If you love working around horses and horse people, opening an equestrian business gives you a chance to turn your hobby into a lucrative career. There are many business opportunities in the equestrian world, from running a boarding or breeding facility to giving riding lessons and training horses. You can also open a tack shop to help fellow horse owners get the supplies they need at an affordable price. But no matter which path you choose, you need to do your homework first and learn as much as you can about your new endeavour.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Business license
- Zoning information
- Sales flyers
- Business cards
Assess your skills, both in the horse world and in the business world. Think about the things that you do best and use that information to guide you to the right equestrian business. If you often retrain problem horses for friends, opening a training facility could be a smart move. If you know where to get great deals on wholesale tack, a tack shop business could be a winner. If you have a lot of empty stalls in your barn, opening a boarding stable could bring in a steady cash flow.
Check the deed to your property and review its zoning. You might need to request a waiver or variance to operate a business out of your home. Contact the management of the township where you live to inquire about the business use of your property.
Obtain the necessary business licenses to establish your business. It is helpful to speak to an attorney familiar with equine law when setting up any kind of horse related business. The laws governing boarding facilities, lesson barns and other equine businesses can be quite complex, so it helps to have someone who understands these often arcane laws.
Determine what type of insurance coverage you need for your equine business. Your homeowners policy will probably not cover the business use of your property, so you need to establish a business insurance policy. Again, an attorney with experience in equine law can help you determine the right liability and property damage limits.
Draw up the contracts you will use for boarding, training and riding lessons. Liability waivers and contracts are very important for equine businesses, since there is a high risk of injury with equestrian sports. You can find sample contracts on the Internet (See Resources,) but it is always a good idea to have your attorney review those sample contracts and revise them to meet your needs.
Print up some flyers, either at the local office supply store or on your own computer. Take those flyers to places where horse owners congregate, like tack shops, feed stores and horse shows. Ask the management of the facility for permission to post the flyers.
Print business cards as well and post them on the notice board at your local tack shop and feed store. Visit local horse shows and other equine events and hand out your business cards to those you meet. Much of the equestrian business operates through word of mouth as opposed to traditional marketing venues like newspapers and radio.
Seek out equestrian publications in your area. These publications are often available at local tack shops and feed mills. Pick up a copy of those papers and contact the owners about placing an ad. Targeted marketing is very important for an equine business, since you need to reach horse owners in order to be successful.
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