Thursday, 30 August 2012

What is equine business marketing?

Very simple answer: equine business marketing is whatever you do that makes people want to buy your goods or services

or far more complicated answer:

 The mangement process by which goods and sevices move from concept to the customer comprising of identification and selection of product, determination of price, selection of distribution channel and development of a promotional strategy.

No wonder some people think marketing is hard!

If you talk to people about your business, the goods or services that you have to offer you are marketing.
If you have a website or blog you are marketing.
If you hand out a business card you are marketing.
If you anwer a phone or email enquiry you are marketing.

Marketing doesn't have to be complicated, it doesn't have to cost a fortune and it doesn't have to be scary. Over the coming months I'll be posting lots of marketing tips so do follow this blog to be sure to find them.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Horse quote - When you work with horses

"When you work with horses for a living, somethimes you THINK about taking a day off but usually, that's as close as you get."

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The importance of Business Cards for the Equestrian Business

Never, ever under estimate the importance of business cards for your horse business (or indeed any other business) your business card is a physical reminder of your presense, the ONLY physical reminder of your presense, after an event, be it a riding lesson or a trade show.

Choose the best quality you can afford.

Take your business cards everywhere, yes even to the supermarket, you never know when the opportunity to pass on your business contact details is going to arise.

Image: businesscards123

Monday, 27 August 2012

Motivational Monday - Here 's to the crazy ones

Here's to the crazy ones.
The Misfits. The Rebels. The Troublemakers.
The Round Pegs in the square holes.
The Ones who see things differently.
They're not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them,
disbeieve them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can't do, is ignore them
because they change things.
They Invent. They Imagine. They Heal.
They Explore. They Create. They Inspire.
They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be Crazy.
Because the ones who are crazy enough
to think that they can change the world.
are the ones who do.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Brilliant Equine Marketing Smartpak 's Hey Girl posters

Here's a great example of brilliant marketing by Smartpak, they have taken good photographs and added quirky text all with the by line "Hey Girl", the horse is talking to you.

 And what's so good about this?

People are posting them to blogs, facebook pages, tumblr, pinterest etc and all the time Smartpak are getting their name out there.

See I've gone and given them free publicity too!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Business Link for the start up equestrian business

If you're thinking of starting a new equestrian / equine business you can find loads of free help at Business Link. Business Link is the government's online resource for businesses. It contains essential information, support and services for you and your business. Amongst many other things it can take you through what it call s the "key start up tasks"

Friday, 24 August 2012

The Chamber of Commerce for the equestrian or equine business

                                               ... and that includes your equestrian business!
 There are many organisatons out there to help businesses The Chambers of Commerce is one of many that might be beneficial for your equestrian / equine business:

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is a dynamic, high-profile and independent business network, with chambers across the UK. Local chambers sit at the heart of the community, working with businesses of all sizes, and representing all sectors, so that definetly includes your equestrain / equine business. Their mission is to make the chamber network an essential part of growing business; they do this by sharing opportunities, knowledge and expertise. You can access a range of services, networking and support from The Chambers of Commerce  to help day to day business.

As a member of an accredited chamber of commerce* you can gain access to a number of additional services. The British Chambers of Commerce has negotiated exclusive services with leading organisations to bring you support services and help save you money.

Chamber Health and Safety
Not sure about your Health & Safety policy? Can you afford not to know? Get advice and support here.
Chamber Legal Expenses
Safeguard your business against the unexpected costs of professional legal services and get legal cover of up to £670,000 as well as access to a 24/7 helpline. Find out more here.

Chamber Merchant Services
Process debit and credit card payments with discounted transaction fees, reduced terminal hire costs and no service fees.  For more information about Chamber Merchant Services download the attached flyer.

Chamber Roadside Assistance
Receive up to 61% on the cost of breakdown cover (for members of participating accredited Chambers only). Find out more in the attached flyer.

Chamber Finance
In partnership with RBS / NatWest we are able to offer 3 years free business banking for start ups, one year free business banking for those that switch accounts, discounted rates with RBS Invoice Finance, access to a dedicated Chamber Finance support helpline and international trade services. For more information contact the Chamber Finance Hotline on 0800 656 9634.

Chamber Healthcare
Help to reduce sickness absence and improve staff motivation with a choice of two great schemes.
  • The Chamber Business Choice Healthcare scheme offers private medical insurance for your employees. Get 10% cashback annually or 50% off your chamber membership fees for 3 years. Click here to find out more. 
  • Pay as little as £1.10 per employee per week with the cash plan scheme Chamber Primary Health Plan. Find out more here.
Chamber HR
The Chamber HR service provides businesses with access to professional HR advice and documentation.Find out more here.

Find out if being a member of The Chambers of Commerce will help you by visiting the website

*for participating Chambers only

The Country Land and Business Association CLA for equestrians

 There are many organisatons out there to help businesses the CLA is one of many that might be beneficial for your equestrian / equine business:

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) is the membership organisation for owners of land, property and businesses in rural England and Wales so that includes equestrian and equine business owners, here 's what they have to say about themselves:

 Anyone who owns rural land or runs a rural business will benefit from joining the CLA.
We speak for everyone who believes in a living and working countryside.
Through the experience and expertise of members and staff, we promote our members’ interests and influence decision makers to ensure the positive development of the rural economy.
CLA professionals lobby continuously at EU, national and regional level in the interests of our members ensuring a visible presence and influence in the media and with Government.
We achieve our goals by being professional, relevant and forward looking, as we have been since 1907, when we began. Read a short history of the CLA, written by Charles Clover to mark our centenary year.
The CLA in-house professional advisory team gives unlimited, independent and impartial information on a wide range of issues to members.

CLA members have access to our:

  • Solicitors and Barristers
  • Tax specialists
  • Planning experts
  • Surveyors
  • Guidance Notes
This service is only a phone call or email away, and it is completely free to members.

CLA membership provides you with the knowledge and expertise to help you recognise all the opportunities and avoid the pitfalls as a responsible landowner.

Our membership provides essential support to all types of landowner – Do you own a country house with just a few acres? Do you own woodland or run a smallholding? Do you farm on a small or large scale, whether actively managing your land or leasing it to tenants? Are you an estate owner with your own diversified business streams or do you manage land on behalf of an institution? Find out more today.

Benefits to rural business owners

Membership of the CLA gives you access to a network of key landowning and rural communities throughout England and Wales. In addition, we provide you with free advice on all general aspects of rural legislation, so you can take advantage of opportunities as they arise.

Whether you run an enterprise which is connected to the land or simply provide products to the rural community, find out how the CLA can help your business. Find out more today.

Benefits to professionals working in the rural community

CLA membership can benefit you as a professional to provide a more effective and cost efficient service to your clients whilst enabling you to market your own business more effectively across the whole rural economy.

Whether you are a sole practitioner, a partner in a rural practice or large national firm, there are many reasons why you should become a professional member of the CLA. Find out more today.

Clearing Hurdles: CLA policy on creating a modern and thriving equine business sector

Clearing Hurdles: CLA policy on creating a modern and thriving equine business sector
The equine sector generates around £4billion a year for the rural economy, one of the largest contributions. However, the sector is also one of the most fragmented. So, it is important to stress that co-operation with other organisations will be vital to implement the policies in this publication.
The CLA paper, Clearing Hurdles: CLA policy on creating a modern and thriving equine business sector , sets out CLA policy on the equine business sector. It covers the need to enable equine businesses to thrive, the impact of the equine sector in caring for the countryside, and the role equine businesses play in enabling the public to enjoy the countryside.
To help equine business thrive, the CLA is urging the Government to reform the planning system so it is cheaper, simpler and faster. All too often, equine businesses are unable to develop because of restrictions put in place by the planning system. The CLA provides a "one-stop-shop", giving advisory and political support to the equine sector.
The CLA believes the Government should consider deregulation for smaller business tenancies while respecting the rights of those who own property. Moreover, best practice should be based on guidance rather than a prescriptive regulatory approach. In addition, equine businesses must be able to benefit from the significant communication and marketing advantages that superfast broadband provides. That is why the CLA is calling for a minimum of five megabits per second (Mbps) symmetric broadband speed for all in rural areas.
Insurance and the issue of insurance premiums remain difficult. The CLA is calling on the Government to make good its promise to amend the Animals Act. Costs for equine businesses have also increased as a result of the business rates system. This needs to be made simpler and the recent abolition of the partial exemption on empty commercial property must be reversed.
Equine businesses have a responsibility to ensure proper pasture management and to encourage biodiversity. The CLA believes a flexible approach has to be taken to stocking densities, reflecting the type of land and the activities for which the horses are used. The CLA also believes all equine businesses must ensure full compliance with Defra's Code of Practice for the Welfare of Horses, Ponies, Donkeys and their Hybrids.
Equine business must similarly comply with the statutory regulations regarding water. The same is true for waste disposal, and equine businesses must be aware that Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) rules apply to horses that are kept on farms, or where a livery yard or stud farm is being operated.
As a direct result of CLA lobbying, many equine businesses are eligible to claim the Single Farm Payment. In light of the proposed reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) due to be implemented in 2014, the CLA is lobbying for certain equine activities to continue on land receiving payment under the CAP schemes.
The CLA does not believe the public rights of way network is suited to use in present times because it neither takes into account landowners' needs nor the recreational hopes of the rider. We need a modern, flexible network that simplifies the present cumbersome process of modifying routes and which also must reflect contemporary land management and recreational needs.
Equine tourism is not simply about riding. It incorporates myriad potential activities ranging from trekking to hacking, eventing to horse racing. For the equine business operator, the often-shifting regulations and tax rules and the complexities of the planning system mean many equine businesses fail to realise their full tourism potential. This must be put right.
This publication sets out the policy changes that the CLA believes will remove many of the hurdles currently facing equine businesses. The importance of making these policy changes cannot be underestimated. Without the right policy and advisory framework for the equine sector, the industry will remain fragmented and its economic potential will stay underexploited.
Download Clearing Hurdles: CLA policy on creating a modern and thriving equine business sector

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Signs for your equestrian / equine business premises in the UK

Not everyone knows that there are certain rules / regulations / restrictions as to the size of sign you can use for your business and where you can put them. So if you're planning on putting up signs to attract custom check out the rules first.

There's a guide  published by Communities and Local Government that aims to explain to those wanting to display an outdoor advertisement how the system of advertisement control works in England. The booklet is arranged in separate sections and there are numerous illustrations which may show you how the system affects the type of advertisement you want to display.

Download a copy of Outdoor advertisements and signs: a guide for advertisers

or request a copy by filling out the online order form:

Friday, 17 August 2012

The Facebook hotseat when it's best not to use a rhetorical title for your FB post

If you are using Facebook to promote your equestrian business (or indeed any business) you do sometimes have to be a little careful with you post titles read on to find out what happened to Dawn of the hugely successful blog Horse and Man when she titled a post rhetorically, it wasn't very nice:

I’m sitting here scratching my head…
The only reason I am relaying this information is as a warning – and perhaps some empathy -  in case any of you find yourself in the FB hotseat.
You see, I posted yesterday’s blog on the Horse and Man Facebook page, as I always do.  But this time, I titled it rhetorically.  The title of the FB post said:
(8/5/12) SHOULD I CALL THE VET? HMMMM… IT DOESN’T LOOK THAT BAD… (PS: Call the vet.) Click here:
And then it showed this photo of Wrigley’s wound from yesterday’s blogpost.

This is the photo that accompanied the rhetorical title of the FB post:; (8/5/12) SHOULD I CALL THE VET? HMMMM… IT DOESN’T LOOK THAT BAD… (PS: Call the vet.) Click here:


I had no idea that not only would no one click on the link and read the post… but they wouldn’t even read the entire title of the FB entry!
Most people just looked at the pic, saw my first sentence and reacted – badly.  They thought I was posting a photo of my horse’s injury and seriously asking FB readers if I should call the vet or not.
Understandably, many of the comments were not pleasant.
And I suppose, if I was actually taking the time to post a photo of my horse’s urgent wound and waiting for responses from strangers on FB to tell me what to do, I perhaps might deserve some backlash…
But I wasn’t… except the way I wrote it and that photo made a large percentage of people get the wrong first impression.
Lesson learned.
I even tried to defend myself as this was happening.   I wrote a few comments in the middle of all of the other comments saying that Wrigley was fine and that I did call the vet and ‘calling the vet’ was what the whole blog was about…!
But, no one read those comments either – or very few did.
So, learn from my error and use FB carefully.  Don’t mistake its power.  It can do great good… and it can also skew information and spread that false info far and wide.


Here are the first several comments.  You can see the pattern.
(I actually wrote back privately to the one woman who called me an IDIOT.  I wanted her to know that she had simply misread the title and probably not clicked through to the linked story…)









Keep is simple, short and easy to understand on FB.
FB is a GREAT communication device and it is a very useful venue – however – when speaking to the masses that only have time for glimpses, it is prudent to be very clearly written.
The other piece I learned is that if people don’t think they know you,  they can be really harsh.
But, more often than not, especially with the Bucket Fund, I’ve seen it go the other way…  the kindness of FaceBook strangers has touched the HORSE AND MAN blog very often and that makes me smile and forget the nasty of today!
Speaking of tomorrow – a new Bucket Fund story is coming!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!