Entrepreneur Kathy Kyre wanted to change her life. At age 55, she came to the realization that she really wanted to do something to give back and help others. Thanks to her own journey through equine-assisted therapy, she discovered startup success by launching her own small business in this innovative field.
A client of 1-800Accountant, Kyre proudly serves as the CEO of Equus, LLC in Chapin, South Carolina. It was officially registered in July 2014.
Equus, LLC is a company that provides the Equine Specialist element of equine-assisted growth, learning, and psychotherapy. In laymen’s terms, this means Kyre works aside a certified mental health professional and horses to work with clients who are in need of counseling or therapy, or are seeking personal development and growth. This modality of experiential therapy uses the unique instincts of horses to craft activities for clients on local farms.
“The whole purpose of an experiential approach is to facilitate an environment where people can discover the answers to their own issues,” Kyre explains. “I set up different activities for clients with horses. The clients perform them, and this interaction with the horses helps them gain insight into how they interact in the world. Basically, the horse becomes a mirror of the client.”
She explains how the horse-to-client relationship actually works.
“Horses sense your insides and know how you are feeling internally,” she says. “You can’t fool them. This is why equine-assisted therapy can be more effective than regular talk therapy for some people. You can say anything you want to a therapist, but they can’t always sense your true feelings or even know if you are being honest about yourself. Horses recognize your intention, emotion, energy, and everything else about your personality. Clients have to use their own skills to accomplish tasks. This provides quick insight for a counselor to see how the client interacts in other relationships and life’s situations.”
Kyre discusses what truly inspired her to try her hand at startup success in this particular line of work.
“I was a client of an equine therapist,” she says. “It truly changed my life and is a big reason why I got out of the corporate world. Because of my own life experiences, I now have a desire to give back to others who are in need of some support.”
In her words, starting a business like this one serves a very important need in today’s hectic world.
“Today’s society is so fast-paced and stressful,” she says. “There is a bigger need than ever for coping skills. People need more emotional support and skills. The most rewarding part of this work is being able to help others make positive changes in their lives so they are happy.”
Through the small business, Kyre will be assisting clients of all ages, from children up to the elderly. She tailors each client’s activities to what the person needs, how old they are, and what their personal circumstances involve. Individual clients typically come back on a regular basis, while group sessions are often held just one time. The prices per session vary, but a client’s health insurance can cover the cost if a mental health professional is present during a session.
While Kyre has yet to implement any major small business marketing strategies, she plans to set up a website and other online platforms. She also says that EAGALA, an international nonprofit for equine-assisted therapy providers, will help her with marketing.
Challenges to Starting a Business
Kyre explains what types of challenges she’s been up against in starting a business like Equus, LLC.
“The biggest thing has been not having enough time to really work on this business. When I retired from my other job this past August, I thought I’d be further along by now. That’s why 2015 is when I will really turn more of my attention to this business.”
Tips for Startup Success
Based on her own experience in launching this small business, Kyre offers a few tips for entrepreneurs interested in starting a business for themselves.
“The fact that I’m following my passion is so important to me,” she says. “Make sure your business is aligned with a passion. Always be organized, have a business plan in place, and make sure you can deliver what you promise to your customers. Also, make sure you can afford what you’re doing, and have a long-term plan on paper.”
As a client of 1-800Accountant, Kyre says she has been very happy with the small business accounting support she has received from the national firm.
“I really don’t want to learn accounting on top of everything else,” she says. “Being able to talk to accounting experts is great and frees up my time.”
Kyre did not have to pay for her accounting services upfront. Instead, she is working with a company called Behalf to help pay for the services she receives from 1-800Accountant.
“Behalf has been great also,” she says. “They are helping me build some credit with my business, and this has encouraged me to use my business bank account.”
Image credit: The logo included in this blog post was provided by Equus, LLC and is used with permission.