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TOPIC: Suggestions on improving business

Suggestions on improving business 06 May 2009 03:17 #1

Lately with the economy going they way it has been going i have lost a good portion of my business due to the fact that either my customers are selling/giving away their horses or there switching to someone who is cheaper. Some of my customers have returned after finding out why the other guy is cheaper but only a few. As i am sure many of you experienced farriers have probably experienced the same thing i was wondering what suggestions you might have to help me spawn new business or get back some old customers. One of the idea's i have already bounced around is offering a discount on the first shoeing if they return.

Opinions?
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RE:Suggestions on improving business 06 May 2009 03:21 #2

  • westtxshoer
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No to the discount. Don't go down that road.
RJ Little
Merkel, Texas
817-341-9857

"I ain't askin' nobody for nuthin', if I can't get it on my own." - Charlie Daniels
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RE:Suggestions on improving business 06 May 2009 11:55 #3

Definately "no" to the discount. We shoe horses but don't forget this is business (your business). Get yourself back out there and advertise. Go back to the basics of talking to people and putting business cards out at different locations. Sell yourself and believe you are worth those rates. Don't go backwards or seem desperate or your customers will never respect you. IMO
Cody Gilreath, CF
www.certifiedtexasfarrier.com
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RE:Suggestions on improving business 06 May 2009 13:40 #4

  • calshoer
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Do not discount the work. You will only get back the unreliable, non loyal customers who could quit you again at the drop of a hat. Just hang in there, advertize some if you need to and promote your experience and reliability. The better ones will come to you and make up for the ones that left.
As well maybe offer up newsletters, and little clinics on general hoof care or specialty talks on things like navicular syndrome or springtime laminitis to your current clients. You can do them by invitation as a pot luck, picnic or in the shop type setting. Word gets around fast that you are involved with your clients and more of their friends will want that kind if farrier.
Patty Stiller CNBF,CLS
www.hoofcareonline.com
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RE:Suggestions on improving business 06 May 2009 16:44 #5

Not that I like a lot of things the French do . . .
. . . But I heard about a French Landlord that after his Apartment was empty for a while,
Instead of lowering the rent, to attract renters,
Raised it . . .

. . . He figured to make up for lost income.
Bradley SaintJohn

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RE:Suggestions on improving business 06 May 2009 22:36 #6

  • Rick Talbert
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My suggestion on improving business is improve your knowledge and skill. Improve yourself and you will be indispensible. Horses don't just disappear off the planet, they may change hands, but the new owner also needs a farrier. The man who taught me to shoe, shod through the depression and made a lot of money during that time. He said "Rich people will always pay to have their horses taken care of, even when there are poor people starving in the streets." If this economic situation is hurting your business, then you must be caterin' to the wrong clientele. Not that you need a book full of A-list celebrity millionaires, but the owners must regard their horses as a priority. Even some low rent type clients who may live in what appears to be a condemned shack, will have their lights cut off before they will let their horses' hooves get in rough shape. (But if everything you do is exceptional and above average then you'll not have to worry about this sort of thing anyway. )
Rick Talbert
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RE:Suggestions on improving business 07 May 2009 01:04 #7

  • Jim Sweeney
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I agree with Rick. You may have to temporarily enlarge your current service area. Find concentrations of horses that you can travel to easily and pick up some work there, then work your way back home. I travel regularly to my families ranch in NM. It would seem like the last place on earth one could start a farrier business to me. When I drive to Tuscon to catch my plane home I will pass no less then fifty horse trailers, some as big as my house on I-10. The clients and the horses are everywhere out there. One of the pleasures of getting old clients back is charging them a few bucks more, so nix on the discounts, just better service maybe.
Jim Sweeney

"I started with nothing and I still have most of it left". The Logger.
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RE:Suggestions on improving business 07 May 2009 01:09 #8

  • westtxshoer
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Bradley-1stChoice wrote:
Not that I like a lot of things the French do . . .
. . . But I heard about a French Landlord that after his Apartment was empty for a while,
Instead of lowering the rent, to attract renters,
Raised it . . .

. . . He figured to make up for lost income.

I have a friend who makes furniture out of mesquite. He is very talented and the furniture is quite well made. When he initially went to sell the furniture, nobody bought it. The next time he went to the same place, he marked everything up 200% and sold everything. If you mark yourself as a discount shoer, people will think you are a discount shoer.
RJ Little
Merkel, Texas
817-341-9857

"I ain't askin' nobody for nuthin', if I can't get it on my own." - Charlie Daniels
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RE:Suggestions on improving business 07 May 2009 01:53 #9

  • Horshure
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stay the course.....put a little bling to your jobs...the most important consideration is that your clientel feels important...make them feel important.
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RE:Suggestions on improving business 08 May 2009 02:48 #10

thanks for the suggestions guys, they really help.
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RE:Suggestions on improving business 08 May 2009 11:33 #11

  • Mike Ferrara
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I agree with everyone else that you shouldn't discount in this situation and maybe raising prices is the thing to do.

I've lost a few clients over price the last couple of years but, looking back, each and every one of them was a pain in the butt! If they're looking for cheap, I can't help them.

I raised my prices substantially this year and it's working out ok. In the case of one account where distance is but one of the issues, I tried to quit. Long story short, I stayed but raised the prices WAY up. Silly me for not doing it last year or the year before.
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RE:Suggestions on improving business 10 May 2009 08:50 #12

  • Red Amor
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SHOOT ALL HOOFTERS ON SITE :eek:
Mark Anthony Amor
If we want anymore excrement like that outta you we'll squeese ya head :eek:
Mind how ya go now ;)
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