Working For Friends Does Not Include Automatic Discounts

My self-employed son was recently lamenting about a job he did for a friend. As a courtesy, he heavily discounted the price. He performed the work and delivered the product, fulfilling the contract. Or so he thought.

The friend, not knowledgeable about the product, called and needed a “few more things” to be done. My son, having built no margin in his pricing for unexpected “extras” for his discounted “good guy” deal, went from a marginally profitable sale to a losing sale due to the extra labor involved in “a few more things.”

I recalled a conversation I overhead long ago between a father and son who were in business together. The father, hearing his son complain about a similar “friend” deal, wisely remarked, “Son, we’re not in business to give stuff away.”

Being a friend is an important responsibility. Being responsible to your business success is too. Charge what you’re worth.

Visualization For Success

Visualization is a powerful tool. What your mind imagines, your body and senses feel. Don’t believe me?

Picture a bowl of bright yellow lemons on the kitchen counter. Now imagine yourself grabbing a lemon and put it on the wooden cutting board in front of it. Slice the lemon in half. Now slice a half into quarters. Place that lemon quarter in your mouth like you did when you were a kid and bite it . Your mouth is salivating and your lips are puckering aren’t they? Visualization is a powerful tool.

Visualize success in your business and get addicted to the feeling.

Do You Know These Simple Tips to Double Your Business in A Week

Here is a week’s worth of quick business thoughts for your contemplation.

Monday      If I want to visit you at your farm today, I can easily find it with my GPS. When I arrive, will I be able to find you quickly with the signs around that say Visitors, Office, Welcome?
The next time you roll in your driveway, pretend you are a visitor and give yourself a rating for friendliness and directions. Many visitors eventually become customers. First impressions are important.

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Tuesday     If you want to grow your business, do something scary out of your comfort zone today. Call prospects for the horse you have for sale, make a video of yourself giving tips about horsemanship or delegate a task you love to an assistant.
If you don’t scare yourself a little, you’re not growing.
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Wednesday     When your customers have a thirst for horsemanship education from you, they expect to get a drink from the fountain of knowledge, not a blast from a fire hose.
Granted, you know a lot of stuff from a lifetime of study, but keep most of it in reserve for when the student is ready. A horse owner does not become a horseman in one session.
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Thursday     May I tell you a story?
Once upon a time, a very wise person told me when it comes to making a point, teaching something new or providing stress relief in a tense negotiation, nothing works like a short story. After hearing that and applying the principle, I’ve lived happily ever after.

The End.

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Friday     All professional horsemen are teachers in some form. Boarding barn owners teach basics of horse care, trainers teach horse owners what commands and cues to use and let’s not forget the obvious, riding instructors.

As a pro, if you asked your customers, clients and students how effective you are as a teacher, how would they rate you? Do you study the art and science of teaching regularly to improve your skills?

Have you studied a video of your teaching techniques and delivery to help self evaluate? A scary idea isn’t it?

The best athletes, amateur and pro, study “game films” constantly. What’s stopping you from shooting your own game film to advance your career?

What To Do In This Economy With Your Horse Business

“In this economy” is a favorite phrase for politicians, worried business owners and job seekers. It almost always has a negative connotation and is offered as a preface for an excuse for lack of performance.

I don’t hear phrases like: “In this community…”, In this month…, In this thunderstorm…as excuses, but the economy, a mysterious, intangible theory of commerce, is the perfect blame for all that is bad in business and employment. “In this economy” is a moot reference when you think about it. Is there any other economy than the present?

If you hear or are fond of using “in this economy..” begin to hear it as code for what it is-an excuse for not thinking and adapting to what is happening today in commerce.

Instead of lamenting about your decline in students in your lesson program, figure out why it happened and develop a marketing program to fix it today. If registrations for summer camp are lagging, call last year’s campers and sign them up and collect a deposit. If you’re losing money at you current board rate, raise the rate and be prepared to lose a boarder or two.

In this economy, thinking and innovative professional horsemen enjoy the opportunity to build a successful horse business like never before in history.

There Is A Cure For Horse Business Tax Time Blues

Today, April 14th, is panic day for some business owners who wrestle with sketchy records and begin to wonder what they should be doing for the next 12 months to improve their woeful record keeping. In some cases a better system, that is software and office procedures, will solve the problem.

But in most cases, the answer is to hire a bookkeeper for two important reasons:

1. You hate bookkeeping.
2. The miserable time you spend with bookkeeping can be replaced with an enjoyable time giving lessons, training or selling horses, which will provide income to easily pay for your bookkeeper.

Savvy Horse Business Owners Know This

Savvy business owners know change is necessary to grow their businesses. And delay has more disadvantages than advantages.

If you agree, ask yourself: If I don’t start change in my business today, what will be different tomorrow?

3 Easy Things to Do Today to Be Happier About Your Horse Business

I picked up a crystal ball last summer at a garage sale. I’m sure it’s defective.

crystal ball 1

And I’m not psychic, but I do know this about you:

1. Your to-do list is lengthy. It always will be.
2. You do too much yourself and don’t ask for help often enough.
3. Your business is not growing as you expected because of your self-limiting beliefs.

And I know you’ll be happier today if you: accept the fact that you will never be “all caught up”, delegate a task to someone who can do it 80% as well as you can and challenge your assumptions about what is and isn’t possible.

Is the Art of Your Dealmaking Created With An Exacto Knife or A Brush?

On the subject of negotiating price, you most likely agree a deal has to be fair for each party involved in the transaction. However, determining the fair price can be a lengthy and tiring exercise of back and forth dickering.

As an alternative to traditional back and forth negotiating, try tossing this question to the other party:  “What’s a fair price for both of us?”

Here’s why. Fair is a neutralizing concept. It lowers the other party’s defense shield and promotes sincerity for both parties to benefit from the transaction. Emotions govern us more than we care to admit. If your conscious mind is focused on getting your price and avoiding failure by leaving too much on the negotiating table, your posture is that of a warrior in battle. Naturally, the other party mirrors your stance and negotiations move slowly or die.

Instead, consider the concept of fair is not a dot, but a range. When you ask the other party what is fair, you’re able to explore the range and increase the odds of making a deal.

You’re in business to buy and sell: horses, training, riding lessons, trucks, trailers, saddles, veterinarian services, boarding etc. If transactions stall or die out every time you get hung up on what’s fair for you only, you’re denying opportunity for growth of your business by stifling commerce.