Good horsemanship is built on solid basics…so is good business!

Posted by Lisa Derby Oden
Lisa Derby Oden
I've been fortunate to be involved with horses throughout my life... so far that
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on Sunday, 02 December 2012
in Marketing

Is Your Horse Business on Google Places?

My sister drove into my yard recently exclaiming, “Do you know that Blue Ribbon Consulting comes up on Google maps?” I chuckled and said, “Well, yes, I submitted my information to Google places.” In this day and age as more and more and more people are using their GPS and smart phones to find places, it makes good sense to be sure your horse business can be found here.

Google Places 2 

There’s so many great ways to increase your business exposure that are free. Of course, when I say free I mean that you don’t have to pay for them, but you will have to devote some time instead. As you begin to explore getting set up on Google places, you may discover that your horse business is in fact already there. If that’s the case, you’ll want to be sure the information is representing your business correctly. If it’s not already there, you are missing a chance at an online yellow pages of sorts. Plus, it helps to drive more traffic to your website. You can create coupons for those that find you this way, which provides you with some information about where your prospects and business is coming from. And on top of that, you can upload photos and video.

It’s really easy to either correct your listing and/or add to it, or to set it up if there isn’t one there. Follow these steps:

1) Go to www.google.com/places. Log into your account if you have one. If you don’t have one go ahead and create one. Google has lots of cool tools to use once you have an account and I’ll talk about more of these in future blogs.

2) After you’ve logged into your account or created a new one a link will appear that says “Get started now.” Click on that.

3) The next piece of information Google asks for is your phone number. By filling this in, the system looks to see if it has any information on you. If it does have information it will pop up. If they don’t have you yet, fill in the information they are asking for.

4) Since Google doesn’t want just anyone signing up somebody else’s business with false information, the next thing that they do is to verify that you really are a representative of the business. They do this by giving you a PIN that you will have to enter online. You can choose one of two methods for them to send you the PIN. They can call you with it or you they can send it to you on a postcard. I did all of these steps in one sitting and chose the phone call, which came instantaneously. The postcard method will take longer.

Now you should be all set. You can create coupons for prospects and clients to download which offers another promotional tool for you. And it’s fun to go to google.com/places and enter your business name and see it pop up. Don’t expect overnight results from having listed yourself here, but do include it as one thing you can measure about your marketing and keep track quarterly and annually. You may find that during some seasons you have more contacts this way, which in turn can help you plan out promotions you might want to offer at different times of the year.

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About the author

Lisa Derby Oden

I've been fortunate to be involved with horses throughout my life... so far that is! Early in my career I owned and operated Derby Farm, a riding stable in Buxton, Maine. I have also worked as a freelance riding instructor and bring all this practical experience to my consulting work. Blue Ribbon Consulting focuses on business and nonprofit development in the equine industry. I provide evaluation, planning, research, marketing and problem-solving services to take you successfully through all your horse business transitions. I've worked with clients around the world, and have received state and national honors for my work in the equine industry. Since I love this industry and believe in it, I've also been a nonprofit founder, board member, and executive officer for local, state and national organizations. I've worked with nonprofits in strategic planning, program development, corporate development, fundraising, grant writing and grant administration. Part of this wonderful journey has also allowed me to serve as adjunct faculty and guest lecturer at several universities, and to deliver business development, marketing, and leadership seminars throughout the United States. I also developed and oversaw the Entrepreneurs Resource Center for a community college. I've published two books, have been a columnist and freelance writer for many trade publications, and am a partner in the CD series “Inventing Your Horse Career.”

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"When I was an adjunct at UNH, Lisa Derby Oden brought a wealth of information and knowledge about current issues facing the equine industry locally and nationally to the equine science students there...Lisa provided a full understanding of how each segment of the industry is dependent upon each other for stability and growth. Her in-class workshops helped students increase their awareness of problems encountered in the equine field. She offered opportunities to learn about small business operations and professionalism.

Time and again, she offered UNH undergraduate students insights into current horse industry trends which have an effect on their chosen equine profession. I sat in on Equine Business Management when Lisa offered it through UNH. It helped me tremendously with my own business on my farm. I highly recommend her industry workshops as a must do walkthrough before venturing into any horse-related business. "

Heather Smith, Sunrise Bay Farm, Durham, NH

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