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TOPIC: Farrier Business in this econamy

RE:Farrier Business in this econamy 02 Dec 2011 00:01 #16

  • Seth Parker
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Steve, thanks for the great advice
Seth Parker, South Florida
www.facebook.com/SethParkerFarrier
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RE:Farrier Business in this econamy 06 Dec 2011 16:53 #17

  • cyber steve
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Seth Parker wrote:
Steve, thanks for the great advice

I just have to brag on your business acumen for a moment Mr. Parker, I've been checking some google searches and do you know you show up on the first page if you search for farrier? Just farrier. Do you know how hard that is? Out of like 5.8 million results you were 11th and for a Florida Farrier search (singular farrier) you are number three behind my farriers.com site and another farrier that has a great domain name for florida farriers that will be tough to beat. I'm really impressed with you web dominance there Seth. Very, very well done. Somebody has done a fine job optimizing your site.
Steve Turpin

"Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat." F. Scott Fitzgerald

"No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses." Herman Melville[/color]
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RE:Farrier Business in this econamy 07 Dec 2011 01:26 #18

  • Seth Parker
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Thanks Steve,

The credit would have to go to my web designer/girlfriend Annie...

But only number 3?!?!?! I'll have to take that up with her LOL

Thanks for the kind words
Seth Parker, South Florida
www.facebook.com/SethParkerFarrier
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RE:Farrier Business in this econamy 07 Dec 2011 01:55 #19

  • cyber steve
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You can't imagine what a phenomenal job she's done with your site, when I saw your site pop up that high on that broad of a term my jaw dropped (I helped a bit by pointing Farriers.com at it and you helped a bit by posting 100 times in horseshoes.com with your name and "south florida" in your signature but she has done a lot of things right in your site to finish that high):) Good teamwork.
Steve Turpin

"Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat." F. Scott Fitzgerald

"No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses." Herman Melville[/color]
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RE:Farrier Business in this econamy 07 Dec 2011 05:16 #20

Cyber Steve wrote:
There are two primary ways to increase income in any business, increase top line revenue (gross) or decrease expenses. Either will increase your bottom line (net). I think Bruce gave you a fantastic summary of how to decrease expenses but I suspect there are even more opportunities there. You have to understand your costs, both your variable costs (what goes into each shoeing) and your overhead costs (truck and tools, etc). If you don't already know that you are shooting in the dark.

After you figure out what you can get your costs down to you need to decide how much you need to make and how much the market will bear (for pricing) and back into how many customers (horses) it's going to take to get there.

If you don't have that number of customers already then you have to work on top line growth through marketing. IF I were a farrier I would put ads in www.Farriers.com and probably every other online listing I could find because online is where people go to find anything now. I would get a website and create an image of professionalism there too, put your website URL in your forum signature, post positive and helpful comments on horse forums (helping not beating up horse owners), then I would use social marketing (facebook and twitter) to promote your work. Then I would go around to every horse show in the state and put up flyers, nice professional looking color flyers, advertising your experience, training, and skills. "Specialize" in what they are looking for at whatever show you are at, if you have the skill set to do it, always tell the truth. You can't market to the western pleasure crowd like you market to the dressage crowd or the racing crowd, etc. Always tweak your image to your target audience.

DON'T ever compete on price, don't chase lowballers. Believe you are worth what you need to charge and project that confidence 100% of the time without being cocky. That means you need to be able to communicate your worth and explain to the horse owner why a cheap inferior job is a bad investment for them, they will get what they pay for with you. Always ratchet pricing up (not gouging, not taking advantage, but reasonable cost of living increases every year) because your life is always getting more expensive for you and let go of those customers who won't accept a price that allows you to make an acceptable margin. Remember, you have to cover more than the set of shoes you are putting on. Expensive tools are being worn out and trucks are being used up and clothing is being ruined and you are being consumed. You only have so many horses in you, you need a plan for retirement too but that is a whole other story but I hope you guys are thinking about this, you're probably not going to want to be shoeing when you are 85.

Don't underestimate your ability to differentiate yourself from the competition because that is what you have to do if you are trying to gain market share. I can already tell you 18 years of experience gives you a lot of credibility in the eyes of horse owners and you will instantly have a leg up over the younger guys, even if not deserved by your skills. Market that. Show up on time, return phone calls, look professional at every stop, put your name on your truck (skip the magnetic sign, put the vinyl decals on there so it looks like you don't just slap it on there one day and the next stop you slap on your plumber sign), keep your truck and rig as clean and professional as possible. The above will immediately differentiate you from all the farriers that don't act professionally and it will help the customer justify your price, professionals cost more than amateurs. Hand out business cards, always more than one, give people an easy way to help you network into their circles.

Do favors, help people, go above and beyond, in my experience trying to always doing the right thing and helping someone with problems that really had nothing to do with you are good investments in building long term positive customer relationships. Trust your gut, are you doing what makes you feel good and proud. If so, keep it up, you are going to sleep well at night, if not, rethink what you are doing and why you are doing it. Never betray a customer's trust or a fellow farrier's trust. Always ere on the side of the customer unless they are just being an arse and then let them go. It's an amazingly small industry, treat people right or it's going to bite you.

Good farriers are always in demand, the problem is the people that are looking for a good farrier in your state right at this very moment either don't know about you or don't understand what you bring to the table, you have to put yourself out there and promote yourself just like any other business. My impression is you have what horse owners are looking for so help them find you.

Well said Steve.
Phil Armitage, CF
AFA member 7480

"Anyone who proposes to do good must not expect people to roll stones out of his way, but must accept his lot calmly if they even roll a few more upon it." Albert Schweitzer
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RE:Farrier Business in this econamy 08 Dec 2011 01:17 #21

Chris Logan wrote:
Well I have a few questions that I was wondering if I could get some help with.
I was wondering how to help improve ones farrier business in todays economy? I have been shoeing for awhile and noticed a sharp decine in the need verse want element of the business. Also I just moved back to Montana and as anyone who knows this state there are only 7 major cities in this state and they are all about 2 to 3 hours from each other, so you have to drive a big circle to make any money.
The average gross for this state is 40 to 50,000 a year but I would really like to change this so I am not working 7 days a week either shoeing or working another job plus shoeing therefor putting in 12 to 15 hours a day. If you have any experiance with this state and its challanges for farriers please let me know, thank you for your time.

The same here; and I need a lot of know how and help with the new home; and my clients are losing or suffering downgrade in pay with their jobs: so I am doing some trading horseshoeing for help.
Need an electrician (client is a electrian) and trading shoeing for that. Need repairs; and trading some of my clients that do that for a living in trade for trimming their horses.
They are cash strapped and I need and want help in my house. All good and won't cost extra out of pocket expenses on my part.

so far just only spent $135 for checking out the natural gas heater, turn flame on, and make sure it's safe this winter.

Linda
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RE:Farrier Business in this econamy 08 Dec 2011 16:12 #22

  • Bill Adams
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There are different economy's within the country.
I have a friend east of San Diego who had about 400 horses on his books at $160 for a plain shoeing and a full time helper about four years ago. Things went bad in that area, he dropped his price a bit, but people were losing their homes and letting horses loose in the desert as they couldn't even give them away.
At the same time, a hundred miles away, my son Eli was working for a big time Hunter Jumper Farrier in LA who had a crew doing 10 to 15 horses a day at $350 a head.
Last summer my son Luke was working in Connecticut for a guy who ran five guys and two trucks, 10 to 15 jumpers a day at $350 a head.
Around here there hasn't been any drop off and people are starting to ask "if I still only charge $120 a head" (the high end locally), so I'll have to go up soon.
Depends on where you are and what niche you're in.

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:Farrier Business in this econamy 08 Dec 2011 23:55 #23

  • Gary Hill
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Bill Adams wrote:
There are different economy's within the country.
I have a friend east of San Diego who had about 400 horses on his books at $160 for a plain shoeing and a full time helper about four years ago. Things went bad in that area, he dropped his price a bit, but people were losing their homes and letting horses loose in the desert as they couldn't even give them away.
At the same time, a hundred miles away, my son Eli was working for a big time Hunter Jumper Farrier in LA who had a crew doing 10 to 15 horses a day at $350 a head.
Last summer my son Luke was working in Connecticut for a guy who ran five guys and two trucks, 10 to 15 jumpers a day at $350 a head.
Around here there hasn't been any drop off and people are starting to ask "if I still only charge $120 a head" (the high end locally), so I'll have to go up soon.
Depends on where you are and what niche you're in.

Those prices blow me away!!! Cheap folks and undercutting lowlifes are killing my business from even a cost of living increase..Thank God a couple of killer plants are opening back up here!!
"As I see it, winners get the money - while losers talk of "individual goals" and similar stuff." Tom Stovall
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RE:Farrier Business in this econamy 09 Dec 2011 23:57 #24

  • tbloomer
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Gary Hill wrote:
Those prices blow me away!!! Cheap folks and undercutting lowlifes are killing my business from even a cost of living increase..Thank God a couple of killer plants are opening back up here!!
Oh goody. Can we send congress down there for disposal? :D
Tom Bloomer
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Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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RE:Farrier Business in this econamy 10 Dec 2011 00:10 #25

  • Gary Hill
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tbloomer wrote:
Oh goody. Can we send congress down there for disposal? :D

That would be a great idea, Term Limits without the fringe benefits they get would sortem out tho??
"As I see it, winners get the money - while losers talk of "individual goals" and similar stuff." Tom Stovall
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RE:Farrier Business in this econamy 10 Dec 2011 00:13 #26

  • cyber steve
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Gary Hill wrote:
That would be a great idea, Term Limits without the fringe benefits they get would sortem out tho??
I'm on board, where do we start the petition? Now that's capping expenditures. Get it. Capping. Totally legally of course. Hence the petition to change the constitution, no mob actions. Brilliant guys!
Steve Turpin

"Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat." F. Scott Fitzgerald

"No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses." Herman Melville[/color]
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RE:Farrier Business in this econamy 10 Dec 2011 03:48 #27

  • tbloomer
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At last a common goal and noble cause we can all agree to support. :D
Tom Bloomer
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Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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RE:Farrier Business in this econamy 10 Dec 2011 04:58 #28

  • SlowShoe
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tbloomer wrote:
Set up an appointment with your local Small Business Administration and have them review your business plan and marketing plan.

Great Idea, get the Government to help you run your business! :eek: :eek: :eek:


Solid business advise Steve!
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RE:Farrier Business in this econamy 10 Dec 2011 10:28 #29

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SlowShoe wrote:
Great Idea, get the Government to help you run your business! :eek: :eek: :eek:
Wow. Your experience with your local SBA is a lot different than mine.

My SBA mentors were volunteers who donated their time through the SBA office. These people are local business owners, multi-millionaires who help foster networking, economic growth, and prosperity in the community in turn their own business prospers.

By all means, I don't want to discourage anyone from hiring a paid management consultant.
Tom Bloomer
http://blackburnforge.com
302-222-6404


Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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RE:Farrier Business in this econamy 10 Dec 2011 14:47 #30

  • cyber steve
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Tom is right, as unbelievable as it may seem the SBA is actually a government agency that does something useful and the reason is that its frontline are typically retired volunteers who were very successful business people themselves (as opposed to government bureaucrats). They are just trying to give back by mentoring people starting out (or in trouble with their businesses). I started my first business with an SBA loan.
Steve Turpin

"Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat." F. Scott Fitzgerald

"No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses." Herman Melville[/color]
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