When it comes to investing in your horse business, your time investment is every bit as important as your financial investment. Like financial investments, high value activities can be identified by their ROI (return on investment). This year, consider taking an investment approach to how you manage your time. Here are five activities that typically deliver the highest return on investment for horse professionals.
1. Invest Time in You
Your expertise is a valuable business asset. It is the foundation that your horse business is built on. Your level of expertise and ability to produce results largely determine your pay scale, career trajectory and ultimately the longevity of your business. Your health and expertise are of paramount importance to your business. Investing time in activities that build your skills and expertise, as well as taking time to rest and refuel, is a smart bet.
2. Leverage Your Expertise
Leveraging your expertise enables you to more fully capitalize on the value of your equestrian knowledge, talents and abilities. There are many ways to leverage your expertise both for increased efficiency and profitability.
A. Your expertise can be leveraged into your marketing to provide increased value to current clients and to attract new customers. From getting your barn's latest success published in the local paper to posting videos on YouTube, there are literally hundreds of ways to leverage your expertise as a marketing tool.
B. Your expertise can be utilized to create, sell or endorse a myriad of equestrian products and services thereby generating additional income streams and financial security for you. From corporate sponsorships for professional riders to getting your judges license and from making or selling training DVDs online to creating a new way to identify horses, the possibilities are extremely diverse.
3. Embrace Time Saving Technology and Tools
Don't just buy technology - learn how to use it! How many of you have invested money in a super slick mobile phone or device and then neglected to invest the time that will enable you to fully utilize its "time saving" benefits? OK we are all guilty of this one. But, this year, let's take control! Invest an hour or two now learning how to use time saving technology and tools and you'll get the time back a hundredfold throughout the year.
4. Automate Tasks Wherever Possible
A surprising number of routine bookkeeping, horse business management and marketing tasks can be automated. Examples include: Automating recurring invoices and payments, auto-ordering supplies, creating an automated newsletter from your blog posts, utilizing social media scheduling apps and dozens of other time saving yet highly effective marketing tools and business systems.
TIP: Since time is in such short supply for most horse professionals, the ability to automate and/or systemize an activity can greatly increase its value to your horse business. This is good to keep in mind when planning your marketing and business strategies for the new year.
5. Have a Plan and Measure Its Effectiveness
We've all heard the saying, "If you want to get something done, ask the busiest person you know." Well, there is a good reason for that - They have a plan! Most busy people operate from a schedule and utilize systems to improve efficiency. This enables them to make sure that the most important tasks get completed. It also enables them to delegate work when possible and to systematically drop tasks that don't produce results.
The busier you are, the more important it is for you to have clear objectives and a game plan that ensures that only the most high value activities end up on your schedule. For horse professionals, it's generally far easier to identify the important activities that relate to clients and horses, i.e. training programs, lesson schedules, horse care, horse shows and race schedules etc.
Nevertheless, in order for your horse business to succeed, high value business and marketing activities must also be identified, scheduled and tracked. For some of you, this is where it gets tricky. How do you choose correctly when you aren't sure which activities typically produce the best returns? Gather quality information, make the most educated decisions possible, measure the results and continually improve your effectiveness.
If you want to save buckets of time, be sure to attend our next webinar - "A Plan to Succeed - Scheduling Horse Business and Marketing Success."