4 Ways To Make Sure Your Horse Boarding Business Stays Profitable
Everyone wants to be well compensated for doing what they enjoy, especially when horses are involved. Many horse businesses, on the other hand, do not make a profit and must rely on other sources of money to stay afloat.
Here are four guidelines to help your horse boarding business to become and stay profitable.
1. Know your financial expenses early
Before anything else, make sure you understand what the costs of the business are. An excellent place to start is to list absolutely everything you think the business needs, including the fixed costs that are often overlooked. This could be the weekly rent that needs to be paid, your property’s rates, water, power, and mortgage if you own it.
Make a list of all your variable expenses. Calculate how much feed and bedding each horse will consume if you have horses on full board. Add in the cost of having someone mix the feed and deliver it to the horse. These costs will rise in line with the number of horses boarded. Don’t forget to factor in the maintenance costs or renovation costs you may need to pay for to ensure your stables are in a safe condition, for example, equine welding to repair damaged stalls or arena grading to keep the surface level.
Also, remember to separate the business expenses from your own costs, such as spending for your own horse, competitions, or accommodation purposes. It’s a good idea to keep these lists separate since you don’t want to overspend from the business account for your personal horses.
2. Get expert help when needed
You can always try to manage every angle of the business yourself, but that may be both time consuming and draining on your resources if you’re not sure how certain parts of the job work. For instance, when first starting your horse business, you may want to hire an accountant that will help with the taxes and unexpected costs.
Another example is if you do business with foreign customers or other businesses for horse sales or equipment purchases, you may need a reliable customs brokerage that will help your business with the complex process of international trade or experts that help with the legal sides of the business such as commercial leases and liability release forms.
It’s important to have experts in fields you’re not sufficiently knowledgeable about, and having people that know what they’re doing will save you both time and money in the long run.
3. Bulk buy supplies where possible
Hay is cheapest in the summer and gradually increases in price throughout the fall and winter. When hay costs are at their lowest, buy and store it in the summer or early fall. To get the best costs, buy directly from farmers rather than from feed retailers. You will save much more money if you can transport it yourself.
To make sure you are feeding and charging appropriately, don’t guess when it comes to hay and feed—weigh it.
Weigh your hay flakes to gain an estimate of their average weight. Then, based on weight, feed the appropriate quantity of flakes to each horse. If you feed using haynets, weigh them using a hanging scale before feeding.
Look for deals on other supplies when you buy them in bulk or pre-pay. Wormers, feed and supplements are typically cheaper when you buy them in large quantities. Other service providers such as your veterinarian may offer a discount for paying on the day instead of credit charges.
However whilst buying in bulk can save money, it may also put a strain on your cash flow so make sure you have a strong grip on your finances before you decide to use this strategy.
4. Don’t underestimate social media marketing
Social media is the best way to promote your equine boarding business for free. However there’s a fine line between documenting your life on social media and oversharing or appearing unprofessional. If you want to be recognised or known by others, clean up your social media accounts or create a “professional” one and keep your personal one private. In every aspect of your life, from your Twitter profile to how you treat others in public, you want to present the image that you want others to think of when they think of you. That is your brand and impression that your business will leave on people.
If you want to know more about making amazing content for your social media marketing endeavours, check out this article on 10 tools for creating great social content for your equine business.
The perfect photo or video can work wonders for grabbing your audience’s attention, and you should always invest in making content that will benefit your current or potential customers.
Running a profitable horse boarding business is challenging but achievable. Using each of the 4 steps above will help you but a sound financial plan that is regularly reviewed is critical to keep you on track. If you’d like to network and exchange ideas with other boarding farm owners, head on over to our Facebook group and join the community.