Welding remains one of the top paying skilled labor jobs, and it is in demand nationwide. It is also available to small business owners who choose to get the right equipment and start offering services themselves. Here are a few tips on how to start your own welding business. We’ll also tell you how to find out what you may need to legally run a welding business in your jurisdiction.
Do Your Homework
Before you start a business, do your homework. What is the demand for your services? Can you get higher paying jobs if you can weld materials your rivals cannot, or take on specialty jobs no one else can do? If so, what are the jobs others would pay more for? What is the volume of such work, and will you see a return on the investment if you buy equipment specifically for those tasks?
You’ll need to find out what licenses and other legal requirements need to be met before you start your business. For example, you may have to have certification from an accredited welding school in some jurisdictions to be allowed to run a welding shop. There’s a good chance that if you’re planning on opening a welding business that you already have a welding license, but you may need to get a new one if you’ve moved to another state or let the old one lapse. You’ll probably need a business license, and you may be required to get a sales tax certificate and charge sales tax on your welding jobs.
You’ll need to pick a name for your business that isn’t already used by someone else in your area. You’ll want to pick a motto, which again has to be unique. You’ll need to determine how to promote your service to your ideal clients in a way that tells them why they should hire you. Be careful about trying to compete on the lowest cost, since larger operations with more margin or a few big customers may undercut small operators with lowball bids. The better route is branding yourself based on quality, unique services that the standard big welders don’t do or a willingness to take care of little projects fast that the big boys consider too small for their time.
Consider Your Funding Methods
Before you mortgage your house to buy new equipment, research your funding options. Can you qualify for a business loan? Can you work on projects on your own over the weekends to save up for a truck and the more expensive welding tools you want? Can you get cheaper equipment at auction, assuming you know how to vet its quality and safety? Or do you want to jump in to work full-time on the welding business once you have equipment purchased via a line of credit?
Get Your Equipment
Once you’ve decided what type of equipment you will need to service your customer base, you should run an inventory against what you already have. Identify the gaps and only buy those items now. You can get everything you need for welding at sites like Welding Outfitter for a fraction of the price. For bigger pieces of equipment, you can always consider used machines or rentals.
Ask around for small jobs to demonstrate your skills and generate referrals. Approach businesses that often need your services. Good choices include HVAC services, auto parts stores, truck stops, car repair places and building contractors. You want to have your equipment, licensing and insurance in place before you start marketing so that you can honestly state that yes, you’re licensed, bonded and able to start their project immediately.
Starting a welding business is one of the best ways for experienced welders to either supplement their income or make a full time living. If you manage to follow the tips in this article, you should be able to increases your chances of succeeding in this business tenfold.