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Starting my own shop...any advice??

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  • #16
    DANG....I'm sure glad I didn't go on the internet and ask this question before I went into biz.
    I say go down to your local box store and buy 3 or 4, 4 1/2" grinders. Get some wheels for aluminum and stainless and a few flapdiscs. Get some cut-off wheels too.
    Then go order a new Dynasty 200DX. Make some long extension cords and make some 50 ft leads with a #26 torch.
    Get some 4043 filler, some 5356, some 308 and 309 and ER70s2.
    Pick up a few stick rods as well.
    Hopefully you have some of the basics like hand tools etc.
    You're gonna need to rent an argon bottle also.
    Also get some NICE cards made.
    Then get out and seriously beat the brush...at least 2-3 times.
    I have little doubt this could be done for a decent amount of cash outlay and plastic would be possible. Naturally you need a decent vehicle as well.

    If you did this, you could cover I bet 90% of MY business!!
    I have a lot of useless bills that everbody accumulates but if I lost my tail this is exactly what I would go grab and start over. In fact knowing what I know I would almost buy the Dynasty before the vehicle. (my customers would come and get my sorry @$$)
    All this depends on the fact that you can do what you say you can and there is trully a market in your area for your skills.
    I have gotten to the point that I am seeing people becoming MY competition by undercutting my price. I stay in business by being the high priced guy everyone is comparing to. My way is win every customer one at a time. Find out what they need and give them better quality than they ever imagined.
    If they only look at the final price I won't be back anyhow. If I was doing something else for a living I would still be in my shop at home or my buddies making and fabbing things...it is my passion. IMO if you are in it just for the money..... go do something else. Do it for the love of the craft and they will pay you well. I drive most people nuts that I work with.
    My viewpoint is certainly not the same as many here. It came from being raised in an area that grew many times over in population in my growing up.
    Everyone here watched me making all sorts of things as well as lots of mistakes. Competition is ok as long as you are near the top of the food chain.
    If your area is dying a slow death then maybe you better forget my advice.
    BTW I pretty much do 90% marine aluminum repair on outdrives and pontoons.
    I have a bunch of machines in my sig but they are mainly extras compared to my 200DX. I would say it is the least you could go into biz with but may be all you ever need as well. I cannot imagine my life without it anymore (seriously) YMMV

    www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
    Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
    MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
    Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
    Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

    Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
    Miller 30-A Spoolgun
    Miller WC-115-A
    Miller Spectrum 300
    Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
    Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

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    • #17
      "Pipe Dream"

      Yeah, but Fusion: I think this guy's living in a "pipe dream." Look back at his postings, and he asks fundamental questions, and expects to open an exotic welding lab/shop, has no equipment, has no sense of direction, but has tons of experience, and hopes to get "NASA" contracts.

      By the way, where did Quazi go? Haven't heard from him in a while.

      Dave
      "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

      Comment


      • #18
        OK...I read back and see your point,
        But he does truly seem to have a genuine interest. Most people got into welding by just getting a job. Then found out they liked it.
        I would like to see him succeed on his own so will give him the benefit of the doubt and give my testimony.
        If it doesn't help him someone may read it in a few years and benefit.
        This thread has good solid advise that many should look very carefully at before going into biz.
        After reading my take was that it could maybe use a little bit of the "throw caution to the wind" spirit and jump in with both feet and "wing it" approach as well.
        An unemployed guy could throw down $5000-6000 worth of plastic and get up and running pretty quick in the RIGHT (perfect?) situation.
        Conservative would be much safer I realize, and pretending would never work either.
        Best way to accidentally get into welding is bolt a welder in the back of your truck. I've been stopped a bunch and had many parking lot encounters as well.
        Being a freindly guy sure doesn't hurt either for that matter

        www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
        Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
        MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
        Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
        Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

        Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
        Miller 30-A Spoolgun
        Miller WC-115-A
        Miller Spectrum 300
        Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
        Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

        Comment


        • #19
          I think it is a good time to go into biz, others are dropping out and if you can make it when things are tuff then you will be ready when things get better. Not sure I would go into credit card debt over it though and if I wasn't already in this racket I could find easier things to get into than the welding biz.

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          • #20
            I'd say go for it. If you don't try you will never succeed. You can easily get into a business like you described for 6-10k. Thats with a 200dx your basic equipment and even a cheap truck. Start small and build as you bring in more money. Keep it simple stupid. Do the jobs no one else wants to do.

            Don't listen to people about the economy. There is always a market if you find it. Have a back up plan for other type of work if your main interest is drying up. A mobile business will enable you to keep a low overhead and learn the business. And if you do fail your not in it for too much money.
            Brian C.
            Turbobrian Fabrication LLc.
            Miller D165
            Miller 140
            Miller Digital Elite

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            • #21
              These threads crack me up.

              People who are successful at starting a business don't go onto internet forums and ask what equipment they should buy. Let's face it, if the guy can't do the research to figure out what welder he should start with, he probably doesn't have the mentality to make a successful business.
              miller dynasty 350
              miller spectrum 1000

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              • #22
                "Ditto"

                Originally posted by ridesideways View Post
                These threads crack me up.

                People who are successful at starting a business don't go onto internet forums and ask what equipment they should buy. Let's face it, if the guy can't do the research to figure out what welder he should start with, he probably doesn't have the mentality to make a successful business.
                How true, how true

                Dave
                "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by ridesideways View Post
                  These threads crack me up.

                  People who are successful at starting a business don't go onto internet forums and ask what equipment they should buy. Let's face it, if the guy can't do the research to figure out what welder he should start with, he probably doesn't have the mentality to make a successful business.
                  Yea... I mean heck wtf do we know??
                  Maybe he doesn't want his fellow workers to know and we are the ones he actually trusts.
                  I have learned a ton on here myself...esp about what equipment would help me get better.
                  There has been a lot of good folks left this forum because of these kinds of threads and they are well recieved on other welding forums
                  Not everyone has 10 years exp and a college degree.

                  www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
                  Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
                  MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
                  Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
                  Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

                  Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
                  Miller 30-A Spoolgun
                  Miller WC-115-A
                  Miller Spectrum 300
                  Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
                  Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by ridesideways View Post
                    These threads crack me up.

                    People who are successful at starting a business don't go onto internet forums and ask what equipment they should buy. Let's face it, if the guy can't do the research to figure out what welder he should start with, he probably doesn't have the mentality to make a successful business.
                    I think thats a bit harsh, I just started a mobile welding company and its nice to get some advice from some experienced people. I mean no disrespect to anyone but come on we should support the guy. but yea people with little 110v boxes trying to start a company is kinda funny.
                    Syncrowave 250
                    Millermatic 210
                    dialarc 250
                    spectrum 375x
                    trailblazer 302
                    Lincoln 135

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                    • #25
                      Good Old Boy's Club

                      Originally posted by strictlycarved View Post
                      I think thats a bit harsh, I just started a mobile welding company and its nice to get some advice from some experienced people. I mean no disrespect to anyone but come on we should support the guy. but yea people with little 110v boxes trying to start a company is kinda funny.
                      Hey there Strictlycarved. (OUCH) maybe some toes got stepped on there. Us newbe's have to fit in this "Good Old Boy's Club" I should know I have gotten my chops busted and there is disbelief and have to submit proof, Some won't even stand for any words of encouragement, I do not under stand that at all, I post a comment of words of encouragement and I get a response on how that is not true.!!! Go figure. I did meet a person that sensed the same thing and he said he won't post very much any more. So I know it's not just me. Like it or not, belive it or not it's on this fourm..

                      Bob

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                      • #26
                        The interweb is not a place for the thin skinned With that said Bodybagger has some excellent advice as does Fatfab. If this guy is serious he should formulate a plan for the business, figure out costs, breakevens, overhead, insurance, licenses, needed equipment and all of that before getting started and then execute the plan. With any business there is always the "learning by brail" (where you just run into sh*t) as I call it, but that is always expensive. Either way good luck with it.
                        DYNASTY 200SD
                        COOLMATE 1
                        MM140AS
                        SPOOLMATE 100
                        SPECTRUM 625 X-TREME
                        SPECTRUM 125C

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by UH60LCHIEF View Post
                          The interweb is not a place for the thin skinned With that said Bodybagger has some excellent advice as does Fatfab. If this guy is serious he should formulate a plan for the business, figure out costs, breakevens, overhead, insurance, licenses, needed equipment and all of that before getting started and then execute the plan. With any business there is always the "learning by brail" (where you just run into sh*t) as I call it, but that is always expensive. Either way good luck with it

                          It not the good advice I or anyone else has a problem with.
                          It's the trying to read between the lines and figure out that the OP is simply a [email protected]$$ player. Why do WE constantly do that for??
                          Read thru my post's and you will see my guilt as well
                          It was just my turn to bring it to our attention
                          You would not believe the ignorant cutomers I get. They are not qualified for my talents either... but I still gladly take their cash

                          www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
                          Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
                          MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
                          Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
                          Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

                          Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
                          Miller 30-A Spoolgun
                          Miller WC-115-A
                          Miller Spectrum 300
                          Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
                          Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            I believe that a good business plan is always a good idea and their is a lot of unforeseen things that happen in a business, also if he is asking for what kind of equip he may not no whats going, on but at least give the guy the benefit of a doubt cause some things are lost in translation. either way didnt mean to step on anybody's feet but we do need a friendlier forum so people can learn, i know i still am.
                            Syncrowave 250
                            Millermatic 210
                            dialarc 250
                            spectrum 375x
                            trailblazer 302
                            Lincoln 135

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              "Customers Are Not Ignorant"

                              Fusion: They me be ill-informed, but not ignorant. That's why they come to you, because, you are the expert in your field.

                              Now, regarding Quazi. When one ventures into the world of business (aka self employment), the proprietor must consider; "What service(s) do I have to offer to the community/industry?"

                              Opening a gas station in an Amish neighborhood is poor planning, right?

                              Opening a dry cleaners in a small town where there's only one, well, that may be a good idea. On the other end of town, in the grocery plaza, lot's of foot traffic, major hotel/motel franchise across the street. Novel idea!

                              See where I'm going? If Quazi wants to open a custom fab/exotic metals weld shop, then who are we to stop him? He came to us asking advice regarding EQUIPMENT. He has none, but "can do it all." That's where the doubt of business mentallity became manifested.

                              What services can he offer the community/industry, if he doesn't know what equipment to buy, but yet weld all these "contract only" alloy metals?

                              Back to the dry cleaners. I would research the types of laundry equipment needed to compete with "Paula's Press n' Dress" at the other end of town, not get on a "dry cleaners forum" and ask: "What size tubs should I get, got any ideas?"

                              Add p/u and delivery options, maybe coin-op washers and dryers.

                              See, I have no intention of opening a dry cleaners, but I do have some business insight as to "what's out there." (maybe I should)

                              No one is trying to discourage Quazi'a quest to fullfill his dreams, just leveling with him. Again, "What service(s) can I offer to the community/industry?"

                              A couple of guys used to buy some "big" trucks, and start a trucking company. Those days are over. Now, let's do impact studies and narrow down the competition before we dive in head first.

                              It just didn't appear to me, that Quazi really knew the "business" as well as he proclaimed. Who knows, we may have saved him from making the biggest MISTAKE in his life, until his business mind matures.

                              Fusion, I'm happy that you have built a successful business. It speaks volumes of the entrepreneur spirit that has made this Country great!

                              Have a nice day

                              Dave
                              Last edited by davedarragh; 07-11-2009, 02:39 PM.
                              "Bonne journe'e mes amis"

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by davedarragh View Post
                                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 http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...97464Insurance.

                                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

                                Well dave, I've never had my own shop so I "have nothing"....as far as asking about what machines you guys recommend, I know that I don't know everything and would like outside unbiased input....Personally I'm a Miller man, but Lincoln Tig welders have often impressed me....most combination machines are junk that I've ever used, but maybe you guys have had better luck and I'd like to know...So the "off brands" is something i researching(since I've only ever welded with Miller or Lincoln machines)...like i said I'm looking for honest input from people I respect as tradesmen and peers...thanks again...Quaz

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