Small Business Budgeting

Running a small business is a lot like riding horses. Simple, but not easy.

Ok so actually the major concept of each of those is simple but when you look at the details neither is simple or easy. One part of running a small business that eludes many, including farriers, is budgeting. Talking to other small business owners and especially farriers over the past 10 years I have been surprised at how many do not know how much they actually make. Many I talk to seem to think they make what they charge which is not true. So how do we figure out a budget for a small business? Including what to charge for each service or product offered, how much we plan to spend on supplies and overhead and how much we pay ourselves and employees.

First we have to understand that there are different categories and different ways at looking at costs. We can look at fixed costs vs variable costs, or job costs vs overhead. At Dixie’s we look at our budget both ways depending on what information we need. For the purpose of this blog we will look today at job costs vs overhead.

For many people when they look at what it costs to shoe a horse they only think of job costs. How much do the shoes and nails cost, the actual supplies they see being used up in the process. There is however far more to it. Let’s look at the cost of shoeing one horse for eventing.


We will look at some of the obvious categories first then we will look at the hidden costs.

These are the costs most people see.

Job supplies:

4 Shoes


Propane to heat the shoes

Salary for the 1-2 hours it takes to shoe the horse.

Fuel to get to the barn


So what is there that we are not seeing?

Overhead costs:

Cell phone

Liability insurance

Health insurance

Workman’s comp

Truck purchase/replacement

Truck maintenance

Trailer/truck body purchase/replacement

Trailer/truck body maintenance

Plates for truck and trailer

Fees for accepting credit cards

Business registration fees

Marketing costs (includes but not limited to: business cards, website)

Continuing education



Business taxes

Office supplies

Staff salary for drive time, ordering supplies, office work etc..

This is of course just the major categories each could be broken down further. If you run a small business I would highly suggest looking at your budget and making sure that you are accounting for everything that you need to, can be a great resource. If you don’t run a business this may give you a small glimpse into what we do as small business owners.