Starting a business is tough, but rewarding. Setting your own hours, doing your own thing, making the money you earn and being your own boss are rewards well worth the hard work it takes to establish a business. The very first question when asking yourself how to start a farrier business is whether self-employment is right for you? If you haven’t yet done so refer to “Is farriery right for me?” to help yourself answer that question.
Develop a business plan
A good first step to any business. Taking the time to write a solid business plan helps you refine your vision, gives you a road map to follow that you can use to stay on track and provides you with a document that will help you obtain financing. In the U.S., the Small Business Administration offers free training and counseling on a variety of topics from preparing a business plan to getting financing, so take advantage of this help, particularly if you don’t know how to write a business plan as they have a lot of experience that you can benefit from.
Get financing (if necessary)
If you need start-up money for marketing your business or to buy supplies, look to your bank for a small business loan or government agency that deals with small businesses. If that doesn’t work out there are numerous ways to obtain financing from microloans to mortgages.
Determine your business’ legal structure
You have the option to run your business as a sole proprietor, partnership, corporation, etc. Each of these options have their own pros and cons. Find out the differences between these different choices and the tax implications of them here.
Get insured for health and liability. There are so many kinds of insurance out there nowadays to protect you from theft, vandalism, fire, illness, etc. that you could end up spending a lot of money on insurance. This is a big decision worth thinking about before calling up your insurance agent. Figure out what you need first, so you don’t get sold into expensive insurance packages that you don’t need. Bear in mind that being a farrier has a high potential for injury (both short-term and long-term), both to yourself and to the horses you’re working on. So health insurance and liability insurance are two good ones to have. Particularly if you’re working on race
Set up your business
Depending on where you live, in general, to legally set up a business requires signing up for a business name. It may also be possible to work as a sole proprietor and run the business under your own name. Also, look into obtaining business licenses and permits, and registering for local, state and federal taxes. Every municipality and region has its own laws, so visit your local small business office for proper guidance.
The decision to get insured and what to get insured for is a big one to make. There are so many kinds of insurance out there nowadays to protect you from theft, vandalism, fire, illness, disaster, etc. that you could end up spending a lot of money on insurance, which is particularly an issue at the start of your career when you’re limited on funds. Figure out what you need first before calling up your insurance agent, so you don’t get sold into expensive insurance packages that you don’t need. Bear in mind that becoming a farrier brings a high potential for injury (both short-term and long-term), to yourself and to the horses you’re working on. So health and liability insurance are two good ones to have. If you’re working on race horses or any horse that competes, if it gets injured, there’s a price that comes with it not being able to compete. This is where liability insurance can really prove helpful.
After getting the initial paperwork and financial stuff in place you’re ready for the task of finding clients. The Farrier Guide is interviewing a number of established farriers to find out how they successfully started up their own businesses. Read the first in this series of Employment Q&As.
NEXT PAGE: Farrier insurance >>