Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Entrepreneurial Lessons

Things I have learned as an entrepreneur:

1) it is entirely possible to run a business off of an iPhone. 

2) you should always have more ideas than money, more money than time, and more time than regret. If you don't, something has to change. 

3) good business owners aren't usually experts, but they know how to surround themselves with genius and mobilize specialists. And experts don't usually make good business owners. 

4) businesses fail without a community to support it. It takes a village of ambassadors. And that village can exist both in real life and online via social media. 

5) if you can't track multiple pots on the stove you shouldn't be in the kitchen. It's imperative to manage multiple ideas concurrently. 

6) the customer is not always right. It's your job to help them realize what they actually want and align it with what they need. 

7) people prefer to be laughed at than lectured or yelled at when being taught. Eventually if you do your job right they will start laughing with you. 

8) bad clients aren't bad, they are just more confused than other clients (meaning you failed at #6). 

9) you don't have to like everyone. But you better appreciate them because even if they aren't important to you personally, they are important to someone else and therefore they ARE an important person. 

10) you don't have to love what you do, but you have to believe in what you are doing. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

↑ Average Weights = ↓ Opportunity for Equine Industry

For our barn, the equation is clear:

Increasing Weights of Trail Riders + Aging Horses = Epic Problem for the Barn 

This year we no longer have two of our 220#-240# riding horses on the string. Two that used to carry more are also aging and we need to preserve them as long as possible, so I need to reduce their weight limit. This leaves us with only two horses than can carry a 250# rider currently and 3 that can carry 200#. 

Now, 5 horses that can carry a heavier rider sounds good right?

Well, the number of ride requests coming in for riders over 200# has seemingly doubled this year. Particularly men are rarely under 200#. 

While most people come in pairs, with only 5 horses we are greatly limited in the number of larger groups we can take out if they are heavier persons. Already we have had to book extra rides on our schedule because we couldn't pair riders into one group because too many people required our largest horses. 

This not only adds additional hours of work to our schedule, but additional hours of work to those two heavy weight horses. 

Do we need more draft and draftX horses? Yes. But does it make me happy that someday I may need to end up owning a complete barn of them? No. I love my little paints and handy little foundation stock horses. I thoroughly enjoy the thoroughbreds. And while I do like riding our drafts, that's not the only breed I want to offer. 

The rising weights of the American public is having a serious effect in the shift of this riding industry.