Building a stable roster of good clients takes time, effort and quality hoof care. Keeping the clients means maintaining these variables, but there’s one more that Jake Stonefield finds is critical.

“The secret is getting them to trust you,” says the Brandt, S.D., farrier.

How does he accomplish that?

“Don’t spend their money,” Stonefield says. “It’s as simple as that. I’m transparent about my prices. I have them posted on the wall. My clients will never be surprised by the shoeing bill. If you don’t work in a shop, have it in a folder on the tailgate of your truck so they know exactly what they’re spending before you get there.”

When possible, he suggests finding cost-effective ways to accomplish hoof-care goals.

“Pour-in pads are expensive,” Stonefield says. “By the time you figure in time, materials and prep, if you’re not charging $55 a foot, you’re losing money. You can accomplish that with skill by applying a $7 set of pads and $4 work of dental impression material in the same amount of time. You can charge them $45 to demonstrate you are skilled and save them $55. That’s the big thing — don’t spend their money.”

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