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What a successful Colorado barn business looks like

The Barn Business: Colorado Western Horse on Turning a Barn into a Business

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At Colorado Western Horse we have years of equestrian experience. In fact, if you combine the equestrian experience of all our members we’d estimate you have over 1,000 years of combined experience! Whoa!

As a result, we know a few things about running a success barn. Since part of our club is providing horses for club members, we work with a great variety of barn owners. We put out an email to a few of them asking for their tips on starting, and running a successful barn.

  1. Get a materials list.

Another way of thinking of this is in terms of a cost list. Most barn startups fall into two categories. The first are those who already have a barn and want to expand into offering service to the public. The second are those who are starting from scratch. Obviously, both have very different starting points and as a result, have very different needs.

The startup needs everything, which is more expensive but can sometimes make planning easier. The person with an existing barn needs make an extensive list of what they already have. Often this can be a huge motivator as you look over the list and realize that you have a huge amount of the critical items already!

But don’t get discouraged if you don’t!

Put a dollar value on the material costs and crunch some numbers to see if you can run with it what you have. You should plan on running with no profit for at least the first 3 months and ideally the first 6 months. Expecting this makes it much easier to handle!

  1. Use your “power base”

Powerbase is a phrase we pulled from motivational speakers and entrepreneur Grant Cardone. Basically, you need to create a list of those people who are already in your network. Sometimes this can feel uncomfortable as you end up asking friends and family to invest in or use your barn. But there is nothing to be uncomfortable about!

Would you rather not be uncomfortable or have a success barn? By putting things in those terms it can help give a jolt to your system and get you on the right path.


Your power base is anyone who knows you. Anyone. Even if it is someone you knew 10 years ago!

  1. Prepare to be a manager.

Managing employees is not easy. If you’ve never managed a team we highly recommend you start cracking the books. While nothing will teach you like the school of hard knocks we suggest a combination of action and education. Again, look at your power base and talk to anyone who has managed a small team before.

However, when we looked at the general theme of the email responses we got one thing stood out. Most people say they had the best success with a simple rule: Treat others that way you would want to be treated.

  1. Never stop learning!

The most dangerous idea you can have is the idea that you know everything there is to know! If you approach everything with the idea that you have a lot to learn you will simply be more successful.

There is certainly more to know than this! But we feel these are the first things to consider before getting into the barn business!

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