Gently approaching "Board Increase"... Ideas? - Page 2
 
 

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Gently approaching "Board Increase"... Ideas?

This is a discussion on Gently approaching "Board Increase"... Ideas? within the Horse Boarding forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category
  • Gently approaching you
  • Similar wording for " do not hesitate to ask us"

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    10-22-2012, 02:15 PM
  #11
mls
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillyhorses    
"Please do not hesitate to ask us any questions. We encourage you to discuss potential options with us before deciding to move if you simply cannot afford board."
Nope. Just offer - "If you have any questions or concerns, we are happy to meet you with privately."

Some folks are very private about their financial situation. Those folks might have a barter offer that would benefit you instead of working off board. Oil change, discount at the hardware store, etc)
     
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    10-22-2012, 02:18 PM
  #12
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillyhorses    
Good idea Nickleodeon...
So - instead of "For those interested, we may be willing to offer an exchange of board services for work?" should I say something more along the lines of:
"Please do not hesitate to ask us any questions. We encourage you to discuss potential options with us before deciding to move if you simply cannot afford board."

I literally worked it out, and the profit for us is $0.17 per hour, and that is just feeding/turning out/cleaning stalls... not including watering our arena, maintaining the property :/
I wouldn't say anything. If someone says they have to move, they'll generally say that they're going somewhere cheaper or you can ask them if the raise will be a hardship. That way it doesn't get out that you are 'negotiating' board. After doing this for years, I don't give discounts anymore, unless it's for multiple horses, it always seemed to be the ones who aren't paying full freight that turned out to be the problem children. I charge what I charge and I used to have a waiting list. Right now with the drought, as boarders sold off their horses I stopped taking in new boarders. With hay and feed the price they are right now, I couldn't break even if I had a TEAM of accountants. Hay is also so short that I didn't want the responsibility of having contracted to feed other people's horses.

Once the drought breaks and things go back to normal, I may take in a few more boarders again, but I'll actually have to think about that. It's been nice and quiet around here since spring.
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    10-22-2012, 02:18 PM
  #13
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillyhorses    
"Please do not hesitate to ask us any questions. We encourage you to discuss potential options with us before deciding to move if you simply cannot afford board."

I literally worked it out, and the profit for us is $0.17 per hour, and that is just feeding/turning out/cleaning stalls... not including watering our arena, maintaining the property :/
The wording above is perfect. It allows you some leeway as to who you offer other incentives to. (Long time boarders with good records vs. everyone.)

You probably should consider a higher increase if you are only making $0.17 per hour and it doesn't include big ticket items like maintenance and watering!

While I would cringe a little at a $50 increase, I would be accepting of it if I understood where the BO was coming from (seeing old and new costs side by side). I understand horses are luxury items that cost a lot of $$$$. Animals have to eat and we're all feeling the pinch in the grocery budget. :(
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    10-22-2012, 02:21 PM
  #14
Trained
I'd flinch at the $50 increase but as she said, .17/hr profit is not going to cut it. $50 bucks breaks down to $12. + a little per mont over 4 years. Instead of nickel and diming them over 4 years, she's waited until she just can't wait any longer. If she goes up $50/month then hopefully she'll cover herself for a couple more years increases too.
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    10-22-2012, 02:28 PM
  #15
Banned
I am fortunate enough to be able to work off my board and bank any hours over and put them toward times when I cannot work it off, ie vacations etc.

After reading your post I can understand exactly where you are coming from. If I couldnt work off my board I know that I could afford it, but it sure would put a dent in my monthly expenditure!!!

I think though, as a business owner you really need to take care of your own interests first. If you start making deals with everyone it could get messy, and what happens when the 'exchanging' of services doesnt work out?

I would simply and politely explain the situation to the boarders individually and gauge their reaction, then work from there.
     
    10-22-2012, 02:29 PM
  #16
Weanling
Thanks guys... MLS - I like your wording much better than my own - it is more concise.

Dreamcatcher - with lessons, etc. we are hoping that we actually won't have to take on new boarders as the current ones leave. However, we don't want them to leave all at once! Plus, we're kind of hoping they only leave after they just don't own horses anymore. We have a few "sworn for life" boarders who say they'll never go anywhere else... which is a "nice" thought, although possibly not entirely financially possible for them.

"it always seemed to be the ones who aren't paying full freight that turned out to be the problem children." - Isn't that the truth!?!? I'm glad we aren't the only ones who have think that! We've actually questioned ourselves sometimes, like "Are we expecting too much by expecting these people to be grateful for the great deal they are getting?" Ugh.
     
    10-22-2012, 02:38 PM
  #17
Weanling
I've watched our BO get burned in so many deals. She is so nice and wants to believe that everyone is upfront, truthful and honest. Unfortunately, I've seen so many take advantage of her good heart and get angry when she finally starts getting firm and asking for the money she is owed. I'm very careful to ALWAYS pay my bills on time.

The others are right. Take care of the business first. Remind anyone who objects that you must cover your costs to stay open.
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    10-22-2012, 02:41 PM
  #18
Yearling
I agree with the suggestion to just go up $50 now instead of an increase now, and increase soon after, etc. I love the place I board, know how hard the staff all work, and I want my mare to have high quality hay in abundance. If all that costs more than I was paying, I'd want to pay the fair rate rather than being subsidized by the BO's kindness.
     
    10-22-2012, 02:47 PM
  #19
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillyhorses    
Good idea Nickleodeon...
So - instead of "For those interested, we may be willing to offer an exchange of board services for work?" should I say something more along the lines of:
"Please do not hesitate to ask us any questions. We encourage you to discuss potential options with us before deciding to move if you simply cannot afford board."

I literally worked it out, and the profit for us is $0.17 per hour, and that is just feeding/turning out/cleaning stalls... not including watering our arena, maintaining the property :/
IMHO, this wording is TMI and softballing it. This is a business, and your wording should indicate it. Boarders can and SHOULD HAVE taken it upon themselves to ask for a breakdown of services already.
Just go out and raise the board.
     
    10-22-2012, 06:00 PM
  #20
Foal
I have never paid board for "full care", so my thoughts may or may not be helpful. The barn I frequent (I still haul in & on occasion rent a stall for a month) is self care. If you cannot supply the time, work it out with another boarder. However, when I took my first horse there, they used to supply bedding. That horse passed & a year or so later I got the mare I have now. Bedding was no longer supplied. She didn't want to deal with raising rates, factoring it in/etc, so they cut out bedding.

At that barn, each horse had a stall & a turn out paddock. If you want the horse in, supply the bedding. Personally I liked it. (I really dislike shavings in the horse stall). It saved the BO a lot of money on shavings, and since most of the barn switched to pellets, the manure pile was stunted in growth. So it saved them time & money in managing Mt Poopy.

Just a thought. If you are super worried about charging more, maybe look into seeing how much it would save you if people supplied their own. Of course, if you include stall cleaning in your fee, I suppose that wouldn't make sense.
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