By Susan and Joseph Urban, E3A Certified Advanced Practitioners (Corporate)
One of the advantages of equine-assisted learning (EAL) is that the activities get people out of the office and into an environment where they are challenged by what our equine friends can tell us about ourselves. For most people that are running an EAL business, or may be preparing to start one in the near future (like ourselves), conducting and facilitating horse activities is one of the most fun and enjoyable
parts of the job. Running a successful EAL business, however, also requires business skills above and beyond knowing how to successfully facilitate horse activities.
Coming from academic careers, we personally have much to learn about running an equine-based service business. Fortunately, E3A provides a series of four business courses with breadth and depth to focus on topics such as developing your
business vision, mission, and values; facility operations and volunteer development; online and offline marketing; and strategic and business development planning. The materials for these courses are based on a book authored by PJ Stegen, with Kim Shook contributor, entitled Everything You Need to Know to GET STARTED in an Equine-Based Service Business. We have taken three of these courses with plans the
take the fourth course, and highly recommend the E3A business development series to anyone planning to begin a new EAL business.
We would also like to hear from equine facilitators with experience in starting and running a successful EAL business. For the benefit of E3A members that are in the beginning stages of establishing an EAL business, what words of wisdom can the experienced members provide about the business skills needed to run a profitable enterprise?