When we first opened Vinland Stables ten years ago I was so excited about every part of it. I instantly loved taking care of all the horses but I also enjoyed getting to know all my new boarders. We have a multi-discipline barn and with that came many different breeds and my boarders were every age from young kids to retired people. Things seemed great at first.
Mistake number one
I started going out to the barn and sharing with a few of my boarders some of the financial problems David and I had been dealing with during the building of our barn which affected our income greatly during the early years. I might of even been looking for sympathy at the time. It never even occurred to me that this could be making my boarders feel uncomfortable at times. Here we were a brand new boarding barn and the last thing they needed to know is that we were struggling. They didn't really know David or me at all and I didn't know them. We were basically the new kids on the block and now I was sharing problems we were having. Do you see how that looked at the time? I sure do now. I had not set any boundaries between what was appropriate to share and what was not.
Well here I was shooting off my mouth (even though we had plenty of hay and bedding) but needless to say I was sharing business issues with clients which I know now was a terrible way to run a business.
I believe now after all these years, as the barn owner you need to keep things professional at all times. It doesn't mean you can't go out and hang out with your boarders but you need to remember that they are paying a lot of money to keep their horse at your barn and if they start to sense there are financial issues or other problems that could at all affect the care of their horse, that is when you are going to have bigger problems.
Their horse is why they are at your barn to begin with and you need make sure they feel secure in making the decision to come to your barn. Sharing things with your boarders is great and us women are great at it. Have fun with your clients but remember to have your boundaries in place when it comes to discussion about your business. Boundaries keep a barn healthy and strong.
To be continued...
If you are new to my blog, then welcome! If you are looking to make positive changes in your horse business when it comes to your clients or any other equine professional you work with, then I encourage you to check out my newest book, "The Total Horse Barn Management Makeover." You won't find a more honest book about barn management.
I wish you many blessings in your horse business,