“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently.” — Warren Buffett
This quote from Oracle of Omaha holds true for a multi-national corporation of thousands of employees all the way down to a single person. Absolutely, it is important for farriers to remember.
As independent business person, a farrier often takes the pulse of his or her hoof-care business. This includes monitoring cashflow, managing your inventory and balancing your books among other matters. But how often does a farrier consider his or her reputation?
Measuring reputation is easier for corporations, who have employees monitor the metrics of reputation. How are they perceived on Facebook? What's the extent of media coverage? Are they reaching the target audience?
How does a farrier measure his or her reputation? Reputation is the manifestation of how your clients perceive you. The Internet has provided venues for clients to provide testimonials, positive or negative, about their footcare providers. But the industry is still largely driven by word of mouth referrals or critiques.
Regardless how you measure reputation, what should you do if you find it is tarnished? Trying to repair a damaged reputation takes time and effort. You have to evaluated how you lost that positive impression and slowly work to build it back.
In the long run, it is best to follow the advice of Buffett. It will be easiest to think about what you are to do or not do than it is to have to reclaim the lost ground of reputation.
What ways should farriers monitor their reputations in local horse communities?