Your reputation precedes you in your field of business. Brand management is important to every type and size of company.
Are you hard to contact, chronically grouchy or late for teaching? Or easy going, a good communicator, and flexible when situations call for it? The blessing and the curse of owning your own business are that it’s you. You are your brand, no matter what is on the sign on the door. Which is why branding isn’t what you think it is.
Are you easy to find and contact using a quick online search? Is your LinkedIn page up to date? I’m amazed to see how many riding professionals still are not embracing social media to find clients, who are very likely professionals with disposable income that use LinkedIn frequently.
Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat) is super easy for building up your barn community and brand. Happy employees posting pics of client’s horses getting the love on a daily basis means that people see their beloved creatures being treated like they would treat them if they were able to bail on work/soccer/work/homework/school play and sneak off to the barn.
The horse business means putting in crazy long days which doesn’t always leave time for business improvements. Schedule an hour a month to assess what is outdated and make those changes, or get help.
Your younger support staff is likely cracking good at social media and use it like breathing. Give them access and some guidelines as to what is or is not appropriate. Make sure you turn that off their admin access when they leave your employ.
As the world is increasingly digital, more and more people will be evaluating you on details as a business person before they call. Social is a great way to learn the vibe of the barn before people call to move their horses over for training or schedule a lesson for their daughter. Happy horses and riders speak volumes to your brand and what you stand for as a professional. Scored a big win in the class last weekend? Post that victory lap.
Every detail helps someone that doesn’t know you in making a decision to enter a barn family, builds your presence online and tells an ongoing story of you and your business.