It’s better to wait and fill spaces with horses and clients who suit your services and facilities than accept someone who you may feel not be suited to the yard and subsequently risk problems arising in the future or ending up with an empty stable shortly after they arrive.
Similarly, there is no point fibbing about aspects of your yard to make it sound better to potential clients because as soon as a new livery is in-situ they will soon learn all is not as promised!
Dealing with groups of horse owners who all have different needs or demands can be tough and it’s often hard to please everyone.
Below are just a handful of common mistakes it’s important to avoid both with a new and established business. Especially as a startup its important that you work out a fair livery fee for all parties.
You should also bear in mind that by your actions on the yard, the way you behave, procedures, methods, tidiness and handling of horses is setting an example to your clients.
Behave on the yard, with your own horses and those of clients, as you would like your clients to do so. As a new business with empty stables, it can be tempting to accept anyone who wants a space to start the income rolling in even if you feel they will not gel with existing clients, or you foresee them being problematic.Taking on an established yard with established clients can be a great way of entering the livery yard ‘market’, whilst others start afresh with a brand new yard and a brand new business.Either way, running a livery yard isn’t just about the horses, but more importantly about the overall management of the horses, facilities and the clients.However, just because someone visits the yard and likes it, you are not committed to giving them a space if you do not feel they or their horse would suit the yard.It is better to be honest and say so than accept a livery or horse you feel would not be happy. In addition, holding stables for potential clients can be another issue.Remember also that you are responsible for the welfare of all horses on the yard and as such everyone should be considerate as to their levels of welfare, handling and riding.It is important to say if you feel something is not right, but equally understand that a lot of equestrianism is open to interpretation and as such you should only give advice when asked for, unless it is something that poses serious detriment or danger to the horse or client.Also, make sure you find out a bit about them and their horse, including where they currently are, why they are moving, their notice period and what they are looking for in a new yard.If they sound like they may suit your yard, then invite them along to an appointment to take a look and meet them in person.They will expect you to know everything and frequently seek your advice and opinion.To ensure the best for your clients and their horses, you must fully consider your knowledge and experience when giving advice as the wrong advice, however well-meant, can be seriously detrimental.