We always emphasize the importance of developing a strong reputation with our students. When you first come out of school, and you're trying to establish a reputation, go the extra mile for your clients. Shoe the horse, then foam pad buff it, and put a finishing product on it to make it look great. This service is excellent, and it will develop your reputation as a quality farrier.
When you start to get busy, there will come a day where you run out of topical hoof treatment so you'll stop putting it on your client's horses. Those clients will notice. They'll think you've taken something from them. They'll think something happened and now they're not worth the extra service you used to provide.
Your reputation is going to be a bit tarnished. Those clients might even quit you, and you'll be left wondering what on earth happened. Your past clients won't share that information with you because they don't understand what went wrong, and they don't want to offend you. So, if you start off offering a service, make darn sure you keep offering that service if you're going to maintain a reputation as a good quality farrier.
Farriers often gain a negative reputation for not returning phone calls. This is a legitimate complaint in many cases. Most farriers won't fire their customers for cause, instead, refusing to return phone calls of clients they no longer want.
If you have an ill-mannered horse that you don't want to shoe anymore, or you don't like the environment at a particular barn, or you don't like the client. You have to fire them instead of just disappearing.
Be honest, tell the owner that you can't work on their horse until he learns to stand quietly. It's even better if you have an excellent trainer to refer to them. If you don't like the environment at the barn, say you can't do your best work in those conditions, and you're not comfortable coming back.
This way, you won't develop a reputation as someone who doesn't return phone calls. A client is much less likely to bad mouth you to others around them if you give them a reason why you can't work with them anymore vs. just disappearing.
When you start any profession, particularly as a sole proprietor, be aware of your actions and comments every moment of every day. They all are going to develop your reputation, and hopefully, it's one you are proud of.
As you begin your career as a farrier, be aware of your reputation. Protect it, take care of it, and make sure it goes where you want it to go. Your reputation is your business, especially at the beginning. Are you looking to start a career as a quality farrier? Apply Now