Douglas Emerson Profitable Horseman
Profitable Horseman Newsletter 
February 12, 2009
Show Me The Money!

From the  Horseman's Dictionary
Broke (brok)-1. a well trained horse
2. A chronic financial condition of a professional horseman who has too many slow paying clients

Even during good economic times, some clients are not responsible about making timely payments for board, training and lessons.  During tougher times like these, even more clients can be slooooooow about paying your bill and use a tight economy as a shaky excuse.
The truth is not everyone has lost his job and sources of income.  Granted, IRA's and 401-K's have taken substantial investment battle damage and property values have dipped in certain areas of the country, but most people are working at the same jobs collecting the same pay checks and unless they need to sell their houses tomorrow, haven't lost equity.  The price of fuel has temporarily halved and food prices have stabilized.
Fear has replaced confidence and cast a cloud searching for a silver lining over the world economy.  But, for most of your clients,
even though they may be fearful and second guessing their commitments to horses, their ability to pay has not been affected.
So, if you are offered lame excuses for slow pay and no pay, do not accept them.
Here are some tips for collecting receivables:
  • If the board or training bill is due on the first of the month, then be adamant that you get paid on or before the first.
  • Be firm about late fees.  I know that some of your clients are "friends" but would a true friend put financial strain on your business by not paying promptly?
  • A face to face conversation about unpaid bills is best.  A telephone call is next in successful results.  A mailed late notice or e-mail is marginally effective.
  • When asking for payment for a delinquent account, be polite but firm.  After hearing excuses for late payment simply say, "Yes. Will you be paying me today?  If not in full, how much will you be paying today and when will you pay the rest?
  • Don't worry about alienating customers who do not pay on time. If they don't want to pay, they can move to your competitors and not pay them.
You may lose some clients with a tighter payment policy.  But, you'll replace them with clients who understand your expectations and respect you as a business owner.  They are the best clients in the world and as long as you deliver excellent service, they'll continue to appreciate and support you.

Others Have Said 
"An excuse is worse than a lie, for an excuse is a lie,
Alexander Pope

"I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a Hamburger today."--Wimpy

"Bad excuses are worse than none."--Thomas Fuller

Back At The Barn

winter bab If you are familiar with the popular social networking tool, you know that some strange things come across the screen as " tweets".  While many messages are pure drabble like:  "going to bed now", "eating yogurt" and "it's raining", there are some excellent links to information, messages and questions.

I'm beginning to find a group of techie horsemen who are regular twitter tweeters.  A tweet came through the other day asking for help to " iPod speakers into a saddle pad.."  That's technology helping more technology.

If you don't understand what an iPod, speakers and saddle pad have to do with each other, ask someone under 30.

I'm wondering if the horse gets a say in the playlist...

You can follow me on twitter @DougEmerson. 

Warning: twitter can be a huge time sink if you allow yourself to be distracted.

Survive or Thrive With Your Boarding Business?

It's no secret the economy is in trouble and horse people are feeling the big chill, too. This seminar series will help you get clear on how to track your expenses, recognize and market the unique values you offer and move your boarding business toward better profitability.

 If you are in the horse boarding business or thinking about starting, you won't want to miss the four part teleseminar on the horse boarding business Maureen Gallatin and I are offering on Tuesdays: February 17, February 24, March 3 and March 10, 2009 at 7:00 P.M. Eastern time.

Attend in the comfort of your home or office on your own phone.  No travel required!

Only $79.00 for four live teleseminar sessions, download
able workbooks and access to recordings of each session to review later if you can't make a live session.

Click here if you'd like to know more and sign up for the teleseminar.  Maureen and I have recorded information here about what we'll be covering in the seminar.
I help professional horsemen and horsewomen struggling with the business half of the horse business.

Until next time,

Doug Emerson
Profitable Horseman Deewochagall
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