Equestrian business consultant Elisabeth McMillan recently wrote a column detailing her trials and triumphs in client communication.

Quality communication and understanding between you and your clients is key to good business and relationships. Unfortunately, the dilemma of clients misunderstanding you and your work is all-too-common. 

In the column, McMillan recounts some of the issues she has worked through with client communication — issues that were causing problems for her business.

McMillan says she “had to let go” of “thinking clients should know more than they do.” Instead, she seeks to meet her clients where they are instead of where she thinks they should be.

Another relatable problem McMillan faced was allowing fatigue get in the way of talking to her clients about their needs and her work to meet them.

Further, she says her busy schedule often prevented her from realizing that her practices needed to change.

However, McMillan realized that taking the time to be clear about her propositions and what she wanted from her customers so that they could both benefit fully from their relationship was crucial. She also put systems in place to help her communicate even when faced with fatigue.

“In hindsight, there is only one more thing I wish I’d done more frequently and that is ask for help and feedback from other business owners and horse professionals,” McMillan says. “The support would have saved me a lot of time and energy.”

McMillan notes that learning these lessons was not an easy task.

“Lest you think this happened in an easy way, let me assure you that it did not,” says McMillan. “It happened painfully (though not frequently) over the course of years not weeks.”