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Farrier Industry Report

A newsletter of the Farrier Industry Association - APRIL 2019

A Message from FIA President Dan Bradley...

A hearty hello and a Happy Spring to all FIA members, may all of the FIA members have a very successful 2019.

We have just come off of a very good AFA Convention and FIA MarketPlace last month. Everyone had high praise for all the work that Jean and Emily did to make a great week. The Tulsa facility was outstanding, plenty of room, ease of getting set up and break down, and a had a super Opening Reception breakfast. Most of our exhibitors were pleased with the amount of traffic they had at their booths. We all had a good time with all having a safe trip home. Well, except for a few of us that came down with post convention flu, ugly.

The FIA also had a Business Conference this year at the convention at an off-site restaurant that was well attended. We had an excellent speaker who gave insight for business transition, a fine cocktail hour, a super dinner and wonderful post lecture networking. Your FIA Board of Directors are planning to have a similar styled Business Conference at the 2020 AFA Convention in Chattanooga, TN. Plan to attend and be part of the MarketPlace.

Visit the FIA web site and Facebook pages, you will be surprised on what fine work has been done to make both very professional. On the web site you will learn about the history of the FIA, a list of your BOD members and also news and events. If any member has news or an event, that can be added, I encourage you to take advantage of this by sending the information to the FIA Office. Make sure you look at the grant program which is there to help if you have an open house/clinic.

Always remember the saying of the FIA "If it is important to your business, it is important to the FIA."

Everyone be safe and have an excellent 2019.


Dan Bradley
FIA President

MarketPlace Report
Emily Bull, Chair

We had a great FIA MarketPlace in Tulsa!  Thank you to all the FIA members who attended as either an exhibitor or guest. There is a tremendous amount of work that goes into the convention before we ever step foot into a city, but we could not make it the success that it is without all of your support, from the exhibitors that come and showcase their companies and products, the raffle donors who donate gift certificates and products for the MarketPlace raffle, and the sponsors who support all the activities in the MarketPlace such as the Exhibitor Breakfast, Opening Reception Breakfast, Cash Bar set-up, and more! 

This year we had 114 booths and 76 exhibitors from the US and numerous non-US countries, and over 200 individual exhibitor badges, 

We welcome any feedback and ideas that you have for improving the MarketPlace.  Please contact me or the FIA office with you ideas!

Please check out FIA's facebook page to see photo from the MarketPlace and Convention.


Grants Program
Audrie Salsbury, Chair     

The FIA offers six grants per year to members (3 in Spring, 3 in Fall). We have one spring grant remaining and three fall grants now available!  If you are hosting a clinic this year, download the very simple grant application and return it to the office as soon as possible.    

Click here for grant application.

Audrie Salsbury, Chair

Thank you to all the FIA Member companies who participated in the FIA Board elections!  Allen Horton (FPD) was re-elected as Vice President; Susan Thomas (Montana Farrier Supply) was re-elected as Treasurer.  Emily Bull (Monetta Farrier Specialties) was re-elected as Board member; and Jeff Gartner (Visby Products) was elected as a new Board Member. 

We would also like to thank Rob Michel (Oleo Acres) who completed his 2-year Board term.  Rob did a great job organizing the FIA's Business Conference in Tulsa.  

Thank you to everyone who has renewed for 2019. Your support is greatly appreciated! If you haven't had a chance to renew yet, click here to download a membership form, 
or renew online.

Business to Business

Keys For Family Business Succession And Survival

by Dave Driscoll

Family-owned businesses thrive on pride, tradition and dedication. Often, a business depends on multiple family members and vice versa. Although approximately 70 percent of family-owned businesses hope to transition to the next generation, nearly 43 percent do not have a succession plan, according to the Conway Center for Family Business.

Honest communication about expectations and abilities can help your family business survive and be relevant into the future.

Ask about intentions early and often.

Don’t assume that the next generation does (or does not) want to participate in the family business. Ask whether they are interested and revisit this conversation often as they mature. If an individual does not genuinely care about the business’s product or purpose, he/she will not be fulfilled working there just because it’s the family thing to do. Do not make offspring feel guilty or disloyal if they choose to pursue another career path.

Don’t assume younger generations know the business inside out.

When children grow up hearing about the family business day in and day out, it’s easy to assume they know the fundamentals. But remember, they were not involved when the direction of the business was determined. Regularly review the overall mission and standards that guide the business — this is also a good reminder for those who have become bogged down in the daily grind. Teach younger generations the processes and operations responsible for your company’s success, preferably by having them work their way up through the ranks.

Don’t protect/hide bad habits.

Maybe there are skeletons in your company closet that don’t paint other family members or the company in the best light. Protecting unsavory behaviors only leads to bigger problems. Address any issues promptly to ensure the future health of the business.

Don’t keep family who aren’t working on the payroll.

Are there family members on the payroll who don’t actually come to the office or perform a needed function? Stopping this practice may be unpopular within the family, but allowing it to continue breeds resentment between employees (family and non-family) who do work hard and contribute to the company’s success.

Determine strengths and weaknesses.

Objectively assess the abilities and challenges of family members, just as you do with any employee. Family should be promoted only if they meet the qualifications expected of other candidates. Capitalize on strengths and offer training to build skills as needed. Allow future leaders to begin making decisions and support them through the inevitable mistakes. If a family member does not have potential that benefits the business, encourage them to find their niche elsewhere.

Involve younger generations in strategic planning.

Long-term strategy is not always obvious when you are focusing on daily operations. As you review and set goals, be sure to include younger generations. Their fresh perspectives may highlight new opportunities for growth.

Bring in qualified “outsiders” to fill necessary roles.

Forcing family members into roles they are not suited for can have disastrous results. For example, if someone’s expertise is in operations, do not ask him/her to lead marketing initiatives just because that role is vacant. Supplement your team with employees who have the competence to help your company thrive — regardless of their DNA.

Anticipate and plan for industry trends and customer needs.

Regardless of the commitment and talents of your family, your business will not survive long term without adapting. Consider how your product or service fits into industry trends and shifting cultural norms. How are your customers’ needs changing? What additional problems can you solve for your clients?

Prioritize continuity of values and corporate culture. 

Your company’s success is not solely due to your fantastic products or services. Don’t underestimate the importance of community relations, charitable contributions and other ways your values are lived through your business. Ensure future generations realize that this is a responsibility of success and that this generosity does influence buying decisions and community support.

Open communication and honest assessments will increase the likelihood that upcoming generations can effectively lead your business into the future. Be sure to formalize these plans and expectations into a succession plan that is updated regularly.

Dave Driscoll is president of Metro Business Advisors, a business brokerage, valuation and exit planning firm helping owners of companies with revenue up to $20 million sell their most valuable asset. Reach Dave at or 314-303-5600. For more information, visit

SOURCE:  St. Louis Small Business Monthly

Farrier Industry Association
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exington, KY 40511

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