So you have an idea for a business in the horse industry, but you don’t know where to start? That’s okay! I’ve got you covered.
There are 6 key steps you need to take before taking on your first client:
1. Have an idea – Your business should solve a problem in the industry or fill a gap in current offers or services. If no one needs your product/service then how will you attract customers? Coming up with an idea that is unique to you and your niche will ensure you serve the people you care about the most and you will build a community of people who are passionate about your brand.
2. Come up with the perfect name – Coming up with a business name is one of the best parts of starting a business! Think of a name that resonates with the clients you want to target. Some ideas to incorporate are geographic location (ie. New England Show Jumping), a made up word (ie. Google), or a name that is indicative of the services you will provide (ie. Hoofbeats Farriery). If you need help coming up with a name, poll your audience or ask family and friends what they think would fit the best.
3. Make sure the business name isn’t taken – Once you come up with a name (or a couple) you like, you need to make sure it’s not taken by anyone else. I highly recommend to hiring a trademark attorney to make sure there won’t be an issue nationwide, but if that is not in the budget right now you have a couple of options. You can search your state’s Secretary of State website for any businesses registered under that name. You can also search the USPTO.gov website for businesses nationwide. Be advised these searches are not comprehensive.
4. Secure social media handles – Once you are confident your business name is not used anywhere else, you can secure your social media handles! This is the name that comes after the @ on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I recommend choosing the most simple version of you business name (all lowercase, no punctuation) to make sure you are easy to find like @blackunicorncreative. If that version is unavailable, you can try simple variations until you find one that suites you. For example, my personal name was taken so my personal social media handles are @theabrianaj.
5. Buy your domain – A domain is the wording you put in the search bar of your browser to direct you to a particular website. You want to have the domain of your business (simple, lowercase and no punctuation) secured so you can have a website built in the future. If you run a non-profit, you can choose a domain with .org as the ending. There are endings such as .co, .shop, .art, etc. Make sure you choose something that will be intuitive for your customers and makes sense with your brand.
6. Complete a business plan – The last essential you will need is to complete a business plan! Remember “a goal without a plan is just a wish”. We do not want to start expensive hobbies that moonlight as a business. A business plan will show you how much you will need to invest to start your business, what you will do to market your business and how you will reach your ideal customer. Most business plans include goal forecasting, financial planning, and marketing.
Want to learn more? Tune in to my latest podcast episode where I discuss these first steps in more detail. Share it with someone who is looking to start a business!