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The Profitable Horseman's Newsletter The only weekly electronic newsletter published for Professional Horsemen.
October 27, 2006

Are you tired of trying to make money in the horse business the old way? I help professional horsemen find new and better methods to add to the profitability of their businesses.
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in this issue
  • There is Something New Every Day in my Blog About the Horse Business

    click on the picture below
  • Cheaper Doesn't Work in the Horse Business
  • Others have said
  • Back at the Barn
  • Build the Horse Business You've Always Wanted
  • Speaking about the Horse Business...

  • Cheaper Doesn't Work in the Horse Business

    Here are 3 phone questions you get all of the time. The caller asks:

    1. 1. "How much do you charge for board?" or,
    2. 2. "How much do you charge for riding lessons?" or
    3. "How much do you charge to train a horse?"

    Your palms sweat and your head aches as you begin to recite your price list for the 18th time this week. You feel if your price isn’t as low as the competition’s, then you’ll lose the prospect forever right on this phone call.

    These prospects use an approach similar to finding the cheapest seat on an airline for their next Disney World visit. It’s a research mission based entirely on price. Seats on a jet are a commodity. They are all pretty much the same.

    You sell unique services that aren’t commodities.

    Choosing to be the lowest priced professional horseman is a choice that will guarantee you many new customers and a long list of former customers. When price is the main decision factor, you’ll find that your clients come and go on a rapid basis. What does that mean for you? It means you’re miserable because: you’re always overworked trying to save on labor, you’re stressed about not having enough money to maintain the business and you are emotionally drained putting up with client demands for first class service at steerage prices.

    I’m a big fan of marketing expert and author Seth Godin. Seth writes books with a non- traditional viewpoint about marketing. Okay, admittedly, he’s a little wacky some of the time as he makes his points. Read “Purple Cow” to understand the concept of having remarkable products and services. Seth makes a good point about being cheap as a marketing strategy here.

    He writes, "Cheaper is the last refuge of the person who's not a very good marketer.

    Cheaper is easy and cheaper is fast and cheaper is linear and cheaper is easy to do properly, at least at first.

    But cheaper doesn't spread the word (unless you are much cheaper, but to be much cheaper, you need to be organized from the ground up, like Wal- Mart or Jet Blue, to be cheaper).

    They are, you're not."

    So you are not Wal*Mart! You aren't even selling retail goods. You are selling all or parts of a “BLT” (Boarding, Lessons, Training). And best of all, Wal*Mart will never be your competitor.

    Which means that your prices don't have to be the lowest.

    Never the lowest price, always.

    Market You. That is what your clients will pay for. Your brand is only available from your business.

    Get out of the cheap seats, and find clients who want your brand.

    They are out there. Clients are willing to pay more for friendly service, clean stalls, a regular feed schedule, ample bedding, kind voices during riding instruction, a horse trained from the fundamentals first, with advanced training to follow.

    The answer to “how much do you charge” can also be,

    “Our rates are reasonable, but I’ll tell you right now they are not the lowest. You’ll find the reason for that is because we are high on service. The best way for you to find out about our programs is to make an appointment to visit and find out if our program is right for you. When would you like to visit?”

    Become a marketer; stop being a discounter.

    Others have said

    "I've spent most of my life riding horses; the rest I've just wasted." --unknown

    "What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly." -- Thomas Paine

    "There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply. The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey." -- John Ruskin

    Back at the Barn
    back at barn

    The frost is on the pumpkin and we're about to play with the clocks again this weekend to create the illusion of a longer day. The result of clock adjustment is a little more daylight in the morning for chores and reinforcement of the phrase, “and darkness fell” for evening chores.

    It seems to me that darkness falls like a rock during these shorter days. I still have plenty of working day left, but the sun won’t cooperate for late day farm work.

    I felt sorry for a road crew I drove past last night working at about 7:15 P.M. with limited lights in the dark. They have a time crunch to finish the job before winter. They start in the dark and finish in the dark.

    Sounds like the horse business, doesn’t it?

    Build the Horse Business You've Always Wanted
    dee oct 06

    I work with Professional Horsemen who are struggling with the business half of the horse business. Just like a top performing horse has a strong foundation, so does a top performing horse business.

    If you've had enough with disappointment in your horse business, call or e-mail and we can talk about your business and how I may be able to help you.

    If you know other horsemen who would enjoy this newsletter, please forward it to them! I am on a quest to tell 1000 people what I do and I need your help.

    Life is short,

    Ride hard.


    Speaking about the Horse Business...
    megaphone man

    Need a speaker about the horse business for your horse related organization? Talk to me about talking. Keynotes and workshops available. (716) 434-5371

    There is Something New Every Day in my Blog About the Horse Business

    click on the picture below
    herd of horses

    Click on the herd of horses above. They'll take you right to the blog. What's a blog? Click and find out!

    Click on the links below for more information

    Profitable Horseman Web Page

    Past issues of Profitable Horseman newsletter

    Professional Horsemen's Blog- Don't Look Back!

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