The best business card that you can offer a potential client is the foot that you place on the floor.
By and large, horse owners pay attention to horse’s feet. They might not understand how or what makes a good foot, but they recognize what it looks like.
Every professional needs to operate their business by a code of ethics. Just like in life, the decisions that you’ll face as a business owner won’t always be easy to answer. Your ethics will guide you in making decisions when the answer isn’t simple.
Building relationships with clients and knowing when to let them go may sound as easy as saying hello and goodbye, but there are a few things farriers should keep in mind when developing and ending client relationships that can make everything go a little more smoothly.
What can you charge?
It’s a question that farriers commonly ask and one that Adam Wynbrandt hears often. His response?
“I tell them, ‘Well, no, the question is, what do you need to charge?’” says Wynbrandt, who has 2 decades of farriery experience and owns The Horseshoe Barn in Sacramento, Calif.
Growing up, I spent a lot of time around the world’s best farriers as they came to our home and were trained by my father, Dr. Doug Butler. I was able to work side-by-side with many of them as they became master craftsmen and learned the fundamentals of farriery. I also have worked and consulted with farriers from around the world.
A farrier practice is a business — that is no surprise. As professionals, practitioners have a responsibility to maintain accurate records, schedule properly, bill and receive payment promptly, and track performance. At the same time, farriers also should keep records on clients and the type of work conducted on their horses, including photographs of the feet or radiographs shared by veterinarians.
What’s a better way to celebrate the dawn of your farrier career than tool shopping?
There’s no doubt that the temptation runs high to grab the top-of-the-line pair of nippers that are polished so brightly that a pair of sunglasses should come standard with them.
Clients who fail to pay for hoof-care services are a problem that every farrier experiences at some point in his or her career.
There are a variety of cases and reasons as to why clients don’t pay their farriers. By understanding the United States government’s definitions of non-payments and reviewing the basics for collecting, you can be better prepared for making sure more of the money you earn gets to your pocket.
A reliable, well-planned portable workstation is a boon for any farrier. It stores your tools, equipment and supplies. It’s a rolling billboard that promotes your business. Simply put, it’s your office and it needs to serve your needs efficiently to maximize your income potential.
When a farrier embarks on this remarkable career, it’s common that he or she will shoe horses commonly referred to as backyard horses.
In fact, according to the latest American Farriers Journal Business Practices Survey, 92% of United States farriers work with backyard horses.
After graduating from school or leaving an apprenticeship to begin a farrier career, what questions will cross your mind? Where will you find clients? How much should you charge for a trimming or shoeing? What type of clients do you want to work for? Certainly, there are dozens of other questions that will receive much deliberation as you launch your practice.
The transition from horseshoeing school student to a full-time farrier can be rough, even for those who graduate at the top of their class. New graduates and those just starting their farrier business understand the challenges you’ll face, regardless of education and skill.
Travis Burns, the associate professor of practice and chief of farrier practice at the Virginia-Maryland College of veterinary Medicine discusses his research in patching materials for hoof wall cracks.
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