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There are a lot of good farriers out there who will admit they’re lousy business people.
That’s not all that surprising. Most farriers get into horseshoeing because they love horses, working with their hands, being their own boss and working close to nature. Becoming a captain of industry isn’t one of their motivations.
Still, there comes a time in every farrier’s career – sometimes with a decision to get married or the arrival of a child – that he or she comes to realize that shoeing horses for a living is a business – and that they need to do a better job of operating as one.
But where to start? Maybe a look back at last year’s records will give us a hint – that is if your records consist of more than hastily scribbled notes on scraps of paper, the backs of invoices you intended to use for billing and the occasional cocktail napkin.
But as we’ll soon see, even a seemingly extensive set of business records can have holes in it.
Welcome to ABC Horseshoeing Inc.
ABC Horseshoeing Inc. is a not-quite fictional farrier service we’ve created, based on the real financial records kept by a farrier and provided by Backroads Data of Baldwin, Kan., developer of software for farrier record keeping. We’ve sent the records of our shoeing business to a number of farriers who are known for taking a businesslike approach to horseshoeing and asked them to analyze them. In this and the next three…