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British farrier David Nicholls shares his thoughts on making the business side of farriery more pleasant

David Nicholls lecturing at the 2015 International Hoof-Care Summit.

David Nicholls clearly understands the need for farriers to operate their businesses as businesses. The West Sussex, England, farrier has keen insight not only from being a practitioner for more than 45 years, but from his overall business experience. He’s worked outside of farriery in varied capacities and within farriery, he’s worked in both single- and multi-farrier practices. But for him, there is one reason why he was qualified to lecture other farriers on the subject of business at the 2015 International Hoof-Care Summit.

“I’ve made many mistakes,” he says. “When someone asks me what is experience, I reply that it is learning from an accumulation of mistakes — hoping you don’t make the same ones again.”

A Balanced Life

Nicholls believes many farriers fail to manage their businesses simply because they are too busy to do so. It is the nature of the business. For example, Nicholls points to the mindset that if a farrier is in financial difficulty, the attitude is that shoeing more horses is the way out of that difficulty.

“This stops us from managing our businesses properly,” he says. “The secret to business success and personal happiness is to first organize your business. This removes the pressure on you. You know what you’re doing every day and how much money comes in and goes out with bills.” Pre-booking clients in advance, Nicholls adds, is one of the best ways to become organized.

Another key is becoming…

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Jeremy_mcgovern

Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern has been a journalist for nearly 20 years. He has been a member of the American Farriers Journal staff for 7 years and serves as the Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is a member of the board of directors for the American Horse Publications organization of equine media.

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