Selling for Professional Horsemen

Profitable horsemen not only study horses, they study humans too.
More sales are the starting point of the path to more profitability.
Have you studied the elements of salesmanship as much as you’ve studied the elements of horsemanship? Books, audio, video and classroom instruction are only a click away waiting for you.
Lack of expertise in salesmanship in a business is like running a self-serve lemonade stand

How Much Do You Charge To Haul Horses?

horse trucking fee worksheet
I’m working with a client to analyze the cost of trucking horses. This is a preliminary worksheet making assumptions of a new dually hauling a used four horse trailer. It’s not complete yet.
We are up to $1.47 per mile ($2.94 round trip)

Obviously a full trailer will pay, but the “onesies” are potentially losses at some of the going rates for hauling.

I’m curious (and so are others no doubt), do you price with an accountant’s approach like this or base your pricing on the going rate? What is your area and the fee range?

Horse Business Goals and Vision

Your goals and visions will have more credibility and a higher likelihood of success when you “publish” them in a 3 ring binder.
3 ring binder

Electrons store your words and numbers conveniently, but hide them deep inside your computer memory.  The sight of a three ring binder filled with printed pages reminds you of the importance of working to materialize your dreams.

Horse Business Vision Statement

No doubt you’ve heard of the 5 W’s: Who? What? When? Where? Why? They are the basics of information gathering.

Your business vision statement should answer these questions based on the “W’s”:

Where am I going?, Why am I going there?, Who is going with me?, How will I get there? When will I get there?

Good Ideas Die For Lack Of An Advocate

The kill count for good ideas shot down soon after they are lofted is higher than a battle scene in a Star Wars movie.  When it comes to implementation decisions on new ideas or twists on the status quo, risk avoidance is the default choice.

Opponents offer: “We tried that before, too much money, nobody will buy it, never been done before, too much else to do, not enough resources, the competition already tried that…” Finding reasons an idea won’t work is much easier and safer than finding ways an idea will work.

When you’re on a committee or chairing the committee permanently residing in your head, the power of negativity need not be summoned by your urge to play the gloomy part of devil’s advocate. The devil has an exclusive on the role and doesn’t need understudies.

As a leader, your starring role in your business is to play the part of Optimism’s Advocate and acknowledge objections with a yes and press on with more exploration and thinking on the idea.

 

What To Do About Problem Customers In Your Horse Business

What To Do About Problem Customers

No doubt the majority of your customers are pleasant, reasonable folks who gladly pay you for your services. They enjoy the time they spend with horses and you as a boarding barn owner, an instructor, or a trainer.

However, you’re new to running your own business if you haven’t experienced a problem customer.  Problem customers are direct descendants of infamous horseman Attila The Hun, who make you so mad you can spit fire. The problem customer can transform an idyllic afternoon into a maelstrom of misery for you and all others present within minutes of arrival.

“My horse is too skinny, there isn’t enough bedding, the water bucket is half empty, it’s too cold for just a sheet, the other riders won’t stay out of my way, move to the other end-I have to longe my horse NOW, I can’t pay board until the 14th, my saddle is dusty, …but you don’t understand , my child should be jumping by now, what do you mean the barn is closed on Mondays.”

Whine, Complain, Insult.. squared.

You’re good at training, but problem customers can’t be fixed by you. They can only learn how to fix their own problems. And the best way for them to learn is from their next professional horseman.

If you value your sanity and the happiness of the rest of your customers, there is no point in waiting for the problem customer to leave.

You can terminate the relationship with three sentences.

“You’re unhappy here. You’ll be much happier working with someone else at a new location. I wish you well.”

 Get your boots on and get to work. Happiness can return.