More Customers and Profit with your Unique Selling Proposition

A few weeks ago I visited a barn in Santa Barbara that emanated my version of horse paradise.  My version of horse paradise is where the horses and the riders seem peaceful, productive, and genuinely happy.  This often includes a setting of incredible natural beauty into which the horse facilities are seamlessly integrated.
As I followed my friend lead her horse down rubber matting between a long row of tall and slender palm trees, surrounded by beautiful Adobe barns hiding behind ample bougainvillea, and sat in a porch chair watching beginners hack around a quaint jump course in the nearby arena,  I thought I was in horse heaven.  If I were to board in Santa Barbara, I would certainly consider this barn based on the general feeling I had just being present on the property.

If you ever feel like your horse business faces tough competition, brainstorm what sets you apart, which may very well be what gives visitors "just a feeling."  This is often called a "unique selling proposition."
While other boarding barns may have better pasture turnout, another horse product website is clearly more advanced, or a competing horse trainer has a nicer horse and wins more at horse shows, you too have something special or unique to offer to hook more customers.


If you have a hard time considering what makes your facility unique, remember that as human beings no two of us are alike, so start from there and how that translates into your business.

I recently had a barn owner come to me upset that she didn't have more boarders.  Rather than asking about her arenas or training program, I first asked what made her facility different than other barns.
This can both trigger a renewed sense of passion for your business, "well my place is the BEST because my customer service is incredible;" or, "people tell me they love to work with me because I have so much energy for their project."
This can also help horse business owners realize that you can compete by not competing.  If you do not have the advertising budget or the facility budget as other horse businesses, your business or services does have aspects that make it different from any other business out there.

Once you realize your "unique selling proposition" you can then focus a greater amount of your resources -your time and your money- into enhancing that particular attribute.

Don't be disheartened by what you lack in your business, but take pride in the attributes that you can offer and that are impossible or difficult to find among other business owners in your niche.  Once you realize your attributes you can methodologically and efficiently compound your unique effect on the market, generating clients that are drawn to your unique selling proposition, and more importantly, the passion you have for promoting the best of what you have to the horse community.

Sometimes, a unique selling proposition is "just a feeling," like my experience at the Santa Barbara barn, or a feeling you get when you shop on a particular online business site.  Find out what that is in your business and make it generate more clients and customers for your business!

Action Steps:
1. Ask your current clients, your friends, and your family for the top 2 or 3 things they think makes your horse business unique from others in the market.
2. Gather genuine testimonials and reviews and share them authentically through your various word of mouth and other advertising channels.
3. Offer incentive programs to people who love your product when they share it with others who will also love your product.

Do you know what is undeniably unique about your horse business? Or the horse businesses you use, like your stable or the store where you buy your horse gear?


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2 comments:

Stacey C said...

Great idea that will give barn owners something to think about! What a nice place you visited in Santa Barbara! There was one place in Hawaii that I used to ride at that had facilities that were ok, but being that it was on the North Shore of Oahu and right across the street from the beach definitely gave it that "feeling" you're talking about!

Corinna Charlton said...

location, location, location :) Whether it is close to your home, close to work, or close to the beach- that is always a big factor for me. I can just imagine the balmy trade winds through your Oahu barn- I think I'm ready to book a ticket!