Market Analysis Summary
Everybody knows, and it should come as no surprise, that the Oklahoma market is extremely “equine-centric.” However, the statistical facts supporting it’s level of equine activity are surprisingly impressive none the less. Oklahoma, while ranked 27th in state population, is ranked 4th in total total equine inventory (165,000 equine inventory) and 4th in total equine inventory sold ($30,000,000 in value of sales) according to the U.S. Census and U.S. Agricultural Census.
In addition, and of great significance, is an unpublished but well known observation of the target market. “The Triangle” is an area known by all Oklahoma equine industry participants as the center of activity for the Oklahoma equine market. This area is loosely identified by an area outlined by Oklahoma City to Bristow to Stillwater. EquineAcres will be situated near the heart of “The Triangle”… the most active geographic equine market, in the 4th most active equine market, in the United States.
4.1 Target Market Segment Strategy
Within this target market, EquineAcres will target three primary customer groups:
- Existing “pleasure” equine owners desiring to board and enjoy their horses, in a safe and upscale environment, with little or no specific care responsibilities on their part.
- Existing “business” equine owners who will leverage the business, marketing, and care aspects of EquineAcres to enhance their current business operation.
- Non-equine owners who have long desired to become an equine owner but have not done so due to the time, care, risk, expense, and/or knowledge requirements associated with equine ownership. EquineAcres is the only entity (known) in existance that is specifically positioned to address these needs, and therefore able to tap this previously untapped marketplace.
4.1.1 Market Growth
Market growth, as related to EquineAcres, is an interesting subject. While Oklahoma population growth is among the top 1/2 of U.S. state’s growth (at 9.7% per annum), and an increase in populate will yield a statistically relative growth in equine ownership, EquineAcres market growth will not primarily come from this source. Neither will it come from industry growth, the equine markets is perhaps one of the longest and most stable industries in America. Rather, the growth of EquineAcres will stem directly from the offering of a unique, attractive, and profitable solution to an existing unmet market need. Market penetration, rather than market growth, will form the foundation for EquineAcres growth.
4.1.2 Market Needs
The American equine love affair runs throughout our history, has never faded, and never will. There are few people who have not, at least once in their lifetime, dreamed of equine ownership and enjoyment. Especially in Oklahoma (and other similar “western”) states, the population is constantly bombarded by pleasurable equine exposure spanning everything from television commercials to the sights encountered while driving any distance greater than 30 miles. However, from personal experience, the true ownership and care requirements are daunting. EquineAcres solves those most basic challenges opening up the possibility of equine ownership to those who have previously desired, but have been unable or unwilling, to do so.
However, simply providing the place and service is not enough. EquineAcres will utilize a lifetime of business experience and acquired skills to operate in a clean, safe, upscale business manner. This in itself is extremely unique among most every other equine related business in operation. “Cowboys” don’t know or care much about good business operations.
Building upon the previous statement, the existing Oklahoma equine market ($30,000,000 in annual sales) is served, to a large extent, by “the Cowboy.” While they typically do not (or will not) implement solid business practices on their own, they readily recognize the potential benefit of doing so. EquineAcres will offer the existing equine business owner (aka, “horse-trader”) with the powerful business and marketing power they have always dreamed of being able to execute on their own. To these businesses, EquineAcres will be akin to a neighborhood used car dealer having the sales and marketing power of a major car dealership at their disposal.
4.2 Service Business Analysis
As mentioned throughout this business plan, EquineAcres is an extremely unique business and therefore there are no direct, “apples to apples” competitors. EquineAcres assembles a complete line of products and services, all needed and desired by the target market, but not available to them from a single source anywhere, until now. A brief overview of these product and service sets follows:
1. Equine Boarding
EquineAcres offers a never before available equine boarding facility. This unique approach surpasses every currently available boarding option in every possible way…a safer and healthier living environment, greater individual space, total care and monitoring, all at a price point substantially below that available from any other source.
2. Equine Products
EquineAcres will offer a complete line of products available for resale both to members, guests, visitors, and over a fully functional website with online shopping capability. These will initially include: all feed and equine care products, support equipment, complete line of saddles, and tack. Additional products will be added as the market dictates.
3. Equine Services
EquineAcres will assemble a complete list of service providers, available to members on an individual contract basis, at a reduced rate than that available individually. In addition, these service providers will provide their services on-site, under the direction of EquineAcres, thereby eliminating the need for the equine owner to be present. These services will initially include: 24-hour veterinarian on call, farrier, groomer, trainers in a complete range of disciplines, and equine photography. Additional services will be added as the market dictates.
4. Equine Facilities
EquineAcres will offer an amazing mixture of facilities designed to meet the pleasure and training needs of the owner. These facilities will initially include: lighted arena suitable for event training, round-pens for training purposes, interior close care stalls for intensive equine care, 80-acres of open pleasure riding terrain, isolation pens for individual care, and standard equine support equipment. Additional facilities will be added as the market dictates.
5. Business Services
EquineAcres will also offer a complete range of business services designed to augment the equine owner’s business needs. These services will initially include: creation of an equine history report (detailing past pedigree, training, show, and medical history), upkeep of a running equine report (detailing all breeding, training, medical, feed, and show history while residing at EquineAcres), personal Web page or website including private email address, EquineAcres mailing address, and “tell, show, and sell” services for equine sellers. Additional business services will be added as the market dictates.
6. Retreat Community
Perhaps the most unique of all the EquineAcres offerings, a “retreat community” atmosphere will be the epicenter. Members will find a community atmosphere in which they can share their experiences and passions with other members with which they hold these things in common. While a member may choose to only come and go as needed, the individual retreats and the EquineAcres facility as a whole are set up to encourage members to spend entire weekends. The barn rooms, while ideal for storage of their tack and support equipment, will also be set up to be entirely suitable as a “weekend cabin.” This, in addition to community events, newsletters, public address announcements, and overall camaraderie of the community will provide an extremely attractive and unavailable elsewhere emotional draw to EquineAcres.
Offerings #2, #3, #4, and #5 above are each individually available elsewhere. Offerings #1 and #6, in their EquineAcres format, are virtually unavailable but much desired by the equine owner market. Nowhere however, are all six of these super sets, with their full range of subsets, available in a single location. While common to other special interest groups (boating, golfing, fishing, etc.), this concept does not exist anywhere for the equine enthusiast. Yet, the equine enthusiast is every bit as passionate about their interest, affluent, and desirous to spend as an equine owner as are any member of any other special interest group.
4.2.1 Distributing a Service
Equine owners are accustomed to maintaining a long list of individual suppliers for their equine related needs. Some are local, some distant, some businesslike, some “shady,” some cash, some credit, some on-site, some they must visit, over the Internet, at retail outlets, mail order, auction, and remote locations. This presents a daunting and expensive proposition to the new or casual equine owner until they find the best source or outlet for each of their needs. To the experienced equine owner, this presents a time consuming and difficult to manage set of relationships requiring each product or service to be purchased individually.
While EquineAcres members will be welcome to purchase all of their support needs individually, it is certain that the vast majority will choose to purchase the EquineAcres offerings. This will be due to the convenience factor of a single source and reinforced because of the competitive pricing available through EquineAcres volume purchasing ability and strategic business relationships. More convenient and less expensive; most will choose EquineAcres products and services.
4.2.2 Competition and Buying Patterns
Equine owners make purchases based on three priorities: *Price, *Convenience, *Quality. The individual importance of these three priorities depends on the owners position as an owner.
- Pleasure owners may prioritize as 1) Quality, 2) Price, 3) Convenience.
- Casual owners my prioritize as 1) Convenience, 2) Quality, 3) Price.
- Business owners may prioritize as 1) Price, 2) Convenience, 3) Quality.
EquineAcres however, has the unique ability to meet all of these buying patterns:
Strategic business relationships, volume purchase capability, and sales and marketing ability will allow EquineAcres to provide all products and services competitive with any other source while maintaining an extremely attractive profit margin.
This advantage can not be over stated. A single source for the purchase of products and execution of services, coupled with the total care approach thereby releasing the equine owner from daily responsibilities, provides for maximum convenience.
Existing business relationships have identified sources for a quality of products and services unsurpassed by any other source or vendor. As newer, higher quality, products and/or services are identified they will be added to the EquineAcres list of offerings.
4.2.3 Business Participants
Current boarding facilities in the area offer two forms of boarding as follows:
- Partial Board: requires the owner to be present at least once per day, every day, to care for their equine. Average: $75/month/equine.
- Full Board: offers full care of the equine similar to EquineAcres (see exceptions below). Average: $350/month/equine.
- In all cases, these facilities require keeping the equine in a stall/run environment with extremely limited space. This is an undesirable living environment for a large, active animal.
- While there are currently several “Partial Board” slots available in competing boarding facilities, these are undesirable due to the daily commitment required by the equine owner.
- “Full Board” slots are currently completely booked, with a two year waiting period.
Equine Products, Services, Facilities, and Business Services
These products and services are available from a variety of industry participants, in a variety of formats, however nowhere are all of these products and services available through a single source.
With absolute certainty, no entity of this sort exists anywhere in the local region. In addition, none have been identified, anywhere else, nationally.