Farriers Need to Add More Business Management Skills

Being successful in the farrier business takes a well-rounded package of skills. It’s not enough to be able to shoe every horse regardless of its foot problems.

Instead, today’s successful farrier has to be a jack of all trades in areas such as client management and the development of valuable business skills.

That lesson came through loud and clear during a recent fact-finding mission by a dozen American Farriers Journal staff members. We hit the road for a 215-mile journey from southeastern Wisconsin to central Illinois to spend an afternoon visiting with Steve Hoselton and Alan Horton at Anvil Brand Shoe Co. in Lexington, Ill.

The growing need for farriers to develop management skills when operating a business and ordering supplies came through loud and clear during our discussions.

As an example, Steve and Alan explained how some farriers pass up considerable savings in the form of discounts and shipping costs when ordering supplies. They said it wasn’t unusual to get a panic phone call from a farrier who is completely out of the size or style shoe he needs for tomorrow’s horses. By not planning ahead when it comes to ordering supplies, the $55 overnight express shipping cost often end up costing more than a couple pair of shoes.

Must Wear Many Hats

When you’re handling many roles from chief executive to shoe maker to broom sweeper, it’s difficult to keep track of all the little things, such as effectively managing inventory. Yet not paying attention to the little…

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Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has spent more than 50 years in the agricultural and equine publishing business. The sixth generation member to live on the family’s Centennial farm in Michigan, he is the Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal.

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