From the Desk of Marty Schaffel: Our Path Forward
Published Date: Sep 09, 2020
“A business or organization is a series of problems you have to solve, one step at a time...A business or organization becomes sustainable when the problems become manageable!"- Guy Raz
Organizations are formed to solve problems, address needs, or meet the wants of its members. It is our job to come together to solve those problems. We are successful if we can identify what needs to be done and proceed to get it all accomplished.
One problem we need to address continuously is the issue of financial viability. And to do that, we need to address the various sources of funds to fund our shows and association.
The least viable way to accomplish this is to forever count on donations from those who can afford to make those donations. The most feasible way to keep our shows and association funded is to find businesses that would like to advertise at our shows and to our members. This is very difficult to do right now because we do not have the critical mass to attract advertisers.
So we need to take one step back and determine how to build that critical mass. How do we create an audience large enough to attract business sponsors and advertisers?
This needs to be one of our biggest priorities. We need more participants. And we can’t advertise for those participants because we don’t have the funds to do it. So we are on a bit of a merry-go-round. To break out of this circle, we must start with a determined intent to build our industry. We need:
- More lesson programs
- More camps and other fun events
- Attract more people to our horse shows by making them more and more fun.
- Also, attract more participants to our horse shows by expanding the variety of classes and events.
- Find ways to make this affordable for those who cannot buy the most expensive horses we breed
- Increase the number of spectators by making it fun and interesting to watch our classes for the least experienced attendee
When we can increase the number of those participating or watching, we add to our audience size. This will make advertising at our shows more cost-justified to potential advertisers.
When we have more advertisers, we can use the money to market for more participants. When we have more participants, we have more potential owners and buyers. Then we will be on a merry-go-round we can like.
As we increase the size of our market, everyone benefits. The shows are better. Trainers and breeders are more successful. Lesson barns flourish. Less pressure is put on participants to donate money. If and when the donated funds dry up, the industry is still growing and thriving. That is the best way we can preserve and build a thriving market for future generations to enjoy.
Marty Schaffel, ASHA President