Managing 162 Clients is Certainly No Easy Task

Like many farriers, Dave Dawson sometimes finds it’s easier to get along with the horses he trims and shoes than with a few of their owners or trainers. But the Canadian farrier from Uxbridge, Ontario, says it’s critical to effectively deal with every client.

That 162 figure mentioned in the headline represents the number of clients a typical farrier works with during a year’s time. That number came from the recently completed 2012 Farrier Business Practices survey of American Farriers Journal readers.

Be Flexible

Managing clients effectively was among a number of topics covered at an early November clinic sponsored by Nature Farms Farrier Supply in Norman, Okla. Speakers were members of the board of directors of the American Association of Professional Farriers.

Dawson urged the 70 farriers in attendance to develop effective leadership skills in order to more effectively work with owners, trainers, riders, equine veterinarians, apprentices and others in the equine field. This means following common sense principles in being flexible and willing to adapt when tackling the different needs of clients. And he pointed out that no single program will be a perfect fit with all clients.

Before taking on a new client, Dawson schedules a meeting.

“I tell them that before I’ll take on their horses I want to learn about them, let them know how I work and what I expect from clients,” he says. “Spending this time has proven to be very valuable to both parties.”

And if there’s not a good fit, it’s…

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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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