Opening a Boarding Facility - Page 2

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Opening a Boarding Facility

This is a discussion on Opening a Boarding Facility within the Horse Boarding forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category

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    08-27-2012, 04:38 PM
I'm not looking to do anything fancy, like I said, I'm not really specialized - and you just sound like you had your hands FULL! I would like to have my pasture/stall boarders, yes, but not a lot of them. A dozen MAYBE! I just want to have a nice relaxed place - even if it won't be for me, haha! Around here we do have the fancy boarding/training places, but we also have quite a few smaller places. That's more my aim. I want a place that I can focus on my training, with no problem with the chores it involves...
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    08-27-2012, 05:06 PM
Write a business plan. You can find templates for them online it that helps. First, decide what you REALLY want out of this endeavor. If it's to quit your day job and spend all day at the barn, develop a dollar figure - how mcuh money will your boarding business need to make in order for that to happen?

I worked for a small boarding business where the owner's stated goal was for the barn to be big enough to pay for permanent part time help. The inconvenience of boarders and loss of privacy was worth it to her if she knew she had stalls, morning feed and turnout covered, and help with other work as needed. She didn't make money, but it was worth it to her if it meant she could have help with her own horses.

Do some local research about what board and services go for in your area, try to come up with a price point for your facility and see if you can make the numbers work.

You have two big advantages - the indoor ring, and that you do some training yourself. If you also offered lessons, that would be another plus.

The business model for a lot of boarding barns is to break even or even lose moeny on boarding, but to make it up on lessons, training and services. It's hard to make money on boarding itself because of the huge overhead, and that
There's usually someone up the road who's willing to undercut your price. Finding reasonably priced, reliable bulk sources for hay and bedding is critical, and if you're going to hire part time help, the quality of the help is critical. (You can lose a lot of money with an employee who pads their time, is heavy handed with the supplements, or can't tell the difference between the senior feed and the regular, and feeds the whole barn the senior feed.)

Good luck!
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    08-27-2012, 05:13 PM
Where are you in western Washington? If you're around Bellingham, I have two mares that can be your "guinea pigs." ;D
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    08-27-2012, 05:58 PM
@Maura - thank you - very helpful! These are all very good ideas! Great stuff for me to put down/look into for the future!

@Riccilove - I'm down in Pierce county! Darn!
    08-27-2012, 06:17 PM
Many boarding facilities are losing their butts this year in board due to the drought we had. These places bale their own hay. The hay didnt grow good...they had to buy hay this year.

That's something to consider. Where will your hay come from? Id be in your best interest to plant your own hayfield...but, you need a tractor, cutter, rake, baler etc. Thatll put you back a pretty penny. And, you only have 16.5 acres. Not nearly enough acrage for a hay field for multiple horses.

Food for thought.
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    08-27-2012, 07:54 PM
Gosh darn it! Well good luck, whatever you decide to do!
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    08-27-2012, 11:29 PM
Thank you all! It's all just a 'thought' for now. Even a dream...
    09-04-2012, 04:26 PM
I think it's wonderful that you have the opportunity to do this and I wish you the best of luck! I definitely agree with Maura- by writing everything down on paper you can get a much clearer view of everything involved before and during the operational process. A way to eliminate potential "problem" boarders should you decide to open to other owners, is to have everyone fill out applications first and then schedule interviews with the people who seem like good matches for you. Ask questions that show you how well they follow directions, or show attention to details, and if you get sketchy responses or their references can't vouch for them, you can pass them by and avoid a future headache. One other thing to keep in mind also: release forms and posted policies will be your best friends! Good luck to you!

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