For anyone that has grown up with horses, starting a livery yard in rolling countryside has probably been a dream of yours from an early age. The opportunity to develop a successful business whilst doing something you’re passionate about is an ambition that many equestrians fantasize about and then put to the back of their minds, letting the grind of daily life take over.
With spiralling insurance costs and growing layers of regulation, the idea might seem a distant dream. However, Horse and Hound spoke to the owner of Hinckley Equestrian Centre who believes the benefits far outweigh the initial time, effort and financial commitment that apply. Having invested an initial £150,000 to develop a run-down centre, including the building of a 40m x 20m indoor school, the centre now makes a profit with annual sales of £500,000 from around 450 weekly customers.
Where to start?
You will probably know the daily routine and the responsibility of looking after a horse is no mean feat, it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance. That is why livery yards are extremely popular, allowing people to enjoy all the benefits of owning a horse but without the commitment of daily muck outs and feeding routines. The stereotypical equestrian also expects the very best for their horsey friend, therefore, sound business sense, professionalism and five star care is key to your businesses success.
If you are considering taking the plunge you need to do your research. Is there need and opportunity in your local area? Who are your competitors? Once you have committed to the idea you can develop a business plan. Instead of falling at the first hurdle, see the business plan as an opportunity to become an expert. Take your time to analyse the sector, learn about the associated financial implications and use it as an opportunity to develop your brand. Fortunately in the equestrian world there’s lots of help available. Recommended help includes Business Link (www.businesslink.org.uk) and the British Horse Society (www.bhs.org.uk).
Other things you will need to consider:
- Have you identified some land? Are you buying or leasing the land?
- Is there storage for hay and straw?
- Are there bridleways nearby?
- Do you have or could you install a ménage?
- Do you have a secure tack room or the potential to create one?
The start-up costs for running a livery yard are quite high and the return on investment is a slow burner in the early stages of your business, however, once you’ve jumped the last fence you should have a very profitable business
How can we help?
Moorgate Equestrian Finance are experts in the sector. We have a dedicated Account Manager (Samuel Phipps) who has worked with equestrians to start-up or develop their businesses. Here to help his advice, support and guidance has seen him working with the UK’s top livery yards who have internationally renowned trainers and world class facilities. He has a breadth of knowledge and a passion for the industry. To find out more call Moorgate Equestrian Finance- 01908 92 62 62 or go to our website- https://moorgatefinance.com/equestrian-finance/Button