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Your shoeing clients seem to be multiplying like rabbits and there aren’t enough hours in the day to get them all done no matter how well you plan your day. You have two options. You can dump a load of clients or you can find yourself an apprentice to do the menial tasks, letting you continue to be the expert.
The decision to take on an apprentice shouldn’t be a light one. Never mind the important role of choosing someone who will represent you and your business well and maintain a professional appearance. There are other things to consider.
“When you take on an apprentice, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll increase your production, at least for 6 months,” says Steve Richardson. This farrier from Elizabeth, Colo., has taken on apprentices, made it his business to ensure that all the necessary steps were taken so it was done right and, more importantly, legally in the eyes of the state.
“Apprentices slow you down since you have to show them how you like things done,” he says. “You rarely have that much work on the books when you hire someone. You most likely won’t have a lot of work to send the apprentice out to. When you hire someone, you start to build clientele, which takes time.”
When figuring how much it costs to shoe a client’s horse, Richardson figures he spends an extra $15 to $18…