How should a new farrier know what to charge?

It’s an exciting time setting up a farrier business.

Usually having just finished a period of training, we’re eager to get going, to show the horse world what we’ve got and in many cases prove that we’re better than the other guys. It’s a natural feeling at the start and sometimes one that doesn’t wane over the years for some farriers. But that’s a post for another day…

Setting our prices at the start and getting it right is vital for the success of our business. There’s so often the mistake of pitching our fees low in an attempt to lure cost conscious owners away from other established local farriers and bring in some much needed early $.

Whilst being cheaper than other farriers is likely to bring in some work initially, this can be something that causes a headache later on.

The price structure set by other established farriers in the area is likely one that has developed over time and enables that farriers practice to survive and thrive year on year.

The new kid on the block should take careful note of the prices set by other farriers. In particular, working out which farriers are doing a standard of work and are providing a level of service they themselves intend to offer. Charging less than these guys might make it difficult to operate at the same level and could mean they’ll soon need to increase their fees just to survive. It’s great having work to do but it’s vital to make a profit!

So if the fees have been set too low in order to compete and gain work, the problems are likely that we’re not going to make a living, we can’t operate as we’d like and need to cut corners to make a profit. Having to increase fees substantially might not go down too well with the cost conscious owners who have jumped ship to the new farrier because he’s cheaper. All in all, none of these things are a good start to the business.

A better approach might be to align prices with other local farriers from day one and make small adjustments to prices after the first year. This will be better for establishing healthy relationships with owners and other local farriers too.

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