How to Write a Business Plan for an Equine Facility
A love of horses and the ability to manage a business is just the start when it comes to opening your own equine facility. You also need a business plan that details the costs associated with all of the equipment and stock you must buy to make the facility viable. Besides giving you an operational guide for running your facility, the plan might also come in handy in seeking the funding necessary to buy or lease land, erect buildings and acquire stock if you need funding to get the business off the ground.
Prepare an executive summary about your company, including the story of how and why you started a business about working with horses. Mention your background, education and expertise in handling and taking care of horses, as well as in growing a business. Explain the selling points that make your particular equine facility unique compared with other equestrian businesses, such as its large riding arena, on-staff veterinarians or trainers who’ve worked with racehorses. Mention the goals of your business, such as developing one of the premier equine facilities in the region, where people feel safe learning to ride horses or offering medical care that keeps clients' horses in prime shape.
Describe each of the services your company will provide, such as training, medical care, riding lessons, boarding, breeding and raising horses.
Analyze the market, especially in relation to businesses that compete with you, including veterinarians, boarding facilities, and even ranchers who raise and sell horses. Mention any trends that might affect your business, such as growing tourism in your area creating a demand from people wanting to arrange for a horse to ride trails in a nearby park or a horse carriage ride for couples.
Explain the characteristics of the target markets to which you plan to sell your services, such as local families who need a boarding facility for their horse or horse owners who need health care, surgery and medications for their animals. Additional target markets might include tourists who want to go on trail rides, people who show horses at fairs and events or people who buy the horses you breed in your facility.
Provide the background for each person who works at and/or helps manage the facility, and show how their experience and education in regard to horses contribute to the success of the business. Describe how you plan to operate the company, and mention any staff you need to hire to provide medical services, feed and water the horses, empty stalls, saddle up the animals, and brush and clean them daily. You might also need to hire maintenance workers to keep the facility in prime condition.
Create a marketing strategy that shows how you will attract clients to your facility. This section should also mention how you plan to brand your business, such as making it a high-end equine facility that caters to people interested in thoroughbreds or the one-stop shop for local horse owners to rely on for health care, food and tack.
Develop profit-and-loss statements for five years that explain the land you need to lease or buy to run your equine facility. Your projections should include buildings and equipment needed, including boarding facilities and stalls, paddocks, an arena and food storage areas for bales of hay and bags of oats. Identify the medical equipment needed to provide emergency and routine health care services if you offer such services. Include the cost of buying the stock you need to set up your stable of horses. Provide estimates for the cost of utilities, accounting, computers, software, employees and insurance.
Things You Will Need
Write the executive summary last, as it provides a synopsis of the business plan. You might need to develop the entire plan before providing an honest look at the business concept.
Don’t forget to mention negative trends and explain how they might affect your business, such as fewer ranchers buying horses because they rely on other forms of transportation for roundups, or a new veterinarian who just set up shop nearby and has started aggressively marketing to local horse owners.