No one wants to look at overgrown lawns, out-of-control bushes, peeling paint, or broken fencing. Neglecting the aesthetic aspects of your barn will turn away prospective clients and give current clients a reason to look elsewhere.
If you need to spruce up the barn, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars. Following are seven easy ways to give your horse business a facelift without going into debt.
1- Mow and/or re-sod. And I’m not just talking about the pastures where the horses graze. Focus on giving the grounds around your barn a healthy lawn, as this will give the impression that you care about the little things. Then, once it looks nice, commit yourself to mowing, fertilizing, and watering on a regular basis to maintain the appeal.
2- Paint everything. The barn, the fences, the railings, the shed—give every exposed piece of wood a new life with a fresh coat of paint. Use durable materials that will last, and ask for volunteers among your clients so you don’t have to pay workers for the help.
3- Plant flowers. Most barns have bushes and trees, but flowers add an extra pop of color that can make a distinct difference in how your barn looks upon approach. Find flowers that are native to your area and that don’t require much upkeep to stay alive.
4- Buy a sign. This is one area where I recommend spending some money. Have a professional sign made for your barn that gives the name, contact information, services offered, and a pleasing graphic. Make sure it’s large enough to be noticed and put it in a visible location.
5- Clear the cobwebs. Clumps of dirt, dust, cobwebs, and other matter can build up around the barn, and it makes everything look dingy. Take a trusty broom and sweep from the top down, then go back over metal parts with a cleaning solution. Do this once every six months at least to cut down on the debris.
6- Establish uniformity. Purchase identical tack boxes to put in front of all the stalls rather than letting your clients bring their own. Create name plaques for all the horses and hang them on the same place in front of every stall. Install blanket racks, halter hooks, and other hardware on the stalls. Uniformity is pleasing to the eye.
7- Hide the clutter. And finally, get rid of the clutter that makes your barn look trashy and uninviting. Store, give away, or throw out broken equipment, and store working equipment in sheds or carports. Pick up halters, lead ropes, trash, and other equipment and find a place to store it all. Build cabinets for supplies. When things aren’t lying around in plain view, the whole barn looks better.
I’m not saying these tips will make your barn look new, but they will show you care. Keep up with the appearance of your barn, and your clients will have more confidence in your ability to provide for them and their horses.