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  • Starting my own shop...any advice??

    I'm looking to start my own shop sometime in the near future, and was wondering if anyone had any advice or helpful cost effective ways of doing this all out of pocket?? I want it to be a solid shop, that caters to exotic metals...Aluminum and SST would be the norm..lol...Any thoughts would be much appreciated!!! Quaz

  • #2
    "Shop Shopping"

    Originally posted by QuazI View Post
    I'm looking to start my own shop sometime in the near future, and was wondering if anyone had any advice or helpful cost effective ways of doing this all out of pocket?? I want it to be a solid shop, that caters to exotic metals...Aluminum and SST would be the norm..lol...Any thoughts would be much appreciated!!! Quaz
    What type(s) of equipment do you currently have?

    How much experience do you have with "exotic" metals.

    (I've had experiences with exotic dancers)

    Where are you located? What's the square footage of your shop?

    Dave
    Last edited by davedarragh; 07-07-2009, 06:29 PM.
    "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by davedarragh View Post
      .

      (I've had experiences with exotic dancers)

      Dave
      Dave, Care to elaborate? Pictures would be helpful!

      Quazl: What's the demand for your proposed services in your area? The competition? What can you offer that other shops can't? A shop takes lots of cash, or a good relationship with a banker. He (she) will want to see a solid "Business Plan". What tools do you have? What tools will you need? How much will they cost (purchase vs lease)? How long can you go with little or no income while your business is (hopefully) ramping up? Insurance? Employees or a 1 man shop? What if you get hurt? Lots of questions!!!!
      Miller Syncrowave 200
      Homemade Water Cooler
      130XP MIG
      Spectrum 375
      60 year old Logan Lathe
      Select Machine and Tool Mill
      More stuff than I can keep track of..

      Comment


      • #4
        Uh, No Pics...

        Originally posted by nocheepgas View Post
        Dave, Care to elaborate? Pictures would be helpful!

        Quazl: What's the demand for your proposed services in your area? The competition? What can you offer that other shops can't? A shop takes lots of cash, or a good relationship with a banker. He (she) will want to see a solid "Business Plan". What tools do you have? What tools will you need? How much will they cost (purchase vs lease)? How long can you go with little or no income while your business is (hopefully) ramping up? Insurance? Employees or a 1 man shop? What if you get hurt? Lots of questions!!!!
        This is a family show.........

        I'm trying to find out more of a project up in St. Johns. A huge Helium/CO2 well-pipeline job going through NM into Texas. Check out this website:
        www.enhancedoilres.com for more info.

        Dave
        "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

        Comment


        • #5
          I have nothing....the demand would be decent considering the only other shops close by do only industrial steel...heavy stuff... so if I do aluminum and SST, I'd have my own little "market"....my knowledge is good...well versed in aluminum, SST, mild steels, high carbon steels, tooling steels, hard surfacing alloys, chromoly steels, etc, etc, fabricating, pipe welding, heavy industrial welding.... I've done alot, so I feel confident with anything that I do...my questions, I guess, are are there any pitfalls I'm not seeing, and which machine would you guys recommend?? I want to do mainly TIG AC/DC, but a solid machine that can be set-up for MIG would be great.... A custom weld shop is what I'm shooting for....one that brings "artistry" back to welding....I was taught by n old school welder who firmly believed that welding was an "art"....I strongly agree and want to bring that mentality to this area....I'm from north western IL.. thanks guys...any advice or suggestions is greatly appreciated!!!!!!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Dynasty 350 DX

            Pitfalls? many. Do a business plan available from SBA Not saying you need to borrow money just saying you need to answer the basic questions as to how to setup a business.

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            • #7
              i started my first venture of my own shop in 1985, i didnt have much for equipment, but what i had was honesty and fairness and willing to work hard, just be your self and go for it good luck

              Comment


              • #8
                the most important pitfall would be work drying up and having a huge amount of debt wrapped up in machinery, and from what it sounds like, machinery that might not work for you if you needed to re-group and do some other type of welding abd fab. I would say that you should create a general welding and fabrication shop, but specialize in certain things. the main thing is having a backup plan, and a backup plan to that. I built my business on cash, buying machinery out right so i wouldn't have any bank debt. as bad as it sounds, I don't feel so bad when i'm sittin on my hands come winter time (compared to a buddy of mine who has to get work to make payments on 500K worth of trucks and equipment)
                F450 crewcab flatbed
                Miller Bobcat 250
                Miller 8VS suitcase
                Millermatic 251
                Millermatic 180
                Miller Spectrum 375
                Miller Econotig & 150 STH
                Enough snap-on tools to prevent my future kids from going to college

                Comment


                • #9
                  "The SBA's of a DBA"

                  Originally posted by QuazI View Post
                  I have nothing....the demand would be decent considering the only other shops close by do only industrial steel...heavy stuff... so if I do aluminum and SST, I'd have my own little "market"....my knowledge is good...well versed in aluminum, SST, mild steels, high carbon steels, tooling steels, hard surfacing alloys, chromoly steels, etc, etc, fabricating, pipe welding, heavy industrial welding.... I've done alot, so I feel confident with anything that I do...my questions, I guess, are are there any pitfalls I'm not seeing, and which machine would you guys recommend?? I want to do mainly TIG AC/DC, but a solid machine that can be set-up for MIG would be great.... A custom weld shop is what I'm shooting for....one that brings "artistry" back to welding....I was taught by n old school welder who firmly believed that welding was an "art"....I strongly agree and want to bring that mentality to this area....I'm from north western IL.. thanks guys...any advice or suggestions is greatly appreciated!!!!!!!
                  Quazi: FatFab is right. In order to have an aspiring, successful Enterprise, you need to understand the "business." This means book keeping, accounts payable, receivable, taxes, etc. You'll need a business license from the State of Illinois (either an LLC, Sole Proprietor, etc.), a Contractors license from the Registrar of Contractor's (what ever they're called in in Illinois) which assigns you a number and publicly listed for the work licensed to perform. (Residential, Commercial, how ever it's broken down in Illinois). You'll need to pass State Exams (which cost money to take) prior to operating. You'll have to post a Surety Bond and carry Liability Insurance.

                  You can make an inquiry through the State's Website regarding application for Business and Contractor's Licensing, or visit LegalZoom.com.

                  If I may ask, how did you attain SO much experience, but "have nothing" and are asking what machine(s) we would recommend?

                  Just curious.

                  Dave
                  Last edited by davedarragh; 07-08-2009, 07:39 AM.
                  "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Quazi,
                    If you will be doing aluminum then I would suggest going around to the local boat repair shops and letting them know what services you offer. I get a lot of work from them in my area for repairs on lower units of outdrives and seam repair on aluminum boats. It is seasonal mostly but makes up roughly 40% of my yearly income.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      North West Illinois....

                      Im from northwest Illinois, IE Oswego Il, I do a radius of about 90 miles, and can tell you there is a lot of competion out here. If you do not think there is then you really need to look a lot at the area. Also if you plan on going to any large commercial job sites, IE industrial welding, be sure you have a union card. Also If you carry a pipe fitters card and your welding on a piece of heavy equipment, that will not fly with the unions. Local 150 members are excellant at carding people, and making sure non union people stay off jobsites.
                      With that said, there is work for other exotic metals, but it is difficult to get paid for it. Quick example, i just finished an aluminum snowmobile trailer tonques replacement, and had to argue the bill. People do not realize the cost of the repairs.
                      Good luck
                      Kevin
                      Lincoln ranger 305g x2
                      Ln25
                      Miller spectrum 625
                      Miller 30a spoolgun
                      Wc115a
                      Lincoln 210mp
                      F550 imt service truck

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        do you know what your getting your self into.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by QuazI View Post
                          I'm looking to start my own shop sometime in the near future, and was wondering if anyone had any advice...
                          Yeah. Don't!

                          Work for someone else and save up the money and accumulate the equipment you need (as it comes available when failing shops liquidate) so you don't incur huge debt buying new equipment at high risk interest rates. And if you can't find a place to work doing this for a decent wage, that should speak volumes about the state of the market.

                          One thing that nobody mentioned is your credit and the current credit market. If you want new stuff, you will need credit. If you had a rich dad or uncle, you wouldn't be on here taking about how you are eager to work for a dream.

                          Anyway, the company that we had our credit cards through got out of the credit business and cancelled our credit cards with 4 days notice. We used to be able to get about any loan or line of credit we wanted since the owner (sole proprietor) has a credit rating in the 840-850 range. However, even with that rating, we can't get company credit cards because the credit places are so gunshy of businesses right now. They know that even established places with excellent credit are suddenly defaulting on debt and dropping like flies. And the ones that are left are working harder and cheaper to stay afloat. This means stiffer competition (even with less advertising) and lower prices. Bad news for a startup. Combined with the fact that a new business cannot command the prices of an established one, you'll HAVE to work at a loss for probably over a year before you begin to hit breakeven...

                          Sorry, but this is just the wrong time to start a legit business. But I will tell you this: this is the best time i have ever seen to buy equipment at pennies on the dollar. Tool up with liquidated assets and startup in 2 years. That's my advice. In the mean time, bone up on business management and make contacts so you can hit the ground running when things improve.

                          80% of failures are from 20% of causes
                          Never compromise your principles today in the name of furthering them in the future.
                          "All I ever wanted was an honest week's pay for an honest day's work." -Sgt. Bilko
                          "We are generally better persuaded by reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others." -Pascal
                          "Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything." -Pascal

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                          • #14
                            Tough Times !!

                            Bodybagger ; Great Advice as usual, I'm in my 4th year of business & Have Not seen a Profit Yet !! Things were starting to go good last Summer, then the Bottom just feel out !!
                            It's been going Down Hill Ever Since !!
                            If It dosen't pick-up Before This Winter , There's No Way I'll Make It Through Dec.- March !!
                            My Business and Myself are Dying a Slow Death !!

                            ............... Norm
                            www.normsmobilewelding.blogspot.com

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                            • #15
                              Wean yourself

                              Quazl:: Did you ever consider work at a day job and invest with cash only the equipment you will need and do that as a side line work build up your customers and bank account and eventually weaning your self off of working for some one else to working for yourself. That way it will give you some time to work out any bugs that surface. You will feel a lot better to have all your equipment paid for if work slows up a bit. But like others have said do research and planning .. Any way that was some of my thoughts..

                              Bob

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