Thinking about opening a horse tack business? We tell you what you need to know to get started.
Horse Tack Consumer Profile
Although most would prefer to define their pastime as a lifestyle, the majority of American horse owners are recreational enthusiasts or small business owners who cater to the recreational equine community. However, it would be a mistake to classify horse tack consumers as hobbyists – many have been raised around horses their entire lives and take the quality of their saddles, reins, leads and other tack extremely seriously.
Consequently, horse tack startup entrepreneurs must have a background in horses if they hope to gain traction with consumers. Equine product consumers participate in vibrant, local communities and can be resistant to products from businesses run by non-equine specialists. In other words, if you're hoping to "tack" on horse products to a broader line of animal or pet products, you may find it difficult to break into the equine hobby market.
By nature, most businesses in the consumer equine industry are niche retailers. As a startup owner, this means you will need to become at niche marketing techniques and consider the possibility of specializing even further to achieve deeper market penetration in a narrow segment of the niche.
Set-Up Tips for New Horse Tack Businesses
Setting up a new horse tack business is much like any other small retail startup with a few notable exceptions. Assuming your plans include the creation of a brick-and-mortar tack shop (as opposed to online retail only), you'll want to design an ambience that appeals to horse enthusiasts. With a little planning, you can design a retail environment that serves as both a tack shop and a hub for the horse community in your area.
Even though you may specialize in a specific category of products (e.g. custom saddles), you will also want to stock convenience items for horse owners. In highly competitive markets, the inaccessibility of stable supplies, basic veterinary items and other items can incentivize consumers to transfer their loyalty to the competition.
Hiring Horse Tack Shop Staff
Some retail operations don't require staff with specialized knowledge or firsthand product experience. Unfortunately, brick-and-mortar tack shops don't fall into that category. First and foremost, the people who staff your tack shop need to be horse people with experience in the care and handling of horses.
To give your tack shop an advantage, consider targeting hires that are well known in the local horse community. By employing people who are already connected to your target market, you will plant the seeds for word of mouth advertising and virtually guarantee a certain amount of initial store traffic.
Proven Strategies for Horse Tack Company Business Plans
If you haven't written one before, a horse tack company business plan can be a frustrating business requirement. If it's comprehensive and well-written, however, your business plan will serve as a strategic anchor point and a calling card for external stakeholders.
But writing a business plan is only half the battle. Have you given any thought to what your horse tack business will do with the business plan once it's finished?
A business plan distribution strategy represents the backend of your business planning requirements. Without exception, the most effective business plans also leverage an organized process for tracking business plan distribution.
Long before you open a horse tack business in your town, it's essential to see how strong the competition is. Use the link below to get a list of local competitors in your city. Complete the form by entering your city, state and zip code to get a list of horse tack businesses that are close by.
Before you open up shop, make sure you know what you will offer to your customers that provides a significant advantage over your competition's offering.
Learning More About the Industry
As part of your due diligence on opening a horse tack business, it's essential that you learn from folks who are already in business. It's very unlikely that the local competition will talk to you. It'd be crazy for them to teach you the business.
However, an entrepreneur who owns a horse tack business in another town may be willing to share their entrepreneurial wisdom with you, after they realize you reside far away from them and won't be stealing their local customers. Many business owners are happy to give advice to new entrepreneurs It can take a while to find an entrepreneur who is willing to talk, but it's well worth the effort.
How do you go about finding a horse tack business manager outside of your area who is willing to talk?
Simple. Let your fingers do the walking by using the link below.
Leveraging the Branding Benefits of a Horse Tack Business Acquisition
As an emerging horse tack business startup, your company are at a competitive disadvantage because you brand is just beginning to establish an identity in the marketplace.
Buying a business to get an established brand is a common strategy among growth-minded horse tack business entrepreneurs. As a startup, the best you can hope for is to gradually develop brand awareness over a period of months and years.
But by buying a horse tack business that already has a strong brand identity, you can shorten the time requirements and reap brand benefits from the beginning of your ownership career.
Franchising May Be a Better Way to Go
Your odds of achieving your top business goals go up significantly when you opt to franchise in lieu of doing everything yourself.
If you are thinking about opening a horse tack business, you may want to assess whether franchising might be worth investigating.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you sell to horse tack businesses, you're in the wrong place. These resources are more appropriate for you:
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