Nikki’s Notes: Smart Moves When Selling Your Horse Business

Avant Marketeer Nikki Alvin-Smith Offers Timely Insights For Your Marketing Delight

 Life changes, retirement or simply being burned out, can all convene to make it apparent that it’s time to sell your horse business. Building an equine industry empire to good profitability is subject to many market forces, and ups and downs should be expected in the financial returns. But a smart business owner knows that alongside building a business at some point will come the need to formulate an exit strategy to sell the company.

In some cases, brands are begun with an original intent simply to market the business and sell off the brand as soon as they have the leverage of a customer base to do so, regardless of whether the customer list proves positive cash flow numbers or not.

PR/Marketing Strategist and Specialist, Nikki Alvin-Smith offers insights to guide the business owner in executing smart moves in building a viable exit strategy.

“Over my career I have helped the owners of several types of horse companies develop and successfully elevate their business to execute a strong sale position in their marketplace. Obviously to a large degree, the type of business dictates the specifics of what the strategy should be to make the business as attractive as possible to the purchaser.

From veterinary practices to horse product manufacturers, horse breeding farms to medical equipment inventions and equestrian fashion lines, there is always a need to make a timely sale at some point.

The first step in a PR/Marketing strategy is sometimes not as obvious as you might think. No, it is not always showcasing a large sales turnover or vibrant cash flow, or well-endowed dividend pot to share among investors. In today’s highly competitive global marketplace driven in huge part by online activity, sometimes it is as simple as increasing the ‘followers’ on social media and offering customer acquisition value that is well-targeted to a specific niche within an industry.

Successful small companies are often family-run enterprises that do not have the stewardship of high-flying executives well-versed in all things financial. Neither do they have a network of industry colleagues ready to jump in and swallow up their company or business with the whiff of a deal discussed over a game at the local golf club. In fact in my experience, folks are so busy running and operating their small business they rarely have the time to really develop any sort of exit strategy goal never mind deliver one. For the busy multi-hat wearing business owner, creation of excellent, unique content marketing and business development for a sale is not always high on the priority list. But it should be.

Brand visibility is often as important as brand viability. While a well-heeled business with a good ratio of expected transfer of clientele will always be an attractive investment proposition it is important to remember that customer acquisition costs {CAC} drive so much revenue off the bottom line that the sale of a horse business (or any other type of business for that matter), is greatly affected by the potency of the brand’s reach.

It is easy to overlook where you will find the buyer for your business. Marketing your entity on the open market regardless of Non-Disclosure Agreement executions and lawyerly advice, can be stressful for a business owner. The need to share details of their customer base, sales success or failure, inventory levels, marketing metrics, and even personal financial details, can understandably be a loss of privacy and knowledge of their business savvy they don’t want to lose or to leverage. It can be especially hard to share these insights with their long-time competitors. And similarly, concerns that the business will be ‘raided’, employment of loyal staff compromised with lay-offs, and that the business will not offer the legacy that the founder envisaged, are all valid.

Sometimes the buyer of a business will be right under the nose of the business owner already working within their ranks. Other prospective sale situations may involve intense negotiations that suck up masses of valuable time just to fall apart at the 11th hour with competitive companies that walk away and know you don’t have the financial stability/resources to go after them when your business ideas are poached.

Unfortunately, the sale of a business can be an emotional challenge and such instances are all part of putting a business on the market. But being well-prepared with a good team around you and building up the right avenue of content to help multiply the sales numbers can work wonders on the ultimate sale price point and that will be emotionally as well as financially satisfying.

Marketing strategy takes some time to work, and a lead-in time to any goal is necessary. Usually a 6–12-month period should be allowed to execute a workable, simple PR/Marketing plan to build the cornerstones of a good exit position.

My eldest son is a senior level litigator, and as an experienced negotiator in the realm of tort law and various case histories he has counseled me wisely with the expression, “A good settlement is where neither side walk away happy.”

When it comes to selling a business perhaps the same could be said. Though in my optimistic mind I’d rather work towards, “A good deal is where both parties walk away happy.”

As a seasoned content producer and marketing strategist I know that building the right numbers in the right places will address the ultimate goal, the best price. Whether you are working to a 5-year exit strategy plan or a 6-month goal, focusing attention on the right marketing moves is an investment in that future dollar amount. Don’t miss the opportunity to boost it.”

If you are looking for a new or better direction to build your business visit Horse in a Kilt Media Inc., to learn more about Nikki’s stable full of marketing skills as an artful content writer, equestrian blogger, columnist, video producer and scriptwriter, film production showrunner, professional photographer, and marketing specialist and strategist. As a British/American professional Grand Prix competitor/coach/clinician she brings a unique experience/angles and thought leadership/authority to her wordsmith wizardry.

About Nikki:
Internationally published writer, content creator, PR/Marketing specialist, photographer and equestrian Nikki Alvin-Smith offers “Engaging Content that Engages Riders to Read,” with unique and fresh material for your horse or pet related business, magazine, website, newsletter, blog, and email blast sales machine. Her portfolio of works is extensive and includes equestrian and pet features that have been published worldwide in over 260 different magazine titles. Her clients include/have included: equestrian and “B” list movie celebrities for whom she regularly ghostwrites and provides PR services; manufacturers of equine and pet related medical devices, feedstuffs, supplements, grooming supplies, fencing and barn equipment, horse transport, horse structures and professional equine service providers; profit and non-profit initiatives and organizations; and non-equestrian related businesses/publications in the pet industry, investment, real estate and international travel and rural lifestyle.

Nikki Alvin-Smith is a British international level Grand Prix dressage competitor/trainer/coach/clinician. Together with her husband Paul, who is also a Grand Prix dressage rider, Nikki operates Willowview Hill Farm , a private dressage yard and organic hay farm in the Catskill Mountains of New York. The duo provides ‘team’ clinician services to clients worldwide to riders of all levels and many riding disciplines.

Contact: Nikki Alvin-Smith: Content Writer; PR/Marketing Specialist
Cell: 607 434 4470