Profitable Horseman Newsletter - Here's An Inexpensive Strategy To Convert Prospects Into Clients
Douglas Emerson Profitable Horseman
Profitable Horseman Newsletter 
August 12, 2009
Here's An Inexpensive Strategy To Convert Prospects Into Clients
Our oldest son invited us recently to see his new apartment.  It's his third since leaving home.  Instantly, memories of the tour of his first apartment  flashed through my mind.  You may have seen the movie "Animal House" ; the same decorator did his first apartment.
However, apartment number two was a significant improvement in the eyes of this parent.  And the optimist in me agreed that it made good sense that the new apartment, number three, would be another upgrade.
And it is; it's a well appointed upper in a great neighborhood.  A handsome horse sculpture on the table sparked this conversation:

   "Where did you find that?"

  "It was purchased from the apartment stager."

             "Wow! your apartment was professionally staged  to help lease it?"

               " It helped close the deal."


If you've sold or bought a house recently, you may be familiar with the term "staging".

It's the process of removing clutter, adding items to draw attention to features and influencing the visitor's first impression to be favorable.  You might call staging common sense salesmanship by making the product attractive to all to purchase.

But, common sense is as uncommon with many salespeople as it is with many horsemen.

You may disagree, but years of experience have proven to me that, in general, the public has no imagination.

The public sees the reality, not the potential.

The visit to my son's apartment made me think about how staging is a practice that can be easily adapted for boarding, lessons and training barns. 

 Is your barn staged for emotionally appealing first impressions?


  • Is the farm or ranch roadside sign fresh, professional and landscaped?
  • Is the driveway smooth and free of potholes?
  • Is it easy to decide where to park?
  • Signage to welcome visitors and direct to personnel?
  • Swept floors, clean stalls, organized tack room?
  • Stalls and doors in good repair?
  • Good lighting throughout?
  • Uncluttered indoor arena?
  • Groomed arena footing?
  • Manure management practiced?
  • Fences in good repair?
  • Farm equipment out of the way in a storage area?

Most of the staging practices are just the application of good horse management practices; they don't require spending great sums of money.

Do your own first impression evaluation soon with the help of a friend.  Mild bribery works best, so take your friend to enjoy a cup of coffee or a cold beverage and relax at your favorite coffee joint.  After your break, your friend drives you back to the farm and you sit in the passenger seat with a pad of paper for notes.

Pretend you are a visitor or customer and start taking notes about your impressions the second you drive in the driveway and as you park your car, and enter the barn.

Your friend may also offer objective comments as your tour your facility and observe how well your place is staged for favorable impressions.

Study your notes and make a list of the conditions and situations that you can improve.  Do the no-cost and low-cost items first.  Your new, fresh look will inspire you to make the investment in the repair items and improvement projects.

Others Have Said 

"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players"--William Shakespeare

"This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it."-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

" You never get a second chance to make a first impression."

Have Voice, Will Travel.


There is no easy path to success in this business of horses.  Clients and audiences I've talked to have confirmed that reality many times.

I've been writing this newsletter about success in the business of horses since 2005.  It's brief and takes only a few minutes to read. That's because my intention is to provide an idea, ask a question or simply inspire you.

Some weeks I write them just for you; because you need to be reminded about something you've temporarily forgotten.
Other weeks, I write them just for your friends, your colleagues and competitors because they need a nudge, too. 

I'd like your help with my goal of helping 10,000 horsemen in the next ten years become profitable horsemen.  I'm looking for public speaking opportunities to associations, groups, councils and businesses to tell the story about success in the horse business.
Please contact me about your group's event, the subject and the possibilities.  E-mail me here or call me (716) 434-5371.

Professional Horseman's Tip

Whether the economy is in recession or rolling in good times, every successful business owner is in control of the numbers.  If your books aren't up to date for 2009, find the right person or tool to help you get in control of the finances, now.

If you hate bookkeeping, admit it and hire a bookkeeper.

If you do it yourself and are using a pencil and scrap paper system, get software to keep your records electronically.
$ hatBack At The Barn

Betsey and some of the children have spent a fair amount of time out-of-town horse showing.  I've been playing the role of family martyr staying at home and taking care of horses, dogs and cats while everyone has been away.

The time commitment for barn duties adds up into a considerable chunk of hours out of the day.  But, time can still be found to do fun things.  Our youngest son is not a horse show kid and was keeping me company at home one recent weekend.

We live about 40 minutes from Niagara Falls, NY and 13 year old Phillip had never seen the Falls. The roar of the Niagara River is awesome and made a lasting first impression.  He's decided that his next trip to Niagara Falls will be under the falls in the Cave of the Winds.
Warm day and rain coat mandatory.

Ihelp professional horsemen and horsewomen struggling with the business half of the horse business. 

Not enough time, not enough money or not enough of the right people working for you?

Is your horse boarding business unprofitable?
Contact me to see if I can help. 

Until next time,

Doug Emerson
Profitable Horseman Deewochagall
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List