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How to Become a Horse Tack Dealer
If you’re thinking of starting a horse tack business, consider the type of tack you will sell and who will buy it. Many horse tack products relate to basic horse care and have broad general appeal. But equestrian sports differ greatly and most require specialized tack. This special equipment can range from an imported double bridle for a Grand Prix dressage rider to a calf roper's dally wrap. Your bottom line depends on your ability to meet the needs of your customers on a continuing basis. Becoming a dealer for a popular line of tack can attract new customers.
Steps to Success
Identify your potential customers. Familiarize yourself with equestrian groups in your area. Go to local horse shows. Talk to horse owners about what tack they buy and what they want. Focus on the brands they use. Scope out competing sellers. Note what they sell. Use this information to decide what to sell and how to sell it. That is, will you sell English or Western tack, or both? Will you carry show halters for Morgan horse owners or riding helmets for cross country riders? Decide if you will sell online, from a storefront, or from a booth at local horse events.
Research tack suppliers. Are there franchises available that can draw additional customers to your business? There are some product lines that can bring in new customers. If the franchise or dealership requires a written contract, investigate the terms, particularly the amount of product you are required to sell. Consult a lawyer before you sign.
Write a business plan. Use the market research you have collected and map out a strategy for your business. You will need to put down on paper everything you need to do to run the business. Include the cost of inventory and the prices you expect to charge. If you have never written a business plan, go to the U.S. Small Business Administration website. The SBA offers an excellent 30-minute online course that explains the process step-by-step.
Complete the operational details. This includes setting up a business
accounting ledger and obtaining a taxpayer identification number. Check with municipal and county offices to find out what permits or licenses you will need. Confirm the requirements for collecting and reporting sales tax. Order business cards.
Market your business online, through referrals, and advertising. Ads in organization newsletters are inexpensive and give your business a commercial presence. Put your carefully constructed plan into action and start selling.
Find that one product that everyone in your area wants and then make sure you supply it at the best price.
M.C. English has a J.D. in law, a B.A. in journalism and minors in marketing and English. She has published in the Omaha World Herald, regional magazines, legal journals and most recently the Journal of South Texas. She has worked as a staff writer, editor, lawyer, college professor and investigator.