Starting a business is never easy, and establishing your customer service platform can be difficult. Finding the right way to earn your customers trust and grow your business is unique to every startup and I had the opportunity to interview fellow University of Nevada, Reno graduate and one of my closest friends Jaclyn Dunt, about her business she started in November 2014, Free Flow Equine Services.
Here is a little bit about her journey into starting her own business:
“I first learned about the business while I was competitively riding as a junior and working at a show jumping barn. Molly Wells, the pioneer of the Acuscope industry, frequently treated horses at the barn I worked at and I witnessed firsthand the amazing results. I chose to do my Senior Project in high school on Acuscope Therapy, which entailed over 200 hours of shadowing. I really enjoyed helping the horses and seeing how well the Acuscope worked to keep their bodies performing at such a high level.
After high school, I went to UNR Business School, keeping in mind that I wanted a broad degree that would allow me to continue working as a professional in the horse industry. I chose Business Management with minor in Sociology. I enjoyed attending UNR, especially in the business school where the students are all very close and frequently work together on projects.
After graduating and traveling for a few months, I contacted Molly Wells again and signed up to become a certified therapist. It is an intensive 3 week course, focusing on anatomy and bio mechanics of moment. Working with Molly and another student towards these goals was definitely intense – as was the final exam. When I passed my exam and began my own LLC, I loved the flexibility of the job and the sense of accomplishment I felt at the end of every day.”
Beginning a business is just the first step, so we discussed a little more in detail about how she finds her customers and provides a great experience for them. Here is a little about her take on gaining customers:
“Word of mouth and reputation are crucial. It is important to have customers that refer you to other clients, especially in the Reno area. Also building a company brand name that people recommend and remember has been helpful. There are a few other therapists in the area, so it is important to go above and beyond for your clients in order to promote your brand.”
In order to gain more clients she discussed the importance of referrals and word of mouth as the platform she has used to build her business. She has tried flyers and posters, but it doesn’t compare to her word of mouth reputation. She also networks at events and makes sure to meet with people face to face. Attending horse shows is another way she gains potential customers, because there are many trainers and owners in one place, who are all passionate about the industry.
Finally, we discussed a little bit about where she is at in her business currently and some of her future goals. At the moment the company is hosted through Facebook and the company website: freeflowequine.com. Her client base consists of 16 customers located in the Northern Nevada and Central/Southern California areas. She recently moved to Santa Barbara, California where she is planning to continue and hopefully expand her customer base.
Check out her Facebook, website, and LinkedIn for more information!
Photo Credit: Jaclyn Dunt