“As long as people research what their resources are, what support they have available, what their fallbacks are, their competition and where they want to be in the future, they are likely to have a plan that will succeed.”
A lot of people involved with horses are passionate. Very passionate. That’s what makes the horse community special; everything is done with real enthusiasm and real energy.
Passion for the equestrian world is necessary because working in the industry is hard work, long hours and relatively low pay. The reward is the work itself; being able to spend every moment of your week working with horses. That love for the work needs to be able to get you out of bed early every morning.
All good businesses are built on a wealth of experience. The longer you’ve been around horses, the better you will be able to make business decisions.
The single best option for getting into the horse industry is to find a way to start small. Start a hobby business. This will prove that your business idea works and will give you the experience you need to make it work on a larger scale.
It’s very difficult to start an equestrian business alone. Support in any form is helpful.
If you have a partner with a stable income, that can give you the freedom to get your business off the ground.
If you know people already in the industry; ask them for advice. If you are humble and hardworking, people will be willing to help you out.
When you’re assessing your prospects, honesty is the single most important attribute you can have. Don’t let your passion cloud your view. If something doesn’t look like it will work, don’t do it.
Passion will drive you, but honesty will make sure you succeed. Be a realist as often as you can.
A business plan
A lot of people throw themselves into things without a forward-looking plan. Planning can be frightening; it’s the moment you find out if your business really has a chance to work.
That’s the reason it needs to be done.
Good people skills
Interpersonal skills make a big difference in the equestrian industry. They will help you grow your reputation and ensure that people come back to you.
Horse riding is a hobby for most people, so they want their experience to be a pleasant one. Try to offer that.
Setting up a business is half the battle. You then have to maintain it and grow it. Without clear goals being set, it’s easy to be idle and miss out on opportunities.
Setting goals will improve your growth, help you avoid failure and they’ll make running a business more enjoyable.
To see some of our private horse arenas, download our brochure at the top of the page.
Branding Your New Horse Business
Starting a horse business, as a hobby or full-time, can be as much fun as it is hard work.
Part of the appeal of starting a business is getting to build up a name and a brand. All of your efforts will be poured into your new brand, so you’ve got to make sure that it’s something you love and are proud of.
Branding is all about being recognisable and having a good reputation. So as you build your new brand, continually ask yourself these two questions:
– Will people remember my business?
– Will people feel positively about my business?
Recognition and positivity means returning customers and a thriving business.
Let’s look at the 5 steps it takes to build a great horse business brand.
1. Visual branding.
Often, when people think ‘branding’ they think of a company’s logo. It’s an important way to make your business recognisable.
A good brand does the following things:
– Means something to the customer.
A logo needs to ‘click’ with a customer – it needs to make sense. A customer should know what industry you’re in when they look at your logo.
– Means something to the business owner.
Sometimes a logo means something special to the business owner that isn’t obvious to consumers. The Apple logo, for example, represents the story of Isaac Newton discovering gravity. It has a connection for employees. Your own logo should have a special meaning to you that reminds you why you do what you do.
– Looks good.
This is an obvious one! You want people to feel positively when they see your logo. Make it look nice.
– Is easy to recognise.
Clients need to be able to distinguish between your logo and the logo of competitors. You can’t use a standard horse image. A good test is the ‘squint test’. If you can still recognise your logo when squinting, you’re doing it right!
Here are some really great examples of horse-related logos.
Websites are absolutely necessary. Even if you find a client face-to-face, they’ll use the internet as a reference for your business. Need to find a number? Check out your website. Need to know when you’re available? Check out your website.
A website needs to include these things (and they need to be clearly visible) :
When people look you up, they want to know how much you charge. Even if you can’t give an exact figure, you need to offer an estimate. When they call, you can clarify further.
– Your location.
It’s also worth registering your business with Google My Business.
– Your contact details.
3. Word of mouth.
Horse communities are usually very tight-knit. That means word-of-mouth is really important and will help you get loyal customers.
Generating good word of mouth comes down to going the extra mile. Make sure that everyone who engages with you (clients, suppliers, peers), feels great about having met you and interacted with you. Be generous and kind.
4. Build your reputation.
Your value as a business comes down to your reputation. A brand is a reminder of that reputation. If you have any awards or qualifications, if you’ve achieved any milestones, that can be a great start for building your brand. People want to know they’re getting quality.
This also means that everything you do affects your reputation. Make sure that you protect it well.
This is a really important part of branding that a lot of people overlook.
After an interaction with a client, it’s a good idea to leave them with something special and nice. If you’ve taken a student through a course, give them a framed certificate, for example. Anything you can leave behind that reminds people of your business will be worth the investment.
Imagine you’ve spent a year studying with a horse riding instructor and have decided to take a year off riding. When you get home, some hand-made muffins are left for you with a note thanking you for being such a great student. When you return to riding in a year, you’ll remember those muffins.
They’re some of the important basics to branding. Invest in your brand; it is the value of your entire business. Love it, and make it loved.
24 incredible unused plane designs
These incredible designs were developed for aircraft that either never came to be, can’t yet be built, or don’t have any particular use.
But they do make for some fascinating photographs, illustrations and ideas.
Built in 1979, the NASA AD-1 proved that the wings of an aircraft could pivot quite dramatically without losing any of the planes’ stability.
The Stipa-Caproni was built in the 1930’s, with the propeller contained entirely within the fuselage. Although never put onto the production line, the aircraft worked and lead to the development of the jet engine.
The Nemuth Parasol was built by students of Miami University to prove that even a circular wing could keep an aircraft in flight.
The Vought V-173 was an experimental place developed by the US. It was able to fly exceptionally slowly.
The 281 Proteus was designed to be as efficient as possible in order to stay in the air as long as possible. This allowed the aircraft to act as telecommunication relays, though they later became obsolete with the development of unmanned aircraft.
The Blohm & Voss BV 141 was a German tactical aeroplane, notable for its asymmetry.
The Grumman X-29 was notable for its wings – which are attached to the body of the aircraft at the opposite angle to usual jet planes.
Designed for high speed, the Douglas XB-42 Mixmaster bomber placed propellers at the back of the plane to reduce drag effects.
The Sikorsky X-Wing aimed to combine the vertical lift of a helicopter with the forward speed of a jet plane. The project was dropped in 1988.
These blended wing planes where developed by Boeing, and were used to persuade NASA to arrange a contract with Boeing.
The Lockheed-Martin P-791 was designed to combine buoyancy with aerodynamic propulsion, allowing it to shift heavy cargo loads quickly.
The Russian Beriev Be-200 was a short-lived amphibious aircraft on a huge scale.
The White Knight Two is designed to carry spacecraft between the two fuselages and ferry them to the very edge of the Earth’s atmosphere.
The McDonnell XF-85 Goblin was a ‘parasite fighter’ that was meant to be deployed from the bomb bay of a larger plane.
Nasa’s Super Guppy plane was designed to haul oversized cargo.
The ‘Pregnant Guppy’ was the Super Guppy’s predecessor.
The hulking Bartini Beriev VVA-14 was a soviet plane that employed vertical take-off.
The Avro Canada VZ-9 Avrocar was developed by the US during the cold war in secrecy. The aircraft would have looked very much like a flying saucer, though it had severe overheating problems that prevented its practicality.
The Snecma Flying Coleoptere was a French experimental aircraft that could take of and land vertically, removing the need for a runway.
The De Lackner HZ-1 Aerocycle was designed to take a single soldier into difficult-to-reach areas for reconnaissance missions.
The Puffin was designed by Nasa to carry a single pilot.
To see photos of our aircraft buildings, download a brochure.