Do You Have a Plan?

Developing a business plan helps you forecast, price and stay on track

One of the most important and fundamental parts of owning your own horseshoeing business is developing and maintaining a business plan.

Bob Smith, a farrier and owner of the Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School, Sacramento, Calif., states, “Having a business plan is as important as knowing how to shoe a horse.”

He says without a clear direction, a farrier can end up shoeing for 20 or 30 years without accomplishing anything with their business. “Most guys who’ve had 20 to 25 years in shoeing just walk away from the practice because they haven’t build anything that has value. Without a business plan, they’re just out there in never-never land,” he says.

The purpose of a business plan, Smith says, is to help you distinguish your goals to make your business grow in a specific direction and in a timetable to accomplish those goals. Most farriers, Smith says, don’t have a business plan.

“It’s interesting to find out that most of these guys get out of school, wait for the phone to ring and in 10 years have no specific direction in which they’re headed,” he says.

Smith attributes part of this problem to a lack of business attitudes in farriery.

“The whole idea is that we own very lucrative, small businesses that should be able to provide for our families and our future,” he says.

“Any other business is always an opportunity for growth, but horseshoeing for some reason seems to be an opportunity to go back to a simple lifestyle…

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