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Topics on farrier-veterinarian relationships always are popular discussions and can often stir up a hornet’s nest. When it does, the speaker tends to focus on the differences of responsibilities and how the two professions should interact.
Differences do exist, but we often forget the similarities. One area that these similarities can be seen is in the business operations of each profession.
Delivering the keynote address at the early December American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, Dr. Marvin Beeman of Littleton, Colo., presented “Do the Little Things Well and the Big Things Will Happen” to encourage the thousands of attendees to focus on improving the details of their equine practices. Although the legendary horse doc constructed his presentation for veterinarians, it is easy to draw parallels to farrier practices from his thoughts.
Beeman provided a list of principles that fall under the little things. Here are three to consider:
Define client service.
When clients want your service, you become the most important person to them, says Beeman. What is the level of access that your clients expect? For farriers is it same day service for a thrown shoe or simply returning a phone call within a few hours?
Define the limits of your service and make sure all of your clients are clear on those. More importantly, deliver on promises to your clients.
Veterinarians have a published list of ethics in their literature, but farriers have no universal code…