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Penniless Philanthropy Update - Open Door Equine Makes New Connections

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, 29 September 2011
in Penniless Philanthropy

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Stacey Sheley has been working hard this past month in more than one way. Stacey began her new job and is working 35 hours a week as well as developing Open Door Equine. She has been working other jobs as she builds her business, and this is a great strategy. "I had $1000 when I moved, and by hard work, ingenuity and good help of others along the way, I've been able to move step by step towards my dream." In the past she has done waitressing to help pay the bills as she built the foundation for her business. She was excited to recently accept a position as an instructional assistant to help teachers and kids throughout the day at a school for kids with special needs and severe disabilities. This dovetails with her work in the therapeutic riding realm.

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Open Door Equine, Inc. Chosen as Penniless Philanthropy Project

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, 03 September 2011
in Penniless Philanthropy

mh900398819

I’m really excited about the Penniless Philanthropy project that I announced last December. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and it took me while to think about it, how to offer it, the logistics, the details. And now that I’ve implemented the project I can’t be happier! Some aspects are still a work in progress – for example, starting this section of my blog so that you can follow the progress of the project and learn about how the clients pay it forward when we’re done the work we’ve agreed upon in the beginning.

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Fundraising Idea for Equine Nonprofits (and Businesses!)

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 August 2011
in Nonprofit

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Nonprofits always look for additional means to bring funds into the organization in order to meet their operating costs and to be able to accomplish their mission. Fundraising strategies usually seek to diversify income streams and donor pools so that the core donor group doesn’t succumb to donor burnout. I’ve learned about a fundraising method that allows a nonprofit’s stakeholders to participate in a way that is easy and can result in a steady stream of funds for the organization. How much this generates will vary according to how effectively this idea is implemented as well as how well it continues to be communicated on a regular basis. And, as an added bonus, it is a green initiative!

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What An Interpreter Taught Me About Talking To Customers, by Jaime Green

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 Friday, 29 July 2011
in Guest Blogger

Jaime Green sent me this piece that she had written, and it really hit home in terms of potential customers and being really aware of how we project ourselves as professionals. Thanks Jaime for this reminder that our conversations ARE two-way, not monologues! Jaime has been a horseperson for many years, and is making plans to open a horse facility of her own. That heightens her awareness of both sides of the coin in this situation. Thanks for sharing your perspective Jaime!

 My job in the Air Force was highly specialized, and quite dangerous at times dealing with explosives. I rarely thought of other professions until I went to Kuwait and began explosives training with the Kuwaiti National Guard, most of which didn't speak a lick of English. There were two interpreters for forty Kuwaiti men and ten Americans, I became close with one interpreter in particular named Mahdi. I began to think about things that I may have otherwise overlooked the rest of my life. Three lessons that Mahdi taught me that I think apply to word of mouth marketing as well as customer relations are as follows: Start talking at the top and then work your way to their level, feel what your client is feeling, and listen to the person as a whole not just their words. All the what not to do's were illustrated in one interaction two days ago when I went to buy grain at the local store.

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Golf, Horses and Beginner's Mind

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, 23 July 2011
in Reflections & Serendipity

I was invited to play as part of a golf foursome earlier this week. I laughed and told my friend that I really wasn’t a golfer, that I’ve only played 3 times in my life, and that if I played I would be the comic relief for the day. I love miniature golf however, and in reflecting about this entire experience think I’ve finally discovered a commonality between golf, miniature golf and horses which I’ll tell you about in a moment.

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Eight Tips on Improving Horse Facility Efficiency, by Marie Taulbee

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, 12 July 2011
in Guest Blogger

I'd like to introduce you to Marie Taulbee, Founder and CEO of Laraedo Software. She's developed horse farm managment software that is web-based and allows you to keep in touch with your clients easily. Your clients are also able to log in online and see what their horse has been up to and what their account balance is. Marie is dedicated to improving horse business operation so that you can maximize your time where it's most needed. She's sharing tips here related to everyday issues that can help to improve your efficiency. Welcome Marie!

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An efficient, well-planned horse facility can work within the budget and staffing constraints while remaining on target with basic operational goals. Here are eight areas that yield the highest benefits to keep a farm running effectively and efficiently.

 

1) Lighting, Electrical and Water

Horses require plenty of natural light especially when kept in stalls for long periods of time. Natural lighting is the best way to accomplish this. There should be plenty of windows and doors to let sun and air in but keep out other weather elements.

To prevent possible damage or injury, recess all faucets, electrical switches, and outlets. It’s ideal to use electrical outlet faceplates with hinged covers to help prevent early destruction due to moisture or weather.

Regularly check the barn water pipes to be sure they are functioning well and don’t have leaks.

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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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Making It Easy For Your Clients To Pay

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, 31 March 2011
in Financial Strategy

mb900040362Do you take a look at ways to make it easier for clients to do business with your horse business? If so, one of those topics might be if you make it easy to pay you. Don’t get me wrong, horses aren’t cheap and never have been, so I’m not saying that you’ll be able to make it inexpensive. I’m advocating for accepting payment in a variety of forms. The more ways that you can accept payment, the more you remove the barrier for getting paid.

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5 Tips for Riding Out the Recession

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 Sunday, 20 March 2011
in Professional Development

dfbuck2

 

The recession has been hard on the horse industry, maybe harder than some other industries, because it relies so heavily on discretionary income. With so many people out of work that means that discretionary income has evaporated for those folks, as they scurry to keep their personal basic survival bills paid. So what can you do to minimize the impact it has on your business? As the economy continues to throw a few bucks at us all, consider the following tips to ride out this recession.

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How to Get a Logo 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 Sunday, 14 November 2010
in Marketing

logo 10 10 edited

Branding, branding, branding…it’s all around us these days. Branding is certainly an important concept to understand as a horse business owner - it embodies your essence and conveys to your audience the feeling of what your business is about. Your logo is the visual representation of your brand, and must convey the feeling of your brand.

 

In a perfect world, you hire a graphic designer as you’re in the start-up stage of your business. You work together to develop your logo based on your vision and mission, and from your first days you have a logo to use with all your marketing materials and initiatives. Yup, in a perfect world that’s how it goes.

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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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