Little Susy is here for her lesson. John is on the phone about a great young thoroughbred for sale. One of the school horses needs stitches. Oh, and on the other line is Mary calling to find out why none of your student's entry forms have come in for the show this weekend. Equestrian businesses have all of the same issues as other small businesses with many additional variables.
Barn owners and managers are forever running. You have so many hats to wear: trainer, teacher, on-call vet., sales expert, customer service manager and so much more. First and foremost though, you are running a small business. The most successful people in the horse industry are there because of their true love for the animals and the sport.
However, like any other small business, to stay successful and frankly, to stay in business, attention must be paid to the details. The day to day operations of your barn's office: bookkeeping, marketing, and communications with customers, colleagues, vendors, etc. are vital to your continued survival.
Many larger facilities employ an office manager or administrative assistant. For the newer or smaller ventures, this is often impossible due to the huge investment of hiring on another employee. For every actual employee, you must deal with taxes, insurance, training time, and all the other human resource issues. A virtual office assistant (VOA) can be the solution to these paperwork nightmares for the equestrian entrepreneur.
You can hire a VOA to provide support in virtually any administrative area. There is a virtual assistant out there that can help you complete any task you can imagine. You can hire VOA's to complete single projects. They can do a one-time newsletter, marketing brochure, create a database of your clients, horses, vet records, etc. You can also hire virtual office assistants on a long term "retainer" basis to handle a specific area of your business on an on-going basis.
Deciding to solve your administrative dilemmas in this manner is a very cost effective way to make your business more efficient. You do not have to worry about keeping track of any human resource information, spending money on additional office equipment, or even dealing with the hiring process. Virtual assistants work as independent contractors or vendors. You define the relationship with them as you see fit and can choose to continue or terminate your partnership at anytime. The horse industry is an ever-growing, ever-changing industry which can sometimes leave your head spinning.
Hiring a virtual assistant can give you more time to focus on those things that made you enter the business in first place.the horses!.
Dana Wallert, a long time equestrian, owner of DW Office Solutions, a virtual assistance company. Learn more about virtual assistants and sign up for her free newsletter at http://www.dwofficesolutions.comA