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Planning

Ready, Set, Go For Your Horse Business Goals!

Posted by Lisa Derby Oden
Lisa Derby Oden
I've been fortunate to be involved with horses throughout my life... so far that
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 13 January 2015
in Planning

It's a new year. It's that time again to look objectively at your horse business successes, challenges, and unfulfilled goals of 2014. It's also time to focus forward on 2015.

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What's your style for tackling your goals? Do you set goals with all good intentions - and then they fall by the wayside? Are your goals in your head only - and then at the end of the year you mutter to yourself "Where did that year go?" Many businesses just kind of bump along, year after year, without being proactive about new goals. Those that utilize a clear goal-setting and achievement process more often achieve those goals.

Join Blue Ribbon Consulting for a free teleseminar on Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 7PM EST.

The session will:

• provide a process for brainstorming and prioritizing 2015 goals

• outline steps that need to be taken to achieve your goals

• offer a follow-up monthly check-in option to optimize your pathway to fulfilling your goals

The free teleseminar will take place on Tuesday, January 20 at 7PM EST. For the goal setting document and phone call-in number and code, contact Lisa@BlueRibbonConsulting.com.

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Taking Your Horse Business Temperature

Posted by Lisa Derby Oden
Lisa Derby Oden
I've been fortunate to be involved with horses throughout my life... so far that
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 24 August 2013
in Planning

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In a recent blog, I focused on business planning as preventive medicine. Continuing along in the same vein, the next step is to evaluate your horse business regularly to keep your enterprise in tip-top shape. It’s like taking your horse’s temperature, so that you know what normal is and what cause for concern is.

 

As you’re well aware, every business has its issues and problems – it’s all part and parcel for an equipreneur. The key lies in how you respond to the issues. What do you do when a problem surfaces, or you notice that your business “has a temperature?” Do you go into denial, or do you tackle the problem head on? Successful equipreneurs become fond of problem solving, or of bringing the temperature back within a normal range. Diagnosing a horse’s health problem can be confusing and it’s not unusual to be led astray by focusing on a symptom rather than determining the cause. Your business is like that too. Sometimes no matter what you do to focus in on what you believe the problem to be, no relief is in sight and your horse business temperature remains elevated. This is a good time to take a step back, take a look at the big picture and broaden your evaluation.

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Business Planning as Preventive Medicine

Posted by Lisa Derby Oden
Lisa Derby Oden
I've been fortunate to be involved with horses throughout my life... so far that
User is currently offline
on Monday, 10 June 2013
in Planning

It’s no secret that I believe that business planning is an important tool for equine start-ups as well as entities already in existence. From a business perspective, participating in the business planning process is akin to a horse owner being sure that his/her horses have an annual health exam with preventative inoculations. Not having the shots doesn’t mean that the horse will get sick or will die, but the chances for either are increased. So it is with business planning as well - your practice may not fail, but the chance of failure, at worst, or lackluster performance, at best, is increased.

iwonder

As an equine entrepreneur taking the first steps of developing a business plan, you will need to consider four core areas: 1) Concept, 2) Customer, 3) Cash, and 4) Controls. When you begin to develop your plan you should also be considering who you would like to have as an advisory team. An advisory team consists of a banker, lawyer, accountant, and insurance agent at a minimum. Though it’s preferable that these team members have knowledge of the horse industry in general, and preferably your niche, it can be difficult to find. You may want to include peers that you can rely on for advice, mentorship, and to provide balance by having strengths in areas that you may be weak in. Your advisory team will be able to provide great insight as well as serve as a sounding board for your ideas and goals as you make your way through the planning process and as your horse venture grows.

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Build a Dashboard for Your Horse Business

Posted by Lisa Derby Oden
Lisa Derby Oden
I've been fortunate to be involved with horses throughout my life... so far that
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 16 April 2013
in Planning

When I first decided to write on this topic, I put a post out to my social media channels and groups. The question I posed was: What would you include on your horse business dashboard? Then the response came: What’s a dashboard? So I knew that this was a timely topic for the horse industry. Dashboards are used by many other businesses in other sectors to monitor their business throughout the year. Dashboards strive for simplicity of presentation of data related to your Key Performance Indicators, or KPI. Key Performance Indicators include areas such as: Marketing, Sales, Financials, and Operations. The data is often presented as trend lines, charts, and other visuals. This is how they came to be known as dashboards – when driving your car your dashboard provides at-a-glance insight into critical areas of the car’s operation. And so it is with your horse business dashboard also.

 

excel dashboard pro 

I consider the development and use of a dashboard as a best practice because it really helps you to keep your finger on the pulse of your business. I’ve seen several references during the months of June and July that it’s time to check on your business now, half way through the year. Granted, this is a good time to check on your business again, and not leave it to an annual checkup. A better practice is to monitor it monthly however, and the then after watching the changes from month to month, take a step back at the six month mark and look strategically and objectively at what all the monthly incremental changes might mean.

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Today’s Youth are Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs

Posted by Lisa Derby Oden
Lisa Derby Oden
I've been fortunate to be involved with horses throughout my life... so far that
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 09 February 2013
in Planning

A couple years ago I was doing horse business presentations at the Everything Equine Expo in Vermont. Most of the people that attended the presentations were horse business owners looking for a new way to look at their horse business and marketing. I asked everyone to introduce themselves and say what they had for a horse business. As the introductions were being made, I was pleasantly surprised to find a young woman, Alexandra Glover (aka Alex), attending that didn’t have a horse business yet and plans to when she has finished college. She was interested in the presentation topic which focused on identifying and attracting your target market because she will be studying business marketing at college. I was fascinated to hear her say that she is going to start college this fall – that it had taken her awhile to figure out what she wanted to take in college. Turns out she is 18 years old and will be attending Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA this fall. I’d like to share Alex’s story here because she represents the future of the horse industry and she is a shining example. Her ability to focus on clear goals, present herself professionally, and look for ways around obstacles will stand her in good stead in any endeavor – and they are key qualities that entrepreneurs (or should I say equipreneur) embody.

Oklahoma Hollyhock and Alex

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A Witch or A Watch…A Strategic Plan or a Business Plan or…

Posted by Lisa Derby Oden
Lisa Derby Oden
I've been fortunate to be involved with horses throughout my life... so far that
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 20 December 2012
in Planning

Do you remember the game "This is a witch, this is a watch" from when you were a kid? Everyone sits in a circle and you passes one object one direction and the other object the other direction, everyone repeating the "This is a witch - a what - a witch" mantra (or watch depending on where you sat in the circle). Then when one person receives both objects at the same time and the cross-over begins....well....pandemonium reigns. This same reaction frequently occurs when horse business owners grapple with which tool might best suit their current situation: strategic plan, business plan, feasibility study, or annual operations plans. I get a deer-in-the-headlights look when I suggest one tool as compared to another. Is it a witch or a watch; a strategic plan or a business plan?

Planning Compared

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How To Start A Horse Business

Posted by Lisa Derby Oden
Lisa Derby Oden
I've been fortunate to be involved with horses throughout my life... so far that
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 26 May 2011
in Planning

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Have you always wanted to start a horse business but hesitate to do so because trying to figure out how to start it is like a big black hole? Do you know what steps to take, when to take them, or if your idea will even fly? Or have you just started a new business and you’re not certain if you’ve missed something? Are you clear on how to proceed with the myriad of business decisions that you’re encountering at warp speed?

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Is Break-Even the Most Important Question to Ask Here?

Posted by Lisa Derby Oden
Lisa Derby Oden
I've been fortunate to be involved with horses throughout my life... so far that
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 28 August 2010
in Planning
riding lesson blog photo
I get asked for advice all the time - after all it is the nature of my business! Recently someone contacted me out of concern for a friend. The friend has been around horses and showing all her life, and owns one horse. The friend currently has one student that she just began giving lessons. The horse that she gives the lessons on belongs to the person that owns the private farm where the she keeps her horse. She doesn’t use her own horse because it isn’t a suitable beginner mount. She is able to keep her horse there at no cost because she occasionally takes care of the owner's other horses.She is now considering buying a second horse with the hope that she could turn it over right away or keep it to give lessons with. She does have a buyer in mind, but not confirmed. My friend’s concern is that if she continues giving lessons, that the property owner will not want the friend to use her horse for lessons anymore.
 
The person that contacted me didn’t think this sounded like a good business plan and wanted to know how many lessons her friend would have to give in order to reach break-even. Well…yikes! This situation raises several red flags for me. Break-even is not the top one either. There are lots of elements that go into deciding to buy a horse as a lesson horse in this situation. I’ll list some of them here – but I often find that once someone has decided to buy a horse that it can be very difficult to get them to change their mind – somehow they have already made an emotional commitment within themselves. They could be in love with the horse, or in love with the idea.
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Planning For Success

Posted by Lisa Derby Oden
Lisa Derby Oden
I've been fortunate to be involved with horses throughout my life... so far that
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 31 July 2010
in Planning

chess05 blog photo

I am changing the name of business planning to planning for success. When I start to talk about business planning, people begin to get anxious or they glaze over. Very few get that sparkly interested look in their eye and really engage. I’ve discovered that there is a fear of business planning, mostly because business planning is foreign and unfamiliar territory. I’ll bet that when I start talking to people about planning for success, they will respond in a more open fashion, be curious and want to engage.

 

As part of the horse industry, I’m sure that you have encountered breeds that are misunderstood. Business planning….ummmm…..planning for success is like that too. Many people say that their plan is in their head. And what there is of it may well be, but there are usually many missing elements. Just by articulating it and getting it onto paper, you provide yourself with the opportunity to read it back to yourself and see if it makes sense to you. This gives you the chance to improve on it, before mistakes are made and bad decisions have cost you a ton of money and time. No one wakes up and says. “Today I am going to make bad business decisions.” Yet, if you don’t actively engage in business planning…..ummm….planning for success….in a committed fashion, you have elected to make ill-informed decisions that may be devastating to your business.

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