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When you began breeding, you likely looked up to a few leaders in your industry. Now you're looking to stand out yourself and doing so is achieved by maintaining a certain level of professionalism. So, what are the key things you should review on a regular basis to make sure you're checking all the boxes?
A Business Plan
The best breeders operate like a business and rightfully so. If you are breeding for commercial sale, operating like a private breeder won't help you break even, much less grow. As a breeder, you should be able to define what you are bringing to the industry, what your greatest challenges might be and outline a 2, 5, and 10-year plan taking your finances into account.
A professional breeder answers emails and phone calls. The majority of your day is likely not spent sitting behind a desk, you’re often in the barn and busy doing hands on work with your horses. Since the people you usually do business with are typically horse people as well, it can be easy to think "they'll understand" and drop the ball a bit when it comes to communication. This has led to a bit of a stereotype of horse people or farmers in general being hard to get a hold of and get tasks completed. That doesn't have to be the case, it is just a matter of prioritizing client relations. After all, your fellow horse people are your customers and the companies you do business with, keep yours going. It would unacceptable for your feed not to be delivered or for your farrier to fail to show up, so make sure you maintain the same standards on your end.
Often times, if a breeder is struggling to maintain communication and operate their business to their desired standard, it comes down to a lack of time. If this is the case, you need to be proactive about finding a solution that will allow you to become more efficient and stay connected with those you work with and do work for.
Nothing is better than buying a horse from a breeder who knows the in's and out's of every aspect of their life. The same goes for clients wanting to send their mare to a breeder who will be up to date on her reproductive health at any minute. While staying organized plays a big role in how clients perceive your communication skills and professionalism, it also makes a huge difference in your daily life as a breeder. There is a reason why companies implement different ideas, programs, and methods in order to improve organization. It saves time, money, reduces risk and the resulting loss. We've said it before, and we'll say it again; no one is handing out trophies for whoever spends the most time in the barn or the office.
Whether that means staying up to date with the latest information about your breed and discipline, or implementing the latest research, practices and technology to keep your operation current, there is no direction to move except forward. Being a leader amongst your peers means being open to new innovation thus paving the way for others to make improvements as well.
Are new practices foreign and new technologies intimidating? Yes, absolutely. But if they can make you an even better breeder and business owner, you've got to give them a chance.
So...do you stand out as a breeder? Are you running your business in the best way possible for the 2019-2020 year?
Converse with your business partners, your fellow breeders, and speak with us! Explore breeding technology, let us know what you're goals are, what you'd like to improve, and find out if FoalPoint is the next step for your breeding operation!