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Being a farrier apprentice is pretty all consuming. Firstly, the hours are long and the work is hard. Then there is the homework and shoemaking practice, which can only be done at weekends and evenings, and then there is revision to do. That does not leave much time for anything else. It’s particularly gruelling at the moment as I’m off to college in a week and there’s plenty of paperwork to get done.

Still, only 18 more months to go and then I’m my own boss again. The thing about being your own boss is (as I know from experience) that you work even harder. No one else can do your work and you are only as good as your last job. Service, reliability and dedication are required to build a decent round and it’s hard to say no.

My plan is to work sensible hours and shoe only four or five horses in a day. Of course, to start with I will have no customers, and I don’t know how long it will take to build a round that keeps me reasonably busy. It could take a long time or, if I’m lucky, no time at all. It will depend on the area I decide to set-up in and whether there’s plenty of fed up customers looking to switch to a new farrier, or maybe a farrier retiring… Who knows?

I need to think about a trading name, too. Do I use Nags ‘n’ Nails as my business name?  it’s been a good blog name, but is it a good business name?  Roland Thompson Farrier seems a bit dry. I don’t know. Maybe I could even go into partnership with someone.

Farriers tend not to advertise as people will wonder why they need to — “Must be no good if they’re advertising”. I think that was true years ago, but nowadays the competition is much fiercer, so perhaps it’s more justified to advertise now.  Anyway, these are all distant problems that need addressing in due course.

However, I would really welcome any feedback and ideas about location, name and ways to market my business… AND I’d be happy to shoe your horse for you if nothing else!

Until next week,

Roland

www.twitter.com/nagsandnails