All businesses need to evolve to remain successful, and thinking outside the box can make all the difference. Learn what makes a properly planned business stand out with Equine Guelph’s 12-week online course, Equine Business Management.
Offered through the University of Guelph, Equine Business Management has been designed for those interested in establishing a business in the equine industry or for those already operating a business and looking for a way to boost that bottom line in today’s struggling economy. Topics covered in this course include preparing an all-important business plan, including financial, marketing and public relations strategies and suggestions on how to put them all into practice.
“Writing a business plan uses skills, which can be applied in many different aspects of life,” says course instructor Heather Gentles, who has a Master of Business Administration in Marketing and General Management from the Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland, Ohio, and a Bachelor and Masters of Science in Biology from the University of Northern Arizona. “Students will learn how to research their ideas, and integrate them with finance, legal and insurance concerns, along with human resources. These skills are useful whether they are used for their own business or as an employee. We also teach time management, including learning how to set priorities and overcome procrastination, which then allows students to have some down time to be with their horses.”
Students will also create an in-depth business portfolio, which can help them better understand their strengths and interests, not only for use with their own business, but also when looking for employment. With access to guest speakers in the areas of equine law, finance and equine insurance, the course benefits from case studies, questions and answers, and critical feedback on real life business proposals.
“Upon completing this course, past students have developed some very interesting business ideas for operating a boarding, lesson, breeding, or a training facility,” says Gentles. “Others have gone beyond traditional business models, and have established plans pertaining to equine tourism, such as a ranch resort or ‘bed and bale’, and even a psychotherapy facility.”
Gentles notes that the 12-week course has helped some students to narrow down their initial ideas into a more focused effort, while for others it has helped them to realize that they need to broaden their income base.
“There are always some students who realize that actually running a business may not be for them or at least in their current stage of life, which has probably saved them financial and emotional hardship,” she says. “Others have had their dreams reinforced and feel they now have the tools and knowledge to move forward with confidence.”
Equine Business Management is part of the Certificate in Equine Business Management continuing education program and will be included in Equine Guelph’s Fall 2013 online lineup. Other course offerings include Advanced Equine Behaviour, Management of the Equine Environment, Equine Nutrition, Equine Functional Anatomy, Equine Genetics, Equine Growth and Development, Stewardship of the Equine Environment, and Equine Journalism. Registration is now open, with courses running from September 9 to December 1, 2013.