A Successful Practice Needs More Than Just Sound Horses

Some farriers you know will fail in the industry and it won’t have anything to do with the horses’s foot. Despite being good farriers, they won’t make it in the industry because they ignore the business of hoof care.

Business is unappealing to many because it is the nuisance that interrupts the reason you likely entered this industry: to work with horses. Who entered the industry because they enjoy paperwork? Business quickly becomes distasteful because it isn’t as simple as taking in more money than you spend.

Business Variables

There are constants in business, but there are also variables that will affect your day-to-day operation.

For example, the essence of good customer service is the same across any industry. A solid practitioner acknowledges and listens to the customer, and delivers the goods or services at a level that meets or exceeds the customer’s expectation.

There are simple constants that help farriers deliver quality customer service. Do you return your clients’ voicemails? Do you show up for appointments on time?

Now think about more complex issues of customer service and what influences it. The economic woes of the last few years have affected the horse industry. What if your client wants to stretch the trimming and shoeing rotation from 6 to 8 weeks to 10 or more? How do you handle this? How do you explain that the long-term potential damage of a decision is more costly than the annual savings from stretching out your service?

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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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