The Importance of Getting Your Equestrian Business Online in 2023

Holly Thomson runs a livery yard, and also works full time at Black Nova, a company specialising in IT solutions such as websites and hosting, with a specific knowledge in the equestrian and rural industries, and wants to share her views as to why its important for businesses wanting to thrive in these hard times to consider their online presence…

“As the very real cost of living crisis hits us all, horse owners are inevitably going to struggle to continue to keep their equines, which ultimately are a luxury in life. Whilst those of us who are devout equestrians would staunchly argue, they aren’t a luxury they are an unwavering and unnegotiable part of life, the reality is we choose to keep horses and we choose to pay for their lives in order to do so.

 I live and breathe this industry along with all of its highs and lows. I am also a member of the LiveryList managed Facebook Group Livery Yard Owners UK: Discussions and Advice  and regularly engage with the posts from fellow yard owners expressing their concerns, seeking advice and sharing their experiences.

We are all familiar with the never-ending to do list, with which seemingly in imperfect harmony accompanies the never-ending list of things to pay for. In addition, we are battling with the cost of living crisis vs the very real issue of constant under-charging in our industry due to a whole host of reasons from both sides; yard owners and their clients.

Whilst some yard owners and managers are utilising the online world effectively, there are still far too many yet to embrace the digital age. The reality of that is, they are limiting their business’ success and losing potential clients by resisting. Even if your yard is constantly full and you feel no need to ‘advertise’ your business, a website can offer a plethora of benefits above and beyond attracting new clients.

Whilst I’d advise any livery yard business to utilise both social media and a website. Just having social media for your livery yard isn’t enough, especially considering not all of the population uses social media on a regular basis, and some simply don’t use it at all!

Periods of no, or few liveries can often leave us feeling panicked and pressured about our finances and ultimately the future of our yard, which for many of us including myself, is a childhood dream come true. The other advantage is that you can also use a website to promote other aspects of your business too, perhaps facility hire or auxiliary services that are available year round.

Ultimately a livery yard should follow the same golden rules for marking any business, to create a strong and consistent visual brand, supported by a website and social media presence. Word of mouth is a powerful reference tool but not to be solely relied upon in this era of technology.

For the purpose of this piece, we’re exploring the benefits a website can bring to your livery business. A website can then be linked to a vast number of online directories such as LiveryList, search engines like Google and their Google My Business scheme, which is brilliant for businesses seeking local exposure and customers, so ideal for livery yards who’s clients will be looking for yards near them.

Black Nova creates fully responsive, award-winning WordPress websites. Much to the delight of most of you I’m sure, you’ll be pleased to know that when it comes to a website, livery yard businesses don’t need to have site with all the bells and whistles, and a hefty price tag attached. A simple, modern, fully responsive and informative brochure site is more than enough to have the desired effect.

In an industry where experience and trust are absolutely vital for success, one of the biggest advantages of having a website is that is improves the credibility of you and your business.

“56% of the consumers surveyed said they don’t trust a business without a website,” according to a survey by Weebly.

Your website will become the hardest working member of your team, working 365 days per year, 24 hours a day. It takes no sick days, no Bank Holidays, it’s not going to throw in the towel when the weather turns, or because the work is too hard. Yes, it may not be physically helping you with those never ending yard chores, but it is working for you and your business at any given second.

Black Nova are here to help you. With an extensive portfolio of equestrian websites under our belt, we know the terminology, we know the industry and we know what clients want to hear and see.

If you’d like us at Black Nova to see how we can assist you in creating or improving your website or social media, please do not hesitate to get in touch!

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