Equestrian Business Management: How to Stay Focused in 2024
When you run your own equestrian business, there is always so much to do. Maintaining focus when you have so many demands being thrown at you is really difficult, and it is easy to forget what you are really trying to achieve. I completely understand this - between running this online shop, may equine marketing agency and meeting my other commitments, maintaining a focus is an ongoing task. However, I have managed to develop a way of getting clarity and staying focused throughout the year with the help of my trusty business planner.
Take a Step Back: Review 2023
You may feel like 2023 has been the most amazing year ever, or perhaps you feel you haven’t moved an inch since 2022. Either way, looking back over the year can help you to identify what you have achieved, as well as what you have learned.
Did you set yourself any goals for 2023? If so, how close did you get to achieving them? Whether or not you hit your goals, consider why that is. Learning from things that did and did not go well will help you to move forward productively. Even if you didn’t hit your goals, take stock of how much progress you have made since the start of the year.
What have you gained or learned in 2023? Think about any new skills, qualifications or tools you have gained this year. Consider how your product or service has improved and how you can use your upgraded tools to move forward in 2024. It could mean that you can put your prices up, launch a new service or offer a more premium product.
What challenges did you face in 2023? In life and business, you will inevitably face challenges. Consider how you overcame challenges in 2023 and how you will take your learnings, resilience and mindset forward into 2024.
What were your successes in 2023? It’s important to really absorb all the positive achievements, as this will give you confidence and motivation for the year ahead. Think about new clients, product launches, something you did for the first time, and things that you feel proud of. Aim to build on these successes in 2024.
Create Your Vision for 2024 and Beyond
Having a vision is not quite the same as having goals (more on goals in a bit). Visualising allows you to really connect to your goals, your purpose and your “why”. Creating a vision board can really help you to gain clarity on why you are doing what you do, and it can help you to shape your goals. You don’t need to limit your vision to the next 12 months - think about what you want in the next 1, 3, 5, even 10 years!
Set Your Goals for 2024
Once you have your vision, setting your goals for the year ahead becomes more straightforward. Your goals need to mean something to you for you to want to put the required work into achieving them. Think about where your vision takes you, and set goals that will enable that vision to become a reality.
Setting SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) goals can help you get more clarity on what exactly your goal is and how you will go about reaching it.
Breaking your yearly goals down into smaller, quarterly goals can also help make them more manageable. It also helps you to hold yourself accountable as you check your progress every quarter.
Create Your Roadmap
Having goals with no plan is like having a destination and no map. Creating a roadmap can help you to focus on and prioritise the tasks you need to do in order to achieve your goals. This can help prevent you from getting sidetracked or losing motivation as the year progresses.
Start by allocating major tasks to the months when they have to be completed, and then from there you can allocate tasks to specific days or weeks. It can help to start in December and work backwards. Inevitably, you will need to adapt your plan and switch things around as you move through the year. Having a roadmap gives your year a structure, which you can then fill in and work around.
Plan, Schedule, Prioritise
I plan every month, week and day of my working life. This helps me to stay on-task, focused, motivated and productive. It also helps me to work “on” my businesses whilst keeping up with packing orders, restocking and managing clients.
Knowing what you are doing each day and being disciplined about what happens when can help you to stay focused and on-task. It also helps you resist the feeling that you have to compromise on your boundaries. Valuing your time and being able to say no to last-minute bookings, cancellations and impossible client / customer demands will help you to focus and achieve a better work-life balance.
Look Back to Go Forward
Each month, set aside an hour to review the month that has just gone. Note down your KPIs (key performance indicators - profit, turnover, etc) and take stock of what you have achieved that month. Tick off any goals and tasks you have completed and make necessary changes to your roadmap.
Pre-Order the 2024 Equine Business Planner by Purple Horse Planners
Getting clarity and staying focused is easier when you have a business planner! The 2024 Business Planner by Purple Horse Planners contains everything you need to visualise, plan and achieve the year you want. Flexible enough to be used your way, the Business Planner guides you into 2024 and helps you stay focused and motivated no matter what the year throws at you.
Pre-orders are open 1st September - 29th September 2023.
Pre-order your copy now for just £34.99 (£39.99 after pre-orders close).