You may have been dabbling in metal fabrication and welding. You have spent hundreds of hours toiling in your small shop, bought a simple plasma cutter and other equipment, or have had experience working part-time for other shops specializing in metal fabrication industry. Like many welders and metal fabricators who have spent lots of hours enjoying the work of dealing with metals, you also have been thinking of starting your own. So how to start a welding business?
Like any business, starting your own welding and metal fabrication shop begins with a strong desire to become successful in this industry. Many welders and metal fabricators who work under an employer have been dreaming of someday starting their own. If you have spent countless of hours mastering how to handle torches and use plasma cutter and other welding equipment, then you already have an edge of starting your own shop.
But less you forget, starting or building your own metal fabricating and welding shop is like any business that will take more of your time looking for clients other than actually spending cutting and welding metals. We’ll go to that later in this article. This article will walk you through some basic steps on how to start you welding and metal fabrication shop.
Create a Business Plan
Some of those who wish to build a welding and metal fabrication shop usually abhor making a business plan. They don’t see the purpose as to why do they need to write down something that they have already seen in their heads. First and foremost, the purpose of having a business plan is to write down the goals and vision why you have a welding and metal fabrication shop in the first place. This way, you will not get lost once your shop started getting clients.
What includes in this business plan is how you will make money and sustain your shop. This goes beyond your usual work of welding and metal fabrication such as using your plasma cutter properly. Included also in this plan is whether you would want to hire welders or metal fabricators to do the shop’s work and how many of them would you use. How much would you pay them, etc.
Another part also of a business plan is who are your target market and provide services to. You also have to have a clear knowledge of your competitors since they can greatly affect your shop in many ways – one of this is getting clients. If these competitors or other welding and metal fabrication shops are many in your area, you probably will have a hard time maintaining and sustaining your shop’s needs to survive and thrive.
Find a Home for Your Shop
Basically, this is included in your business plan You should know where you should locate your shop and what building will house it. If you have found a building to house your shop, do you need to make extensive renovations to fit your shop’s needs. Moreover, if you don’t own this building, you definitely will have to rent it. And when this happens, a portion of your shop’s finances would have to go to this concern.
Apply for a Business Name
Just like any business, your welding and metal fabrication shop should have a name so clients and customers can identify it. If you have already thought about a name for your shop, you will also need to apply it in the office of the Secretary of State. With this, you will need to file tax identification and even state business permits. Some of the concern you have to think about is whether you will operate as a limited liability company or incorporate your business.
With this, you will also need to apply for local permits so you can operate your welding and metal fabrication shop. You will need to do this by applying in your local municipality.
Buy Your Machine Tools
As you have already completed the basic paper requirement needed for your welding and metal fabrication shop, you of course need to fill it with equipments that you will need to do your work. With these, some of the basics tools and equipment you will need are:
- CNC Machines
- Welding Tools
- Plasma Cutting Machines
- Portable hand tools
Advertise Your Shop
The final step in building and making your welding and metal fabrication shop is advertising it. There are many ways to do this. One is making use of the print and broadcast media. You can advertise through radio and local TV stations to market your shop. Another way of doing this is through creation of a website wherein you will use digital and outbound media strategies in getting customers and clients.
You can also take advantage of a marketing strategy wherein you would be renting or buying mailing list from organisation like Precision Metal Forming Association, etc. You can take advantage of these mail list in targeting clients and customers for your shop.
When advertising your shop, you must emphasise why your shop and services are different compared with other welding and metal fabrication shops. Emphasise the speciality your shop does in welding and fabricating metals.
You may have been welding and doing metal fabrication for some time and have worked under employers in perfecting your craft. And just like any welders and metal fabricators doing this work for a long time, you are also thinking of building and starting your own welding and metal fabrication shop. If you want to make this dream become a reality, you only need to remember several basic things to make you a successful welding and metal fabrication shop.
One of this is creating and making your business plan. This plan includes how you will sustain your shop finance wise. You must remember that you need clients and customers so you can even start and have a reason to start a plasma arc. You also need to do some paper works, like applying for a shop name and permits from state and local governments.
After having completed these paper works, you need now to purchase some of your basic equipments like CNC machines, metal cutting tools such as plasma cutter, etc. Finally, you need to market and advertise your welding and metal fabrication shop.