Do you enjoy being around horses and those who care for them? Starting a tack cleaning business is a great way to make some extra money while helping others care for their equipment. Here's how to start a business cleaning tack.
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Define your business. Will you have a shop that people will need to bring their tack to or will you have a mobile business in which you go to the client's barn? Will you specialise in specific types of tack (western or English tack) or generalise to any leather materials used in horseback riding?
Determine your prices. What will you charge for saddles versus bridles? Will there be different prices for saddles depending on their type (western or English)? Will saddle cleaning include girths and stirrups or will those be separate? List all the items you'll clean and set prices for each. You may want to offer a multi-cleaning special such as a "Horse Show Cleaning" in which you'll clean many items for a special price.
Set up your tack cleaning business. Choose a business name, making sure that it's not already trademarked by visiting the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office online (http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/index.jsp). Decide what business structure you'll have, such as a sole proprietorship or a corporation. Get business permits or licenses as required by your city or county.
Create a business plan. Describe your tack cleaning business including the services you provide, the market for your business and your marketing ideas, financial information (assets, liabilities, cash flow, etc.) and your goals for the business over the next twelve months.
Obtain start-up money. Your business plan should help you determine how much money you'll need to start and maintain your business. You can use it to get loans or find investors as well. Visit the Small Business Administration (http://www.sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner/start/financestartup/index.html) for information on getting financing for your tack cleaning business.
Get needed equipment and supplies. If you'll be going to clients' barns, get a reliable vehicle for business purposes. If you'll have your own shop, locate and set up a place that is easy for clients to find. Also obtain soaps and sponges and other items used in cleaning tack.
Market your business. Create marketing materials and put them in places your target market will be able to see them, such as ads in horse magazines, flyers at horse shows and events and a website. Let everyone you know about your tack cleaning business and ask for referrals.
Tips and warnings
- Always meet with the client and check the tack for any pre-existing defects or problems. Write down any issues and have the client sign an acknowledgement. You don't want to be blamed for a problem that was there when you got the tack.
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