There’s nothing better than being paid to do something you, and for most of us, that means almost anything to do with horses. Luckily there are plenty of equestrian-related business ideas – it’s just a matter of finding a niche to focus on.
Starting an equestrian business
When starting a business, there are a lot of things to do. The specifics of which vary depending on the type of business you’re planning to start and your geographic location. One of the most important things to consider is your age. If you’re under 18 and looking to start a business then you will need an adult to act as a signatory.
The type of business you’re going to operate needs to be established early on – a limited company, partnership, sole-trader, etc. There are benefits to each type of structure (including reduced personal liability), however, many individuals decide to start out as sole traders, and later incorporate their business as a limited company. For more information contact an accountant or check out government advice.
In terms of operating costs, after staff, rent is likely to be the largest. Therefore, you should consider where your business is going to operate from. If possible, start out running your business from home to reduce initial costs. however, this isn’t possible when you want to open a physical store, etc.
Other important points to consider:
- What type of insurance do you need to operate legally and safely?
- Taxes – what taxes will you need to pay?
- Do you need to trademark your product?
- If you require a website, are you able to build and maintain the site yourself, or do you need to employ an expert? Shopify is a popular DIY online store building tool.
- How long will it take for you to recuperate your initial investment, and how are you going to get a hold of this money?
Horse related business ideas
There are plenty of business opportunities in the equestrian sector. Even if someone’s already doing what you want to do, providing there isn’t a clear market leader or you can do a much better job than them, it’s worth a go.
Starting any business requires a large time commitment, so make sure that you’re enthusiastic enough to see it through. Below are a few of our favourite equestrian business ideas, but there are plenty more things you can do – leave a comment with your best suggestions.
Everyone knows that horse fanatics can’t help buying at least one photo after an event! However, work is seasonal so make sure you can financially cover the offseason.
Social media influencer
This is by no means easy to succeed at, but well-planned Youtube and Instagram accounts have the potential to make a lot of money. For example, Social Blade estimate ThisEsme earns up to $120,000 a year through Youtube alone. Additional revenue streams, such as product promotion on Instagram could easily double this figure.
Be sure to check out our post on building a successful equestrian Instagram account.
A number of boutique companies now offer horse-related clothing. If you’re thinking of bringing out your own line then check out the competition and see whether you can offer anything better than what’s already available.
Become a reseller
Lots of horse related products bear inflated prices because they’re targeted at equestrians. Check websites such as Aliexpress, Alibaba, and Banggood for products suitable for resale. For example, although we can’t vouch for their quality, we were able to find a hoof pick with a brush for £0.56 + £1.70 postage, and a hoof oil brush for £0.53 + £1.26 postage.
When buying to resell, make sure you calculate operating costs; if you use eBay and Paypal around 13% of your sale price is consumed by fees alone.
Play to your skills
You might decide that one of the business ideas outlined above is a perfect match for your skillset, but don’t panic if not. If you’re great with both people and horses consider becoming a qualified instructor with the BHS, alternatively, if you’ve got a lorry and want to work alongside your current job then look into insurance prices and become a horse courier. The options are endless, and there’s sure to be something perfect for your situation.
Marketing equestrian products
Marketing is an important consideration when starting any business. If you already have an influence on social media you should definitely use it to your advantage. However, many of us do not have an audience ready and waiting for our sales pitch.
There are numerous ways of marketing products and services to individuals and businesses. Perhaps the most important three are (i) magazine advertising (such as in Horse & Hound), (ii) Google/Facebook pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and (iii) sponsoring athletes/relevant influencers.
Remember, a business is all about branding – this is particularly true if you’re going to elect brand ambassadors as a form of marketing. Ideally add identity to your product; visible logos are important as if someone wears your product but it’s not clear where it came from you’re not going to benefit from the promotion. This is why companies such as Ariat always put their logo at the forefront of their designs.
Are horse businesses profitable?
According to the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) in 2019 there were 847,000 horses in Britain alone; their average age was 13. Although the number of horse-owning households has dropped by 72,000 to 374,000 since 2015, there are now 500,000 more ‘regular riders’.
In Britain alone, there are 27 million people with an interest in the equestrian industry, and annual consumer spending on goods and services in the sector is valued at £4.7 billion – an increase of £400,000 since 2015.