Charging What You Need to Earn Will Help You Build the Business You Want

Pictured Above: California farrier Margie Lee-Gustafson says determining what to charge per horse relies on factoring in each cost your business incurs.

There are a lot of costs for any footcare business. Materials, insurance taxes and so on. But which is the most significant cost? California farrier Margie Lee-Gustafson believes it is what you pay yourself. Without paying yourself first, you may not be earning your full potential

In a presentation at the 2018 American Farrier’s Association (AFA) Convention in Reno, Nev., Lee-Gustafson shared her exercise in determining what to charge per horse. It relies on you understanding and honestly factoring in each cost your business incurs.

Where to Start: Pay Yourself First

Table 1 shows the various steps in the cost analysis exercise. Lee-Gustafson says the first step in this exercise is to pay yourself a salary. For her plan, the past AFA president created a scenario of a farrier who wants to earn $60,000 per year ($5,000 per month). The scenario factors in shoeing five horses per day, working 5 days a week.

Farrier Takeaways

  • The most important step in determining your costs per horse is paying yourself first.
  • Be honest and thorough in analyzing your own costs.
  • Factor in wellness programs and continuing education in your costs to ensure a long career.

Of course farriers should pay themselves for vacation, holidays and other time off. Lee-Gustafson factors there are eight traditional holidays, 5 days off for continuing education, miscellaneous personal days and vacation days. Together with the…

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Jeremy mcgovern

Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern has been a journalist for nearly 20 years. He has been a member of the American Farriers Journal staff for 7 years and serves as the Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is a member of the board of directors for the American Horse Publications organization of equine media.

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