The Profitable Horseman's Newsletter The only weekly electronic newsletter published for Professional Horsemen.
August 24, 2007

If you are struggling with finding enough time, enough money and enough of the right people in your horse business, then it may be time to get some help. Ben Franklin is credited with saying,

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

It's hard to disagree with Ben's wisdom about getting results. If you are looking for different results in your horse business, we should have a conversation about how Profitable Horseman strategies can help. (716) 434-5371

Read about these items this week:
  • Horse Business Workshop
  • What Everybody Ought to Know About Hiring
  • Speaking about the Horse Business...
  • Others have said
  • Back at the Barn
  • You can make money in the horse business!

  • What Everybody Ought to Know About Hiring

    If you are like many professional horsemen, finding the right people to help you in your business is a challenge. It's a challenge because candidates with horse experience are limited, the rate of pay in the equine industry is low in comparison to other industries and much of the work is unsupervised requiring employees with good work habits.

    A resume, job application and a short interview will you tell you only part of the story about an employee candidate.

    You know what I mean if you've ever had your new hire show up for work on the first day and you find out that not only did the name on the job application and the face from the interview show up, a whole person came along as well.

    The whole person comes with a life history and often with personalized baggage. And personalized baggage does not refer to monograms on suitcases.

    There are many books and articles written every year on the subject of hiring. You may want to brush up on your interviewing skills and techniques by reading some of the good books and articles.

    Like most things, however, experience is the best teacher on the practice of hiring good people.

    Experience has taught me that the following points are important to consider in your interview process. They're in random order and may seem blatantly obvious. But, like a mare with her ears pinned flat on her neck, the obvious is still worthy of your attention.

    1. Does the applicant show up early, on time, or late for the interview? Late arrivals are often backed by good excuses- "heavy traffic, difficulty finding the place, drop children off, etc." These are the same excuses you'll probably hear every day from the applicant once hired. If you expect punctuality every day, lack of it at the interview is deal breaker.
    2. Is the applicant dressed in a way that is acceptable to you for your business image? If unconventional body piercings-offensive tattoos and sloppy general appearance don't bother you or your customers, no need to worry. If they do, keep in mind you are probably seeing the best image of the candidate at the interview.
    3. Reliable transportation?-You know what happens when a worker is a no-show. You either find a way to pick up the employee to get him or her to work, or you go through the day running on one less cylinder.
    4. Look for life in the eyes- good eye contact, enthusiasm and energy.
    5. Bad mouthing and negative comments- past employers, industry, relationships, family, excessive bad luck. If you hear too much of it in the candidate interview, you'll be forever hearing it from the employee.
    6. Take this job and ---How many days off, benefits, what's the pay ? If too many questions like these come early in the interview, you know that Johnny is all about his Paycheck.
    7. Lack of enthusiasm for horses and or animals in general. Captain Obvious says this could be a problem.
    8. Messy car - no science or research backs this up, but I got in the habit of trying to have a peek at a candidate's car. Back seats littered with adult beverage cans and fast food wrappers, duct taped door handles and turn signal lenses and out of date inspection stickers tell part of a story.
    9. Poor listener-Even though you will only be doing twenty percent of the talking at an interview, the candidate should show signs of coherence and listening carefully to what you say. After all, carrying out your directions is a key job requirement.
    10. Lacking good manners-you'll never be happy apologizing for your employee's crude behavior and impolite habits. Even though it's not you being rude, his reflection tarnishes your silver.

    We both know there is no perfect employee. But, as a profitable business owner, screening for bad habits and attitudes makes good sense. Good attitude trumps work experience.

    People with good attitudes, but weak on work experience and skills can always be trained for business.

    People with bad attitudes, but strong on work experience and skills are often trainwrecks for business.

    Speaking about the Horse Business...

    Need a speaker about the horse business for your horse organization?

    Talk to me about talking. Keynotes and workshops available. (716) 434-5371

    Others have said

    "I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day you bet on people, not on strategies." --Larry Bossidy

    "When I meet successful people I ask 100 questions as to what they attribute their success to. It is usually the same: persistence, hard work and hiring good people." --Kiana Tom

    "Never hire anyone who is going to report directly to you who you do not intuitively just plain like from first impressions. If your instincts tell you you're going to have a hard time working with someone, pass." --Fred Charette

    Back at the Barn

    I was thinking about writing the above article earlier this week in the evening as Betsey and I were doing the evening feed and water chores before lights out in the barn. I have to confess I was doing more thinking than working.

    I recalled the language employees often use when referring to their places of employment. The team players talk about how we do it and how all of us will pitch in together.

    The individualists refer to the business as a distant "them" and "they" and are fond of saying "that's not my job" and "I don't get paid enough to think."

    Perhaps the reason they don't get paid enough is because they don't think enough about what comes out of their mouths.

    You can make money in the horse business!
    Doug Emerson photo

    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 not enough: time, money or the right people in your horse business, call or e-mail and we can talk, no fee, no pressure, about your business and how I may be able to help you.

    The first step to improvement is up to you.

    Welcome to new subscribers this week. If you know other horsemen who would enjoy this newsletter, please forward it to them!

    I appreciate your help !


    Horse Business Workshop

    There are seats availabe for the workshop organized by the Genesee Valley Riding and Driving Club and the Genesse Valley Breeders Association. It's a 3 evening series starting on September 11 focused on running a profitable horse business.

    If you like long conversations about economic theory, reviews of calculus and statistics and a monotone presenter, stay away from this one!

    If you are looking for practical information you can put to use the next day, strategies proven to work and to have fun and some laughs with fellow horsemen, this one is for you.

    If you live in Western or Central New York State,

    click here for the details.

    Click on the links below for more information

    Profitable Horseman Web Page

    Past issues of Profitable Horseman newsletter

    Don't Look Back Professional Horseman's Blog- More Free Business Tips Click on the link.

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