Douglas Emerson Profitable Horseman
Profitable Horseman Newsletter
May 2, 2008 
In This Issue
Are Runaway Costs Overtaking Your Profit?
Others Have Said
Back At The Barn
Are Runaway Costs Overtaking Your Profit?
  • Even though the price of this newsletter remains the same  have you had enough yet of the increased burden of the constantly rising prices for:



1. Fuel - gas and diesel


2. Feed - hay and grains


3. Bedding



Economists are talking of recession; I'd prefer to talk about inflation.


In simple terms, economic inflation has been defined as,  "Too many dollars chasing too few goods."  You'll agree with me this past winter had heavy demand pulling on all of the items listed above which were in a shorter than normal supply.


To avoid having your eyes glazing over while reading a dissertation on economics and an explanation of why, I offer the following simple point.  If your costs of operation for boarding, lessons, training, breeding and transporting have increased at wild inflationary rates, you need to increase the fees you charge to compensate for it.


Note, I didn't write work harder and faster and get more customers, I wrote increase your fees.


Raising rates is a subject that makes many professional horsemen as jittery as a two year old horse at a hot air balloon rally.   Something is going up, but the method and the noise is pretty scary.


Often, fear of losing customers overrides the fear of your business's financial failure. 


If you believe the primary purpose of a business is to make a profit, then you should be more concerned with how you will pay for gas, groceries and the truck payment than whether your clients will leave you in search of lower prices and fees for boarding lessons and training.


When you  raise your rates, I won't deny you'll lose some business.  Some folks just won't or can't pay any more.  That's the sad reality that you have no control over.


But, most business owners wait much too long before they raise rates.  They are optimistic that things will change for the better.  That is always a possibility.  And you can lower your prices if that happens.  In the mean time, every day of escalating costs and your same old prices just means you lose more.


Price and fee increases can be dealt with in ways that cause minimal stress to your clients and customers.  There are even ways of "softening" the blow to your clients.  I'll be writing about them in next week's newsletter.


If you have tips of your own that you'd like to share on how to strategically and tactfully raise fees and prices, please e-mail click here or call me at (716) 434-5371 and tell me about them.  I'll include them in the newsletter.


If you haven't started already, begin analyzing the impact to your business from the big price squeeze and get ready to take the right action for your business.  More on pricing in next week's newsletter about ways to adjust pricing, packaging and benefits for staying profitable.


Others Have Said 
  "If you mean to profit, learn to please."--Winston Churchill
"The worst crime against a working people is a company which fails to operate at a profit."--Samuel Gompers

 "My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to 99 cents a can. That's almost $7.00 in dog money."  --  Joe Weinstein

Back At The Barn 



I attended the first Spring Equine Get Together sponsored by the Western Chapter of the New York State Horse Council this past weekend. 


The organizers of this gathering did a terrific job attracting vendors, organizing speakers and drawing traffic to the event.


The venue was a fire training center and a bit bland and Spartan-like in design.  But offsetting that was Wayne Wolf  of who was sporting a red white and blue shirt, a friendly greeting and a big smile.  Wayne was mounted on Jake, a 25 year old horse who stood statue-like while his rider handed out promo material about his horseback delivery service and promo material for a show vendor. 

$ hat


Wayne gets a hat tip for helping organizers greet visitors in an unusual way to the event and an A plus for marketing his own business.  As Woody Allen may have said, "80% of success is showing up."


I checked the garden this morning to see if the mint was up and growing strong.  Looks like just enough for the makings of a mint julep while I watch the Kentucky Derby on TV.  It's not as much fun as being on the first turn at Churchill Downs like Betsey and I were a few years ago thanks to good friend Brad Bickett, but the parking is a lot easier.


A large field this year, but Big Brown is looking good to me. 



Need A Speaker About The Horse Business? 
Call or e-mail me about possibilities for your event.
Call me (716) 434-5371.
Hay, fuel, bedding costs are up, profits are down? I work with professional horsemen struggling with the business half of the horse business.
Contact me to discuss your situation and the possibilities.
Until next week,

Doug Emerson
Profitable Horseman Deewochagall
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