Good horsemanship is built on solid basics…so is good business!
We’re coming into the time of year that allows us all the time to step back and look at our organization from a strategic point of view. We’ll be looking at our year’s end financial data soon, giving deeper thought how to tweak our programs for greater client satisfaction and increased sales, and evaluating our marketing for ways to bring more traffic through our doors. With that in mind, I wanted to provide a list of resources related to these areas.
This is a great tool the lets you capture and organize all those great ideas and even crazy ideas. It beats outlining your projects and really provides a much more creative space to identify tasks, costs, issues, resources, allies, competitors, next steps and more. This is a tool I use to look at the year ahead as well as develop individual projects.
This is a fundraising platform for entrepreneurs, businesses, nonprofits and more. You create your own campaign, set a goal and get started. One of the suggestions made is that you offer perks of some kind to those that contribute to you. There’s also a mechanism for applying for fiscal sponsorship if you are looking for tax deductible contributions.
This is a peer lending site that allows you to get unsecured loans from $2000 to $25,000 (or to invest in others looking to borrow) at rates from 6.59% to 35.84%APR depending on your Prosper rating. So if you have a good credit score and aren’t able to get a loan for your idea, you may be able to find what you’re looking for here. If you have a low credit score, you may still be able to get a loan, but your interest rate will be higher. Prosper has developed its own rating system that combines your credit score and other behavior inherent to the Prosper population.
Equine Enterprise Online Budget http://www.uky.edu/Ag/AgEcon/pubs/ext_aec/ext2006-03.pdf
If you want to get a better handle on your financial situation don’t have a knack for setting up spreadsheets, this may be t he solution you’ve been looking for. These are downloadable excel spreadsheets developed by the UK Departments of Agricultural Economics and Animal and Food Sciences. And the best part is that they have developed 4 separate budgets depending on your situation: (1) Broodmare Marketing Yearlings, (2) Boarding Operation, (3) Horse Owner on Owned Land, and (4) Owner Boarding.
Free SEO Report www.freeseoreport.com
Marketing, marketing, marketing….it can consume a great deal of your time! Nowadays having a website has become a necessity, and having one is not enough. In order for your prospects to find you, your site must rank well in the search engines. That’s where SEO (search engine optimization) comes in. This site will help you to understand where you rank and what you can do increase your rankings.
Mr. Dashboard www.mrdashboard.com
Dashboards provide a means for you to evaluate your key performance indicators – financial, marketing and more. There are lots of options to choose from when developing a dashboard. If you are a DIY individual and good with excel, you can build your own. If you prefer to get one that’s relatively easy to use, this site has great selections.
Mail Chimp www.mailchimp.com
In order to stay in front of your clients minds, regular communication is a must. Mind you, it must be done in a way that the client perceives as valuable and not spam, so bear that in mind as you consider your customer communication strategy. Mail Chimp is an email newsletter provider that is free up to 2000 subscribers.
Equine Trainers Newsletter www.equinetrainersnewsletter.com
If you’re a trainer, instructor, or riding facility owner and want a really easy way to stay in touch with your clients, this service does that for you in a cost-effective way. They provide content about horses that is informative and educational, and you customize with your recent news.
There are so many great tools available these days, and these are just a few of my favorites. What is a favorite of yours?