Spend the most time with your best clients. These are the people who value your work, believe that you are the most qualified to work on their horses and you enjoy working for them. Photo by: Doug Butler

Successful Hoof-Care Business Strategies

Catering to your best clients will help your farrier practice thrive

The most important thing I learned about the shoeing business when I first started was how much I didn’t know about it. After interviewing several accomplished farrier businessmen and studying a number of business books, I assembled the material, added my own experience and published Six-Figure Shoeing. It received the “Best How-To” book award from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association in 2002. Testimonial letters from farriers who have been helped by the book have convinced me that the material remains relevant

The three most important business strategies for farriers are:

  1. Invest and save for the future. You probably won’t do farrier work forever. Take money out of your business and put it into protected investments so you won’t have to keep doing this work when you don’t want to or are physically unable to.
  2. Know your costs by keeping accurate records. This will help you manage a sustainable business and might protect you from litigation. Knowing your true expenses will help you realize your value and be confident in your pricing.
  3. Choose to spend the most time with your best clients. I call these “A” customers. These are the people who value your work and you enjoy working for. They believe in you and believe only you are the most qualified to work on their horses.

Farrier work has its rewards, some of which are not monetary. The most rewarding aspect of therapeutic farrier work is seeing horses recover from devastating diseases, such as founder and navicular. I feel…

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Doug butler 0917

Doug Butler

Doug Butler and his sons Jake and Pete run Butler Professional Farrier School, LLC near Chadron, Neb. They have trained successful farriers from all over the world. Their weekly “Farrier Focus Podcast” features interviews with successful horsemen and farriers. They have authored many of the standard texts used for modern farrier training. Doug was one of 51 teachers interviewed by Bill Smoot for his 2010 book “Conversations with Great Teachers” published by Indiana University Press.

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