You only get what you measure

Measure

How often have you had the question: how’s the business doing? Your answer, of course, will be: “doing great, thanks”… but how do you know what ‘great’ is? Do you measure your performance backed by solid data or gut feeling?

When I was still working in a large multinational corporate environment, one of my senior managers would go on and on about how “you only get what you measure”, and although we didn’t always want to hear it, we knew he was right. Now I also see that this does not only ring true for large-scale corporations reporting back to their investors, but also for small businesses.

Here are some business situations in which gathering solid business data and measuring success accordingly could be of real importance to your (small) business:

Getting that start-up cash investment

What’s your launch plan vs buying plan: buying in bulk or staggered? How much is your warehousing facility going to cost? What’s your revenue projection: when are you planning to break even / turn a profit? What % are you willing to part with for the support of potential investors? What will you projected marketing investment be as a % of turnover? Yeah, I know, all very “dragons den” but nonetheless extremely important data in order to secure that much-needed injection of start-up cash.

Best sellers vs Non movers

Which items are your top sellers vs non movers and what are you going to do about it? Shuffle your online shop around to increase visibility? Run a promotion on the items that are selling the least or if they are really just gathering dust in the warehouse and cramping your online style then simply scrap from sales and start afresh with the new collection? You will only know this if you keep a close eye on your sales data and do a regular 80/20 assessment of your stock

Sales are down 40% vs YA…. ehhh why?

Well done!!! In order to know sales are down 40%, you’ll already be tracking your sales data in the first place… but now the big question is WHY? Do you have your marketing activities and investment tracked vs Year Ago (YA) as well as your sales? Do you know the size, value, and volume of your current offering vs YA? Ahhh maybe it was the huge 20% OFF on all items promotion or that shared stand at Badminton Horse Trials that boosted the sales last year? Make sure you plan for either the same level or increased visibility, promotional activity and offering to ensure a smooth growth of your business.

Choosing the right promotional support

This one offers 2 sides to the data measuring story. First, in order to know which type of support, visibility, and promotion works best for your business, you’ll have to measure the previous activity’s performance in the first place. This way you will know if that social media influencer or the facebook add brought you a better return on investment. Second, in order to make any kind of activity succesful, you’ll need to know who you want to reach and where: the better you know your potential target group, the better you can select who sees and interacts with your promotion, the better your return on investment will be.

There are many more examples of how measuring and using data can help your business run at its full potential. Here at The Stylish Equestrian Consulting we have a genuine love for a good excel sheet session and a bit of number crunching, so if this thought is a bit daunting to you or you have no idea where to find this kind of data and you’d like to focus on the creative part of designing your new collection, then feel free to get in touch for business coaching and support.

 

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Spring cleaning for Equestrian business owners

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Springtime is always a good time to do a thorough sort and clean. Not only for your tack room at the barn or your wardrobe but also for your business.

Often us entrepreneurs find ourselves bogged down by all the little things that need to get done to keep the business up and running, so every once in a while it’s really good to do some spring cleaning of your everyday activities.

Take a little time to sort through all the elements and activities required to your business and make an assessment if they fit in either one of below categories:

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URGENT – IMPORTANT

Do it now type of activities, like answering suppliers/clients or sending over approval of your final designs to get them done in time for production.

NOT URGENT – IMPORTANT

Things you can plan for and still have ample time to work on i.e. your annual marketing plan, an upcoming event/tradefair, photoshoot planning or updating your e-commerce platform.

URGENT – NOT IMPORTANT

Things that have really got to be done, but that are maybe not necessarily leveraging your key strengths as an entrepreneur: can someone do your weekly bill paying for you? Maybe someone would love to help you pack your orders? Can you get some help sorting out your warehouse in a more logical way?

NOT URGENT – NOT IMPORTANT

The ultimate spring cleaning category: do you really have to spend an hour google searching a new font for an Instagram post? Is that part of your website adding any value or just bogging it down? Have a good think, and if it’s neither urgent nor important then simply don’t do it!

In an ideal world most of our working time would be spent in the NOT URGENT – IMPORTANT category, but most of the time we find ourselves in neverending URGENT – IMPORTANT mode. A little spring cleaning can help you declutter your activities, focus on what really drives your business and have more time to work on the fun stuff.

Need help with your spring cleaning?

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A little help from your friends

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One of the most challenging things about being an equestrian entrepreneur is that often you’re embarking on this exciting business journey alone. Which of course has many advantages when it comes to quick decision making, flexibility in working time and location and a sense of ownership among many others.

Sometimes though, you might need a little help from your friends. If you feel like you do, the don’t be afraid to ask! More likely than not, your friends will be very happy to give you some feedback, like to feel part of your entrepreneurial adventure and come up with some expertise and input that even you the google expert might not have been able to come up with.

What kind of help can you easily ask your friends? A few examples:

  • Growing your social media presence: don’t be ashamed to ask everyone in your network on both Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and wherever else you are showcasing your business to like, follow, comment and share. There is no obligation for them to do so, so if they don’t want to, they won’t, but there is no harm in asking… It’s a great way to get that slow-moving social media snowball rolling!
  • Financial / legal expertise: zero budget and want to do things right? There might be someone in your network that can help you with the basics or refer you to the right person fitting your needs and budget.
  • Testimonials and references: chances are, you will have worked with some of your friends in the past. Ask them for a referral relevant to your current business, or for them to test your products and provide feedback, which you can then showcase on your website or social media profile (#credibility)
  • Business opportunities: if you are starting any kind of equestrian business, it’s highly likely a lot of your friends are either interested in or already have a network in the business. Ask around: anyone looking to list new technical breeches? Anyone who would like to host an equestrian wellness clinic etc etc anything that will get you started will fuel your business and create momentum.
  • Monday motivation: ohhh it’s so hard to stick to your guns, keep going and plow through those inevitable entrepreneurial dips. Have a friend on speed dial whom you know will help you get your priorities straight, remind you that you’re doing the right thing and provide that much-needed #mondaymotivation.

 

Of course, for all other business and brand building topics, an extensive equestrian network and years of sales and marketing experience, you can always give The stylish equestrian consulting a call.

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The stylish equestrian consulting collaboration with Equitrends Magazine

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Equitrends is THE magazine for retailers, producers, and service providers in equestrian sports. With a focus on the German, Austrian and Swiss market, but with a reach going far beyond the Germanic countries in Europe, Equitrends is the ultimate business to business equestrian platform.

They not only provide a monthly magazine, but are also actively present at the bi-annual SPOGA horse trade fair in Köln with their SPOGA awards program recognising excellence in a variety of categories, but also have a strong collaboration with E-Horses working on providing social media and marketing support.

Screen Shot 2017-06-30 at 08.43.35The stylish equestrian consulting teamed up with Equitrends initially on a style post for their April 2017 issue (read the April article here: equitrends_0417_Archiv country style), which is all about contemporary country style. They have since extended the collaboration to a regular column about winning with social media in the equestrian world. (read the May article here: equitrends_0517_Archiv social media schule )

 

The June issue will be out any day now, you can go to their website and order your trial edition for free right here.

Special thanks goes out to journalist and contributor for Equitrends magazine Jeannette Aretz.

Boosting your brand visibility with targeted social media collaborations

4 seasons in one day

You want a very select group of consumers to get to know your brand, but you’re not sure how to go about it?

Why not work with a select group of social media influencers who can not only showcase your brand to an extremely targeted audience, but also endorse your products with genuine support and product reviews for increased credibility.

A good example is thestylishequestrian.com: a platform that showcases the latest trends and provides daily inspiration for the ultimate street to stable lifestyle. Working with the stylish equestrian has brought small businesses new distribution opportunities and large brands the targeted visibility they require for growing their brand with the right audience.

The stylish equestrian provides tailored visibility packages that include visibility in the signature sets on multiple social media platforms, but also brand ambassador programs that include product reviews, Instagram endorsement to over 31K followers and the option to run give-away competitions.

Want to work with The stylish equestrian or need some advice on how best to increase your brand visibility?

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