Farrier Takeaways

  • Horse owners’ top complaint about farriers is they are routinely late for hoof-care appointments.
  • Farriers who consistently don’t show up on time for hoof-care appointments are viewed by horse owners as untrustworthy.
  • Strive to get in a position where you are paid for what you can do, but also for what you know.

The horse owner’s number one complaint concerning farriers is that they are always late for an appointment, according to a 2020 American Farriers Journal survey of horse owners who changed farriers in the past 3 years.

“They don’t come when they say they will, or they don’t show up at all. They make no effort to excuse themselves. That’s just the way they run their business, such as it is.”

Successful people in other businesses can’t understand how promptness can be so ignored by persons running a small business. It reveals a complete lack of self-discipline. It is an open demonstration that the farrier has no regard for his or her customer’s time.

Customers don’t appreciate a lack of respect for their time. Many have taken off work to be present when the farrier works. Horses are their valued chosen release from the stresses of life. An undisciplined farrier adds to their stress. Affluent people who own horses value their time.

What are You Revealing?     

A person reveals a great deal about themself by their punctuality or lack thereof. Trust is a big issue in client relationships. Customers want to do business with people they can trust. They conclude that farriers who consistently don’t show up when they say they will cannot be trusted.

“Business moves at the speed of trust,” Steven M.R. Covey writes in his 2006 book The Speed of Trust. A simple way to increase your business is to improve the trust level your customers have in you. Of course, you must be competent, but clients will measure you most by your adherence to being on time for appointments. An evaluation of your ability and skill follows.

Integrity is the value you place on yourself. Are you a person who can be trusted to keep your word? Or doesn’t your word mean anything? When you make an appointment — that time should be sacred. If it is not, you cannot be trusted. If the offended client has any other choice, they will take it, and your business will decline.

“Punctuality is the number one most powerful personal discipline tool in all the world and it can make you successful beyond your wildest dreams,” writes Dan Kennedy in his 2004 book Time Management for Entrepreneurs. “It gives you the right to expect and demand others to treat your time with the utmost respect. You cannot reasonably hope to have others treat your time with respect if you show little or no respect for theirs.”

This is a simple way people judge others.

Dale Carnegie’s best-selling book How to Win Friends and Influence People should be read by every business person. One of the best ways to win friends and customers and build your business is to become known for your punctuality.

“There are only two reasons to be late to a meeting with a respected client: One, you’re dead; Two, you want to be,” Kennedy says.

Make the turnaround necessary to gain respect for your integrity by being prompt.

Those who don’t value another’s time reveal that they don’t feel their own time is valuable either. There is a strong correlation between the discipline to keep a schedule and achievement in any field of endeavor. The confidence of one who has self-esteem and self-control coming from self-discipline generates trust. Trust translates into a successful business.

Farriers can do as they please with their time since they are self-employed entrepreneurs. However, we must be self-disciplined to be successful. As one business coach put it, “If you can’t find a good role model, just look at what everybody else is doing and do the opposite!”

Just as a person who cannot tell where their money goes will always be poor — a person who cannot tell where their time goes is destined to be unproductive, untrusted and often poor.

Successful people have goals. If you’re not achieving what you feel you should in life, chances are you need to better define your goals. Measurement against a pre-set standard will make you more productive. Strive to improve your performance each time you work. Clock and grade yourself. It’s important to record and compare the results to measure your progress.

A key success factor in any profession is how one links time to money. You must become a truly qualified expert in your field and understand the value of that expertise. Persons who are perceived as being the only ones who can solve a problem have great value. Strive to get in a position where you are paid for not just what you can do, but rather what you know. 

Increase Your Income

The following are 10 proven strategies that will increase your farrier business income.

  1. Be prompt. Honor the appointments you make and stick to a written schedule.
  2. Organize customer visits by location to save time and expense. Don’t forget to charge for travel.
  3. Get advanced hands-on training on your chosen breed(s) and type(s) of shoeing.
  4. Price skill and materials separately. Sell more than your labor and horseshoes.
  5. Hire accountants and/or consultants to analyze your business. Read to stay current.
  6. Record all income and legally deduct all expenses to effectively reduce taxes.
  7. Forge bar shoes and clip shoes to build skill until you’re too busy — then buy them.
  8. Learn people skills from podcasts and seminars. Participate in horse activity clubs.
  9. Schedule study time to learn anatomy vocabulary and practice spelling them. Perform dissections to advance your education.
  10. Regularly practice drawing anatomy and speaking out-loud answers to self-generated questions.

Be honest with yourself. What could you do better in your business? One sure-fire improvement is to be where you are supposed to be when you say you will be there.

When we get to use our time doing things we love, we are very wealthy. Turn time into wealth by deciding what is wealth to you, and then make daily decisions that allow you to spend time doing activities you choose. Farrier work allows this like no other occupation. This is a good time to choose to be a farrier for those who have a horsemanship background, physical strength training and a highly disciplined work ethic that demonstrates integrity that can be trusted.