Douglas Emerson Profitable Horseman
Profitable Horseman Newsletter 
April 14, 2009
The Secret of How to Deliver the Best Quality and the Best Service at the Lowest Prices

room service

The Secret of how to deliver the best quality and service at the lowest prices: 

You can't.

Yet, so many business owners try.  I've tried, you've tried or maybe you are still trying.

As an example, I've stayed in a lot of hotels. You probably have, too.  They've ranged from discount national chains to luxurious and pricey Ritz-Carltons.    And, I've never gotten Ritz-Carlton accommodations and service at a budget hotel. But, I didn't expect to get it either.  In the hotel industry and other industries, consumers have reasonable expectations for quality and service in consideration of the price charged.

That's not always the case in the horse industry.  Sometimes, the customer is not educated in the ranges of quality and service offered and makes no evaluation of the fairness of price because she has no experience to judge by.

As a person in business, you want to deliver the best boarding care, the best lesson program or the best training program at a price that is affordable to everyone. After all, you consider many of your customers as your friends and want to give them a break.

 But you want the impossible.  It defies logic to try to deliver top quality product (think boarding, lessons, training) and outstanding customer service at discount rates.

 Because the relationship between the three factors: quality, service and price is established as a law of business.   You can have two out of the three, but not all three.

You can provide the best quality and the best service but not at the "best" or lowest price.  When you offer low price, it is delivered only with either okay service or okay quality; there simply isn't enough margin in the sale to deliver any more than that. For example:

The discount boarding barn might have to skimp on bedding or hay quality to stay in business,

The $20.00 a session riding instructor starts her riding lessons 40 minutes late because her disrespecting students value her time as if she is a twenty dollar riding instructor or,

The owner of a "one month training miracle" horse finds her horse canters on command, but seldom on the correct lead.

If your business profits are skinny, consider if you are attempting to deliver the highest level services at the lowest prices.

If that is the case and you want to bring about change, your two options are:  

1. Reduce your level of service to match value and price.
2. Increase your fees to a level appropriate for the service you offer.
Looks simple in writing, doesn't it?  So do something about it!
But wait, I forgot!  There is a third choice.  That is to do nothing and struggle with the finances of your business in a battle you cannot win.

Others Have Said 
"The single most important thing to remember about any enterprise is that there are no results inside its walls. The result of a business is a satisfied customer."
-- Peter Drucker

"Well done is better than well said."

--- Benjamin Franklin

"There is no such thing as something for nothing.

--Napoleon Hill

Back At The Barn

e and l jump

All of our six children ride horses now or have ridden. 

Betsey and I have encouraged each of them to ride at a level at which they are comfortable and while we haven't forced anyone to ride in competition, we've encouraged it. 

Entering a class at a horse show, even if it's  a walk-trot, is a courage building life chapter for all riders.  The first horse show is an experience not likely to be forgotten in a lifetime.  You probably remember your first competition on a horse; I remember mine.

Charles, now fifteen, made his horse show debut in a lead line class at age six. While he was initially eager to participate in a class prior to the show day, he had a change of mind just before his class started. 

He was eventually coaxed into entering the ring for his class, but not without much weeping and gnashing of teeth by all of us.  Later, he entered a walk trot class a few years ago, but has been reserved about tackling anything else  until just recently.

As you know, confidence in self and confidence in the horse under you is a powerful thing.  We were delighted with Charles' decision to enter a jumper class on his thoroughbred, Iron, at Joann Knapp's Crosswinds Equestrian Center in LaGrangeville NY two weeks ago.  It was Charles' first class since walk-trot days and they jumped the course clean.  I'm sure he'll remember the course and the moment for a long time.  His mother and I are proud parents.

If you've noticed my absence of newsletters, I've been tied up with business projects and clients for the past weeks and have been neglectful of my own marketing advice about maintaining regular contact with this newsletter.

One of the projects was the The Horse Boarding Business Teleseminar.  Maureen Gallatin and I partnered to present the seminar and we had great success with the event with 26 participants.  We are currently working on an audio recording for sale covering elements of the horse boarding business.

 I've also been working with horse business attorney Laura McFarland-Taylor on an audio recording about horse boarding contracts.  The sections of a horse boarding contract and what they mean (and don't mean)  are the focus.  Laura, a horse owner and a boarder, is skilled at simplifying the complexity of legal language into a message that is easy to understand and apply to your business.  She translates formal hereunder and forthwith into relevant English for the business owner.

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

There is no "business as usual" anywhere in the horse world today.  But,
things get better every day when you make it your business to build a better business.
Until next time,

Doug Emerson
Profitable Horseman Deewochagall

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