How to Write a Horse Breeding Business Plan
Starting a horse breeding business is a huge undertaking and you will likely need to add other services to sustain a reliable cash flow. If you plan to include additional services such as boarding and training, your horse breeding business plan needs to reflect those added services. A basic business plan consists of the following parts:
The executive summary is a snapshot of your entire business plan. It should briefly summarise what is presented in the entire plan. It is usually written last after your research is complete, and the other sections are written.
Here is where you introduce your company. What is its name? What products and services will you offer? For example, Horses and More has been established to provide thoroughbred breeding services to the region of Queensland. It will also offer boarding and training services to complement the breeding services. After describing the product and services in detail, consider including vision and mission statements. These two statements help you identify the focus of your business and lets investors or lenders know why you want to open the business.
This section is where you show investors or lenders that you’ve done your homework. You outline the overall Australian horse-breeding market and then narrow the discussion to the local market in which you will be competing. For example, an economic impact study of the nation’s thoroughbred racing industry reveals it is worth $9 billion and provides more than 70,000 full-time jobs. Queensland’s horse breeders are among the segment of Australian horse breeders with growth potential.
You should include the market trends in your location area as well as Queensland as a whole. You will need to focus on the areas of horse breeding and equine services that you will include in your business plan. Be sure to highlight any areas that may be of concern over the next three to five years.
Your Products and Services
List all the products and services you plan to offer. Be as specific as possible. If you are going to specialise in a particular breed, discuss why. If you are offering boarding and training services, outline what those will include and how you plan on pricing them. For example, will you price by the hour for training or in four-hour increments? Be specific to make sure you have accounted for everything in your pricing model.
If you are planning on offering both equine services and horse breeding, discuss the competition in both areas separately and then in combination. Your business will likely have to compete in all three markets. You need to identify what your primary market will be in the first few years of operation. If you plan to expand your business outside your local market, you will need to include competitors in the other markets.
SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The purpose of an analysis that focuses on these four areas is to help you take a close look at your business plan. Here are some questions you need to answer as part of your SWOT Analysis.
- What are your strengths? Do you have experience in horse breeding? Have you worked in an equine facility? Are you going to offer boutique services that will set you apart?
- What are your weaknesses? Be honest about them. Investors and lenders know every business has flaws. If you try to hide them, they will assume you aren’t being honest, or you haven’t done your analysis.
- What opportunities do you see for your business? Do you qualify for special programs such as the QTIS? Is there a niche market that your business can fill?
- What threatens your business? Some of these threats may be outside your control. You can’t control natural disasters, but you can control your response to them. If your location experiences floods or fires, be sure to include them in your analysis. What about competitors?
These questions are a starting point for a SWOT analysis. You may not include the details of everything you identify, but the process is an excellent way to assess your business’ potential for success.
Marketing and Sales Plan
Promoting your business is crucial to its success. If your business is like most, customers are not going to flock to your doors the minute you open for business. How do you plan to let people know you exist? Although you may be tempted to spend money on brochures or print advertising, consider a website and social media. An online presence is the best way to build a business. It is today’s word of mouth.
Do you have the facilities to breed, board, and train horses? Are you renting or leasing facilities? Did you purchase land? How will you find ongoing breeding stock? For your equine services, what are your hours? Will owners be able to contact you after hours? What arrangements will you make for veterinarian services? One of the best ways to write an operational plan is to imagine what a workweek would look like?
An organisational plan gives the structure of your company, and it identifies key personnel. The concept behind an organisational plan is to specify who will be responsible for what. If you are going to use outside resources such as legal and accounting services, you need to note those in your plan. As part of the organisational plan, identify the number of people you plan to hire in each position. How many trainers will you need? Who’s going to clean the stalls?
Three numbers are essential for a horse breeding business plan. Once you have those numbers, you can look at what additional information is needed to convince investors or lenders to give you financing.
- Break-even – Look at your monthly expenses. If you haven’t put together a budget, now is the time to do so. Total the monthly expenses for the first year. That is the amount of money you need to cover expenses, i.e. break even.
- Cash Flow – A budget is the only way to know how much money you need each month. Estimate the income per month. How do you plan to cover the shortfall?
- Profit/Loss – Create a profit-loss statement from the information used to find your break-even point and your monthly cash flow to generate a profit-loss statement. Be realistic. Most investors don’t expect a profit in the first year of business.
Once you have completed your financial plan, you are ready to make a funding request. Based on the data in your business plan, determine the amount of funding needed. Be sure to include superannuation costs. For help, contact us.