Be honest with yourself in listing and identifying weaknesses. You can try to hide them from yourself, but the market you are in will discover them.
A. Lack of an Ability, Skill, Degree or Certification: In order to start your horse business, determine if the state in which you intend to operate has any special licensing requirements that require education or training in a particular field. If you need to complete certain coursework or training to achieve this licensing, find out how, when and where you can do this.
NOTE: If your state does not require and special Certifications, see if you can achieve Certifications in your field in any event. Being able to market your horse business through additional education, training, and certifications will be a Strength.
In the event that you personally cannot achieve the degree of skill, ability, or education that would be necessary, can you alter your role in your horse business to overcome this Weakness? Starting or expanding a horse business into a different area of products or services may require bringing in a partner or employing that skill and ability (and cost) in your business operations.
B. Known Competitor(s) of Good Reputation, Business Practices, Scale and Experience:
Your chief competitor(s) may be well-positioned, financially strong, have a loyal customer base and present what you see as a formidable challenge. Spend time studying your competitor. Determine what they do best and rank their products and services offered from highest to lowest quality. Your business plans may need to be tweaked to offer more of a niche product or services line.
NOTE: Very large businesses are capable or having a devastating impact on small businesses. Do not underestimate difficulty of competing with a well-heeled and well-managed competitor. However, do not abandon your plans to start your horse business.
The key will be in understanding the product and service mix of your competitor(s). If you offer the same products and same services as your competitor(s), you will encounter difficulty. Search for your niche and your opening. You may need to go more upscale, offer more services, offer more amenities, but in some fashion you must be different to compete successfully.
No business can offer all things to all people and sell all the customers. Your Weakness will ultimately be that you have not yet found your feet, found your niche, and found the approach your horse business need to take.
C. Lack of Financial Resources: Obviously, having sufficient financing to start your horse business is very important. This is a complex issue and has huge impacts on your ability to start a horse business as you envision it. Here are some issues to consider in determining where how you will view your financial resources and the amount of resources you need.
One: Even if you have very good resources upon which you can draw (Cash, IRA, Retirement or other sources), your business plan may not justify risking those assets. This is important to consider.
Two: If you do not have sufficient resources to start your horse business (as you envision it), do not count on a brilliant business plan to be rewarded with bank loans or angel investors; you would be very lucky for this to happen. Again, the question is raised: If you get the loan (and debt), does the business plan justify the risk?
Three: Re-think your overall business plan and break the business into as many smaller, individual components as you reasonably can. Look for a less costly start-up component that you can start, a Spin-Up Business. What you want to achieve is the least amount of debt that begins to produce an income stream instead of a debt structure. REMEMBER: The Spin-Up Horse Business that you will start is one that you will KEEP and GROW. It may be one which in the future you will manage or hire an employee to handle, but keep the income stream coming in.
The importance of starting a horse business that is producing an income stream for you is very important. Lenders are more interested in on-going businesses with a track record than a start-up business and no record of success. Your future borrowing ability for purposes of expansion of a business will be more favorably viewed by Lenders, Family and Friends, and others after a track record is established.
If you are satisfied you have discovered the Weaknesses in your plan, then rank them and as the most important you need to resolve the lowest priority.
If you have a weakness in a skill, ability or certification, how did your competition handle this matter? Is there anything about their approach or business structure that circumvented this Weakness?
If believe that you have discovered a niche business that is not presently served by the Competition, could they easily add this product or service? Is there a reason they are not offering this product or service?
Other than the immediate desire to have all you want now, what is your justification for not starting your horse business as a Spin-Up, limiting debt, and producing an income stream earlier in this process?
If the plan for your horse business is as compartmentalized as you can see, have you brainstormed enough and sought help from as many sources as you can? Necessity is the mother of invention (Plato, 2,400 + years ago and still hold true today).