Welders are in high demand, meaning it might be the perfect time to start your own welding business. But how exactly do you get started? Welding presents several different business opportunities, each with its own rewards and challenges.
For a beginner, the best place to start is with a mobile welding business. A mobile welding business is easier to start, as it requires minimal initial capital. You will not have to invest in a brick and mortar office.
Before venturing into the mobile welding business, there are a couple of things you need first.
No business can operate without a license. That being said, you will need to obtain a permit from your state’s licensing board or authority. Before being granted a permit, you will be required to take a welding exam.
This exam will test your abilities and skills in welding, welding equipment as well as fabrication. You can contact your state’s licensing board for the procedure of applying for this exam. Also, you may require a local business permit.
Buy the right tools
You cannot be a mobile welder unless you have the necessary tools. As a portable welder, you never know where the job will take you. Thus, having the right tools for the job at the ready is a necessity.
Some of the tools you will require include a welding machine, a plasma or air cutter, and protective welding gear. These can include a welding helmet, gloves, and welding goggles. But the most essential tool among those mentioned is the welding machine.
A multi-function welder will be your best option. You can acquire a MIG welder capable of gasless flux core welding from your nearest welding tools supply store. Alternatively, you can get the best MIG welder under 1000 for an auction.
Identify the target audience
While welders are in high demand, not everyone is in need of welding services. It is essential to know which individuals require your services. Commercial clients with ongoing long terms projects are the best.
These can include marine equipment fabricators, repair of restaurant equipment, architectural projects, and farm equipment. These commercial projects need to meet the highest standards of workmanship and thus pay very well.
Apart from ongoing commercial projects, one-time clients can also help sustain your business. These can include small repair works such as repair of farm equipment. And also, auto body repair works.
Know how to charge
As with any other business, you will charge a price for your services. There are two ways of charging clients you can adopt. The first is on a per-job basis. This is where you are paid per the jobs you do.
Secondly, you can charge per hour, especially for long term welding projects. Per hour rates can be anywhere between $30 and $70. Needless to say, as a beginner, you can start with low prices and increase as your experience grows.
Some welding businesses charge more based on their experience. Knowing how to charge your clients will be of great importance.
The amount of money you charge for a project will depend on a number of things, though. Number one is the estimated time a project will take. Secondly is the tools you are likely to require for the job.
A job that requires a welding machine only will not be priced the same as another that requires you to have a plasma cutter as well. It is also important to consider the difficulty of the overall tasks. Some welding tasks are undoubtedly more complex than others.
Only buy what you need
It is easy to be lured into buying fancy and expensive tools as your business grows. However, buying only what you need ensures you sustain steady growth. When starting you don’t need all the tools that a large welding company has.
Some tools will become necessary when you get a special job, while some other tools will become necessary when your business grows.
Specialize in a niche
As a start-up, you will want to take up any business that comes your way. However, it also helps to have an area of specialty you are known for. For example, an expert in aluminum welding, marine equipment welding, or fabrication.
This will help your customers better identify with you.
When starting any business, there are many things to think about, and a welding business is no exception. Insurance, personal or general, is an important is a requirement. Other documents, such as a contract document, may come in handy when dealing with different clients.
Overall, a welding business can be a financially rewarding venture. However, this is when it is done right. Acquiring all the legal documents and requirements needed is vital for anyone thinking of venturing into the welding business.