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As much as farriery is art and science, it’s also a business. No matter where you are in your career, you need a plan.
“It’s really important at the beginning of your career, at the mid-stage of your career and toward the twilight of your career to always have a plan,” Bow, Wash., farrier Shane Westman told attendees of the American Association of Professional Farriers (AAPF) Hoofcare Essentials Clinic at Life Data Labs in Cherokee, Ala. “A business plan is a road map for your business life. It helps guide you in making your decisions.”
Your plan should plot where you want to be at various milestones of your career — 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, etc.
“When I started out as a farrier, I had some business experience, mostly in the retail industry,” says the AAPF board member. “I knew that after a year, I wanted to make $100 a day. That was my goal. In 3 years, I wanted to be set with my clientele. In 5 years, I wanted to close my book. In 10 years, I wanted to hire employees. In 20 years, I wanted to have a multi-farrier practice.”
Westman has been shoeing for about 23 years and hasn’t attained all of his goals. That’s OK, he says, changing plans are part of the business.
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“I’m still a solo practice,” he says. “I’m not shoeing high-profile horses, although I hope…