NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – To stay afloat in these tough economic conditions, equine managers need to be more business-savvy than ever. Business planning is essential to the viability of any business, but it is often overlooked by managers in the horse industry.
“So many horse business owners are overwhelmed with the daily pressures of running a business that they fail to establish a clear vision and look at the ‘big picture.’ The process of writing a plan encourages business owners to evaluate every aspect of operating an equine business, which in turn, will make them better prepared when problems arise,” explains Carey Williams, Equine Extension Specialist.
In February and March of 2013, Rutgers offered a new workshop called the “Equine Business Planning Course,” hosted by Dr. Carey Williams and Dr. Robin Brumfield (Farm Management Specialist) and funded by Northeast SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) and the Equine Science Center. Throughout this series of seminars, 31 participants learned about and began each of the seven sections of a business plan for their own equine businesses.
The course and workbook got rave reviews from students. Nearly all participants reported that they would make changes to their businesses as a result of the course and workbook. One student told us, “I have changes to improve [my business] in every area of my business plan. It’s exciting!” Others asserted that the course changed their opinions about business planning. Some of the many positive comments include: “We had no idea the importance of business planning before starting this course” and “I knew [business planning] was important, and I knew what I needed to do, but didn’t know how to cut into manageable pieces that I could then go and use to not only develop a plan, but plan for the future and envision growth.”
Missed the course? Good news; the stand-alone workbook is now available for sale! It has been updated based on the students’ feedback and also includes a DVD with extra resources and a few of the recorded presentations from the course.
The workbook also includes a sample business plan to help readers understand each section. Students called the workbook “easy to follow” and “a wonderful tool in building my plan.” The cost is $40 for the workbook and access to a specialist for questions. There are a limited number available for sale, so contact Laura Gladney (848-932-3229 or Gladney@aesop.rutgers.edu) for an order form today!