and ways to keep you from spending too much time on social media, but still be able to utilize these new mediums to drive traffic to your business. YouTube channels, LinkedIn Groups and Twitter are also very important and can be tied together with your website and FaceBook pages.

Websites
Search Engine Optimization and being found in Google searches is very important for websites to be robust enough to serve your business well. Details matter such as what fonts are good to use and where things should be placed on each webpage. Blogging and emailed newsletters are still great way to provide new content to your websites.

Promotions/PR/Advertising
There are generational differences when it comes to marketing. Some of us still don’t have a computer and want to be sent something by mail or have someone call us. Others live on our emails and still others only text. One example of advertising to a younger generation is Quick Response codes and using them to drive traffic to your online business presence by those that have smart phones.  Negative press is not always bad press – sometimes you can use it to your advantage.

Ancillary Income
There are many creative ideas for extra ways to make money in your business that you might not have thought of and many examples to share.  The goal of any business is happy customers and marketing to a targeted audience that will provide you with good customers that become loyal to you and your brand is key. 

2018

Upcoming Events

 Upcoming Events
Spruce Meadows 'National'

June 6-10, 2018

 

 

 

 

Industry Directory

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Please Click Here to view our Industry Directory with links to equine sport groups, breed groups, facilities, calendars and publications in Alberta.

Contact

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97 East Lake Ramp NE
Airdrie, AB
T4A 0C3
Phone: 403-420-5949
Fax: 403-948-2069