Chasing clients for money isn’t a problem for Tom Rock these days. Back in November 2012, the Wadsworth, Ill., farrier changed to a system modeled off of one he saw Coshocton, Ohio, farrier Dave Farley discuss in a clinic. Since changing to this system, Rock has had only one barn drop him — the one that owed him a significant amount of money and sparked this change.
The program begins with a letter explaining the new payment structure, the reasoning behind it and other rules to billing, including penalties for invoicing. A second sheet contains fields for the owner to fill in regarding their horse and credit card information. Rock records the information pertaining to the client’s service that day and then his fiancée Penny Nelson processes the payment via the Square mobile payment device. Square takes 2.75% of the payment as a processing fee per transaction.
To integrate a program into a farrier practice, Rock says to send the letter out at least one month before you change. For him, it coincided with a new year. This allowed clients to become aware of it prior to their next shoeing appointment. Be respectful and appreciative of their business on both documents. Also include that their information is confidential and secure.
“A couple of people joked about it, but for the most part the results have been great,” says Rock. “People use credit cards for buying everything in their daily lives. Why should the farrier have to wait for payments, when other professions like plumbers expect payment at the time service is completed?"
You can read more about Tom Rock's work in the March 2013 issue of American Farriers Journal.