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TOPIC: Farriers starting over in a new state...

Farriers starting over in a new state... 14 Apr 2011 15:09 #1

  • vthorseshoe
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I moved to Florida and decided the prices folks were willing to pay for farrier work was the same as I was charging back in 1971 and moved over to Texas ( also my brother in law was copeing with cancer)

Since moving to Texas I have done all the normal things to build a business, but have found that good shoeing is what gets word of mouth working faster than anything else.
I have been open for business since February and my busxiness is building slow but surely.
I have decided that:

1).ads in local newspapers brought in 1% of my business.
2).Business cards in feed stores and tack shops have brought in 2% of my business
3).Word of mouth has brought in 95% of my business so far.
4). lettering on my truck cap has brought in 2% of my business.

I also have found that once I have a horse in a barn, I have picked up the whole barn in most cases.
If things continue as they have been, by December I will have all the customers I want. ( I am semi retired now and want time to go fishing....)

What has been the situation for other farriers who have moveds to a new state ?
Did you find the percentages on advertising similar to mine ?

Also remember I already have over 30 yrs of a successful shoeing business in northern Vermont prior to my move south.
So many of the things a new person would have to handle or go through I have already been there and done that, so starting a new business here I had less to cope with.

my thoughts and 2 cents worth ;)
"you may not like what I say" !
-but-
"you'll never have any doubts where I stand
quote Cindy Matthews 1948-2006


I thought my life had come to a close with Cindy's passing, but there is life after death Thankyou Sharon !

Bruce Matthews
Southeast...
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RE:Farriers starting over in a new state... 14 Apr 2011 18:22 #2

  • Ray_Knightley
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Bruce one question comes to my mind ..you are semi retired ,How do you Know when you have enough horses to cover the time you want to work and how do you keep that number from not rising ??

Do you work some hours each day or say I work 2-3 days a week and then just tell the wanting clients that your books a full?
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RE:Farriers starting over in a new state... 14 Apr 2011 21:56 #3

  • seminolewind
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Bruce, here in Florida, I've seen people leave my farrier ($30.00 trim) to get someone cheaper. You made a good move!
Karen Fletcher
still trying to get it right
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RE:Farriers starting over in a new state... 14 Apr 2011 22:14 #4

  • Clint Burrell
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vthorseshoe wrote:
1).ads in local newspapers brought in 1% of my business.
2).Business cards in feed stores and tack shops have brought in 2% of my business
3).Word of mouth has brought in 95% of my business so far.
4). lettering on my truck cap has brought in 2% of my business.

How much did you pick up by letting the vets in the area know you were around?
Clint Burrell

"You say your from collage,
but you don't seem to bright.
You just brought a swichblade
to a pistol fight"
Move On by Chris Knight
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RE:Farriers starting over in a new state... 15 Apr 2011 03:55 #5

  • Gary Hill
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Bruce, your personally and professionism is what sells you first, then your talents and abilities come into play.
"As I see it, winners get the money - while losers talk of "individual goals" and similar stuff." Tom Stovall
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RE:Farriers starting over in a new state... 15 Apr 2011 04:17 #6

  • Bill Adams
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Gary Hill wrote:
Bruce, your personally and professionism is what sells you first, then your talents and abilities come into play.

Plus, now he's all buff after losing all that weight. The babes will line up now just to watch him work.
I hear that those Texas women "got kisses sweeter than cactus, and they don't even practice".

A rightous man regardeth the life of his beast. Proverbs 12:10
I don't give a damn for a man who can only spell a word one way. Mark Twain
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RE:Farriers starting over in a new state... 15 Apr 2011 12:24 #7

  • vthorseshoe
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Ray; I tell folks right up front that I trim and shoe 3 days a week. Tuesday/Wednesday and Saturday.
I help Sharon in her dog grooming business on Monday/Thursday and Friday.
I like working with the dogs as it is a change of venue and still working with animals.
Wednesday mornings I give riding lessons and work with a couple horses and schedule shoeing in the afternoon.
Sunday is the day we do what and where ever the wind takes us. (either watching a rodeo in person or fishing in the Gulf, or just working on the farm.

As far as how much is enough, I want to have those 3 days filled through the months (every 6 or 8 weeks). It will fluxuate and some time I may have to cover someone on a Sunday, but not very often.
I have one account with 14 european belgians and I split them up doing them over two days. (just trimming)
I have one barn with 5 trimming and 2 shod.
I have a new barn with 7 trims.
A number of single horse acounts fill the rest so far.
New horses fill in the open days until I have no more open days available.

I am covered by the VA for medical care and I have a $9.00 co pay on the perscriptions.
I have no morgage, no fuel bill to heat the house, no health insurance bill (thanks to the VA).
The largest bill I have each month is my Harley payment.

Yes I have introduced myself and been introduced by others to local horse veterinarians.
So far I have only had one or two referals, but I met one vet with 14 Arab endurance horses and she watched me shoe and she said she was interested in having me shoe her horses when they need shoe's, so we will see if that comes to pass.

I am new to this area and figure it will take a year or two before I am a familiar name around here, but I am not going anywhere so time will tell.

I am in an area where horses are plentiful.
So I can be semi retired and still make a living.
Also come this August I will be collecting Social Security and that will add to my income. I can earn up to $14,000. after that it will affect my Social Security payments.)

my 2 cents worth ;)
"you may not like what I say" !
-but-
"you'll never have any doubts where I stand
quote Cindy Matthews 1948-2006


I thought my life had come to a close with Cindy's passing, but there is life after death Thankyou Sharon !

Bruce Matthews
Southeast...
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RE:Farriers starting over in a new state... 16 Apr 2011 02:37 #8

  • seminolewind
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Well, you finally changed your location! Where is Alvin?
Karen Fletcher
still trying to get it right
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RE:Farriers starting over in a new state... 16 Apr 2011 02:43 #9

  • vthorseshoe
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Hi Karen, I live at 751 county rd 146 in Alvin, Texas...
Hope all is well with you and your horse. Is it still going good ?

my 2 cents worth ;)
"you may not like what I say" !
-but-
"you'll never have any doubts where I stand
quote Cindy Matthews 1948-2006


I thought my life had come to a close with Cindy's passing, but there is life after death Thankyou Sharon !

Bruce Matthews
Southeast...
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RE:Farriers starting over in a new state... 17 Apr 2011 00:48 #10

  • seminolewind
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Hey Bruce, glad you're doing well, and enjoying life.
Her feet are fine, but my farrier's father was sick, and he did her 3 weeks late, and her hind toes got long, and it was not helping her gait. He did finally come, I hadn't been able to talk to him before he trimmed her, so I just went down there and backed up her toes on the hinds! Everything else was good.

Bruce, as you pointed out before, taking those toes back make a world of difference, it's amazing how little means so much!
Karen Fletcher
still trying to get it right
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RE:Farriers starting over in a new state... 17 Apr 2011 01:42 #11

  • Show Shoe
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Honestley though being successful in any part of Vermont would be pretty easy there isn't much competition there most come to NH or Mass to make a good living. No offense im glad your doing good in Texass
Jeremy Lacroix
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RE:Farriers starting over in a new state... 17 Apr 2011 02:25 #12

  • Jack Evers
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seminolewind wrote:
Hey Bruce, glad you're doing well, and enjoying life.
Her feet are fine, but my farrier's father was sick, and he did her 3 weeks late, and her hind toes got long, and it was not helping her gait. He did finally come, I hadn't been able to talk to him before he trimmed her, so I just went down there and backed up her toes on the hinds! Everything else was good.

Bruce, as you pointed out before, taking those toes back make a world of difference, it's amazing how little means so much!

They vary Karen. Some I could nail a shoe on sideways and they'd adapt by the time they were led back to the stall. Others react to very small changes. I always remember once at an endurance race when someone tried to trot out for the vets. Horse took a few strides and was lame. Owner walked him around. He worked out of it, back to the vets, same result. Horse had just been done that day. Vets called me over, I diagnosed a right handed shoeing job. (rasping more to the horses right). I had minimal stuff with me, the horse was too short to change much, but I pulled the shoes, clamped them to my stall jack with vice grips and rasped a bit of a bevel to direct breakover and hoped for the best. Horse went 50 miles the next day with no problems and placed about fourth. I couldn't believe that small change meant that much.
Jack Evers CJF AFA#426

The best things about the good old days -- I wasn't good and I wasn't old.

The older I get, the more horses I shoe, the fewer things that I can absolutely, positively fix.
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RE:Farriers starting over in a new state... 18 Apr 2011 02:20 #13

  • vthorseshoe
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Jeremy;

Vermont or Mass. or N.H. People succeed and people fail in all places.

Success deponds wholie on the individual and his work ethics and quality of work. Education and desire to always improve.

Can I imagine you feel Dave Whitaker in northern Maine or Steve Kraus in north western NY are successful because they have it easier than folks working in Mass or NH ?
What about Jack Evers in Wyoming.
What about Mark Schneider in Vermont ? He madse 2nd alternative for the AFA team this year ? Would he have made the team if he lived in Mass. or N.H. ?

Think about it friend... Success comes to those who earn it , no matter where they live...

my 2 cents worth ;)
"you may not like what I say" !
-but-
"you'll never have any doubts where I stand
quote Cindy Matthews 1948-2006


I thought my life had come to a close with Cindy's passing, but there is life after death Thankyou Sharon !

Bruce Matthews
Southeast...
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RE:Farriers starting over in a new state... 18 Apr 2011 02:45 #14

  • seminolewind
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Jack, I have alot of respect for farrier like you and Bruce-who use their head for more than a hat rack. :)
Karen Fletcher
still trying to get it right
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RE:Farriers starting over in a new state... 18 Apr 2011 15:33 #15

  • Bill Adams
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Show Shoe wrote:
Honestley though being successful in any part of Vermont would be pretty easy there isn't much competition there most come to NH or Mass to make a good living. No offense im glad your doing good in Texass

Bruce may not have had much competition in Vermont, but it had nothing to do with anything being easy.

A rightous man regardeth the life of his beast. Proverbs 12:10
I don't give a damn for a man who can only spell a word one way. Mark Twain
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