Originally Posted by Red Gate Farm
You don't have to have any formal training to be in the horse business, therefore most people don't even take a business class. As an administrative professional, I was taught to follow up, answer emails, return phone calls.
You don't need a basic business class to know that the best way to run clients/potential clients off is to be unreliable or not follow up on communication. That's just common sense right there
That is one thing that I HATE about the horse industry. In particular, I find this to be the case for farriers. I've been through a few that I didn't like their shoeing job, and even more that were decent but unreliable. I called one guy in early December a couple of years back asking to get my horse shod before I went home for Christmas break since he was due and lost a shoe. Texted him a couple of days later, no reply. Hurried to find someone else to do him before I left. Ran into the unreliable guy at the barn in FEBRUARY and he asked if I still needed my horse done!! I said no thanks, I've found someone else to shoe him
Same thing with another farrier. I tried a new guy when I moved back, and he was awful. Reliable, but did a crud job. Horse pulled a shoe, called a guy whose seen him before and does a great job. Got there the next day, tacked the shoe on for free. Next shoe cycle ran around, no problem. Third time? Took the better part of a week to schedule him, and the guy literally didn't show up. Called, texted, ended up leaving. I would have moved on to someone else right then and there if he didn't do such a great job and was an extremely fun and animated guy while doing his job. He called me back and apologized immensely, saying that his truck broke down coming into town. Came the next day and was extremely flexible with my schedule. Next cycle comes around? Has to cancel because his truck (supposedly) broke down again. Next cycle comes around, horse pulled a shoe right before Christmas this year. I asked when he'd be available, said "Within a week, but I'm busy with the holidays like everyone else".
Finally gave up and moved on to a different guy that came highly recommended. He happened to be the guy's nephew, and he did a great job. He asked who shod him before and I told him that it was his uncle. He asked if I didn't like the job that his uncle did, and I went ahead and told him that his uncle's unreliability was what gave him the boot. He said the reason he was able to make a name in the horse shoeing business in the area was by picking up his uncle's slack and by being infinitely more reliable than him. The uncle didn't really NEED anymore clients, so I figured since I wasn't a priority then it was best to move on.
There's one lady I know that has been desperately trying to make a name for herself for years in the horse industry. She has decent skills from what I've seen, and has had numerous training opportunities handed to her on a silver platter. However, she will be a no-show no-call for lessons, won't return phone calls to people ready to commit to training or lessons, and won't put herself out there. She then complains about how it's impossible to break into the horse industry and that no matter how hard she tries she won't be able to. It's not that her skills and the demand aren't necessarily there, but that she won't treat her business like a business. Heck, I took lessons from my old trainer for 5 or 6 years. On ONE occasion early on she didn't show up for her lesson. I was in about 9th grade and still taking lessons on school horses with my friend. We called her, she dashed over in a heartbeat, and offered to give us a free lesson.
What it boils down to is one of a few things: Too much demand for one trainer/farrier/etc, so THEY can decide whose calls to return and when, but their business won't suffer. Or, if they're not in high demand, then their business will crash when this reputation gets spread around.