When choosing to set out on your own and start up a business, it can be an exciting time, but also a very humbling experience. It is important for you to determine how much income you need to bring in to make your adventure a viable ongoing one.
Let’s consider a farrier as an example. You’ve enrolled yourself into an apprenticeship and dream of 5 – 10 years down the track when you can be earning a couple of thousand a week, whilst only working 4 days each week.
Let’s say that you’re shoeing horses and for a full set (all four feet) you can charge $100 per horse. Now if we divide $2,000 by $100, this means that you need to shoe 20 horses. Now 20 horses seems small, it should be easy – right?
Perhaps that is the case and you feel it’d be easy for you to do five sets of shoes over 4 consecutive days (yes, I know, it may be dreaming). Let’s consider one other factor: horses don’t need to be reshod daily (thank God!).
So, if we consider that a horse needs doing every 6 – 8 weeks (let’s say every 2 calendar months to make this example easier), then if we look back at the example of 20 horses to achieve in a week an income of $2,000, then we consider that they won’t next need to be seen until 7 weeks time, this means you need to find another 20 horses for each of the other 7 weeks to keep yourself consistently in work.
Now 20 horses x 8 weeks equals 160 horses that need shoeing. Now of course, we need to consider that the horse you did last month will be brought back to you when it’s next due because you work well with the horse, do a good job and you’re cost effective for the owner.
The reality is that if you plan on going out in your own business, you need to work the figures. As a farrier, you most probably will need in excess of 200 (horse) clients to keep yourself consistently busy. Even if this is the case, there will be dry periods – just because you’ve done the figures doesn’t mean that they’ll add up to what you picture every time – other people may have different ideas when it comes to how often they’ll get their horses feet seen to, and whether they’ll utilise your services again.
However, it’s important that you dream big, do the figures and in spite of setbacks, reassess and then… press on.
“A Dog looks up to a man,
A cat looks down on a man,
But a patient horse looks a man in the eye and sees him as an equal.” – Author unknown