Constructive Criticism Needed For New Business Venture
 
 

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Constructive Criticism Needed For New Business Venture

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        07-09-2014, 11:25 AM
      #1
    Weanling
    Constructive Criticism Needed For New Business Venture

    Hi All,

    I am looking for some advice from either small business owners or some constructive criticism of a 5 year plan and I am in the beginning throes of developing.

    A bit of back-story: I am relatively new to horses (within the past 5 years or so taken an interest) and this began when I moved to Montana to work on a dude ranch about in 2009. Since then, I got the “ horse bug” and have spent my time since then reading up, taking riding lessons, and just in general being so incredibly drawn to the lifestyle.

    I moved to TN, in the heart of Tennessee Walking Horse country and it is beautiful, pristine scenery with a relatively low cost of living. My dream job, and something I aspire to do is to open a Guest and Horse Ranch in the TN hills. There’s really not much in the area by way of guest ranches (surprisingly, there’s a lot of B&B type of stuff), so I think the concept is truly unique to this area, and with such close proximity to Nashville—I think it could be a great tourist destination. Guests would be able to either bring their own equipment (fishing, hiking gear) and horses OR it would be something we would provide at the ranch for guests to use.

    My goals would be to:
    1- Provide an atmosphere where guests could learn and experience the ranch lifestyle. This would include home-style meals, outdoor activities during the day and entertainment at night ( cookout on the pond one night, bonfire, live music, etc)
    2- Provide guidance for outdoor activities such as horseback riding and hiking on well maintained and scenic trails, fishing, or just lounging by the pond or campfire with a book and a glass of wine. You set your schedule and activities, we provide the food and bed!
    3- Provide a family friendly, relaxed atmosphere with comfortable lodging, excellent dining and first class attention to individual needs from an experienced staff.

    The way I plan on implementing my goals is kind of twofold:
    1- Making sure the land, equipment, lodging , activities and food/drink are excellent. I have my eye on 108 acres currently for sale that already has 2 ponds, 2 barns, 1 guest house and storage building and a main home. I have already starting looking at additional cabin designs ( would like up to 7 independent cabins on this lot with capacity being around 55 guests at one time), a “main lodge” for dining/ conference room(s) and office/gift shop, a pool, and an additional “main” barn with an indoor arena, storage, etc.

    2- The staff: I already have 3 people who have verbally committed to join the team if I am able to get this thing going. One is in marketing and event planning, the other is a trained chef ( met through my past experience at a dude ranch) and the other is a head wrangler ( also met through past experience at dude ranch)



    Sorry that was lengthy. I am open to any criticism, advice from other business owner on getting this plan set in motion… or just general feedback! Is this something you and your family or friends would enjoy?

    Thanks so much
         
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        07-09-2014, 11:51 AM
      #2
    Weanling
    I apologize if this was posted in the wrong place... maybe I should move it to the General Discussion Board?
         
        07-09-2014, 02:14 PM
      #3
    Green Broke
    You first of all, need to check with the zoning in your area. You many not be able to add more cabins or have such an operation.
    Secondly, have you checked insurance liability rates on that type of business ?
    Thirdly, do you think you would have clients ?
    Whats the reason most people go to Nashville ?
         
        07-09-2014, 02:24 PM
      #4
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stevenson    
    you first of all, need to check with the zoning in your area. You many not be able to add more cabins or have such an operation.
    Secondly, have you checked insurance liability rates on that type of business ?
    Thirdly, do you think you would have clients ?
    Whats the reason most people go to Nashville ?
    First, thanks for the reply! These are very valid questions.

    As far as zoning, it would depend on the property of course. The property/area I am keeping a close eye on is very rural, county zoned so you're able to make additions to the property as needed. Of course, it is always good to double check!

    Nashville and the surrounding area(s) has a huge tourist draw. According to the city's website, we had 12.2 million visitors bringing in 4 billion in tourism dollars in 2013. It's a huge conference center hub, event and concert hub, lots of outdoor activities, fine dining, pro sports teams, etc. It's actually got a ton to offer, and the area I am interested in is about a 45 drive from Nashville in the center of "horse country", if you will. The Tennessee Walking Horse Association is HQ in Middle TN, there's a huge equestrian presence.

    Thanks again for the input, I do appreciate it so much!
         
        07-09-2014, 03:54 PM
      #5
    Yearling
    Rebel, I would highly encourage you to set up an appointment with your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to get their support and advisement. They provide free, confidential business counseling to small business owners and would be able to connect you with resources on the issues that have been raised in the other posts. Here is the website: https://www.tsbdc.org/

    Good luck!
         
        07-09-2014, 03:59 PM
      #6
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by egrogan    
    Rebel, I would highly encourage you to set up an appointment with your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to get their support and advisement. They provide free, confidential business counseling to small business owners and would be able to connect you with resources on the issues that have been raised in the other posts. Here is the website: https://www.tsbdc.org/

    Good luck!

    Thanks for that link, I will definitely check it out!
         
        07-10-2014, 11:24 AM
      #7
    Weanling
    New question for those who do have horses, is this a type of establishment that would interest you? Would this be something you see yourself utilizing?
         
        07-11-2014, 10:41 AM
      #8
    Weanling
    Bump... anyone??

    Just looking for some feedback from the horse community on if this is an establishment you would like/want to visit.

    Saying "no" is OK, too :) Won't know unless I ask!
         
        07-11-2014, 01:48 PM
      #9
    Green Broke
    I think the biggest issue you will run into will be insuring the place. Not only will you need to insure your facility for public use (the basics: buildings, what have you), but you will also need to have insurance for people dealing with horses. This can get pretty pricy, especially when your insurer realizes that you will be dealing with people who, potentially, have no experience with horses.

    Whether or not you get a lot of business would, I think, depend a lot on the facilities and locale. Is it aesthetically pleasing? Is it a place that people would vacation under normal circumstances? Is there stuff nearby for the inevitable member of the family who doesn't like horses?
    All things to consider.
         
        07-11-2014, 02:52 PM
      #10
    Trained
    Keep in mind that the local zoning may say it is fine to build what you want-BUT-can you get enough wells to provide enough water? Does the property perk? (meaning will it work for septic?) As I recall, that is a very rocky area. You may have some issues with those…….and insurance, as has been stated. But somehow, other dude ranches do it.

    There is quite a bit of competition around the state-I just did a really quick google and came up with at least 5.
    Rebelwithacause likes this.
         

    Tags
    guest ranch, horses, small business

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