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wildheartwestern
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Thanks Rowan @ GardenLarder for your reply, I appreciate your feedback.

To keep my original post not too lengthy (which it sort of was anyway) I didn’t get into too many of the ins-and-outs of it but I agree, the venture will absolutely be treated like a business, as you put it I cannot rescue any animals if there are no profits made to fund the program.

I imagine I would spend at least the first 1-2 years setting-up the business aspect i.e. selling equestrian themed apparel starting off with basics, slowly expanding over that 1-2 year timeframe and probably even beyond that. Then at some point will focus on diverting some of the profits towards establishing the rescue & rehabilitation program.

I really don’t want the business to become another high-end equestrian apparel store because there are already so many I feel it would distract from the direction I’m actually wanting to head in.

I would like the business to operate on a reasonably low retail mark-up, low cost / high turnover approach. I would like everyone to be able to afford at least some of the products.

I’m fortunate enough that the region I live in has numerous agricultural shows with major horse events and would look into having a stall at as many of those shows as I can possibly manage.

I will take your advice about finding someone who has experience with branding though, feel I’m a little out of my depth there.

I also wouldn’t be looking to fundraise as such, I don’t think it would be appropriate because it can be hard to explain to people why it can take one horse 3 months to train and another 2 or more years. Instead I was thinking of perhaps hiring horse equipment and running some budget community events.

It is a very good point to become the “go to” person for rehoming/rescue etc. – honestly hadn’t even crossed my mind yet.

As for the online store aspect, I felt that was the best way to potentially reach regional customers but we have a local lady who has a children’s clothing business and occasionally drives to public locations to deliver items / meet customers get some face-to-face interaction for her business – as we have only a small town with next to no clothing retailers – this lady has told me that this approach works well for our community – it’s over an hour to nearest big city. I thought I’d take a simipar approach.