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  • spencerwescottweldingllc
    replied
    before you invest in any expensive tools research
    cards are the best, they are cheap and effective, order a bunch and put them everywhere give them to your wife / gf and have her put them everywhere. after a few months see how many calls you get. when people call ask them about what work they need, then explain to them that you are just getting the company together and can't do that type of work YET but you will in a few months. this way you can figure out exactly what type of work is out there and how much of it there is. and its a lot cheaper to loose a 30$ investment in cards than a $30,000 investment in a shop and tools if it doesn't work out.

    start small, really small avoid debt and overhead costs at all possible. yes it costs more in the long run to keep upgrading your equptment but there is a key balance between buying as you grow and making a huge investment you have to spend years paying off. because payments on financed equipment come every month, but income as a contractor does not.

    good luck

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  • seattle smitty
    replied
    When I started looking for welding work (moonlighting while doing non-welding mechanical work elsewhere), I parked my '66 Econoline in the shopping district of the local suburb I live in, and walked from door to door, asking if they needed anything welded. As with any selling, you get a lot of no before you get to yes. But you'd be surprised what turns up. Stuck my head in a dress-shop, of all unlikely places, and the next day I was brazing up some broken dress-racks. A local outlet for a pizza chain had half a dozen broken steel-tube chairs in a storage room. I went around the store just before opening time looking at the rest of their chairs and found nearly fifty with cracks (the welds were placed wrong, and pulled out of the basemetal rather than allowing the joint to flex a little). I went on to weld chairs for the chain's stores from Everett to Olympia, well over a thousand chairs. I made extra money on this job by going to a fabric wholesaler to get a roll of upholstery that was a close match for what was originally on the chairs, and recovering many of the chairs using scissors and a staple gun.

    So, if you have no other ideas, try cold-calling from door to door.

    Leave a comment:


  • kevin
    replied
    post cards

    i had some post cards made up, they are cheaper to mail than a letter, then went thru the yellow pages, picked out potential clients and sent them out, i also stick my buss. cards in multiple stacks at all/any community message board, and local stores, i also took on a web site, all of this is fairly in expensive, i am on my second venture of having my own shop, my first was in the late 80,s to early 90,s, work just poured in, my second venture is opening a shop during a recession in a very rural area, and to be honest, if i could have a job at some fab shop opposed to having my own shop, i would go to work in the fab shop. im pushing 60 so no one wants to or are willing to hire a guy at this age, good luck with your shop, work hard and be honest and see where it takes you. kevin

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  • badger76
    replied
    reed construction data.com but it cost!! like 2400.00 a year....

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  • J C
    replied
    Originally posted by JSFAB View Post
    JC, get your head out of the clouds.

    No, there is no wonderful, easy website to join, that you can plug bids into.

    It takes legwork, and it takes time.

    There are far more clients, that will not pay promptly, if they pay at all, than the ones that do.

    Trick is, find the good payers, do good work for those, and get referrals from them. Generally, not always, people of a certain business ethical philosophy, tend to hang together. That is, I get a referral from a good-paying customer, is always more better than a referral from a poor-paying customer.

    As you get further into your business life, you will find, some of the most admired people in your community, are the crappiest people to do business with.

    90% of my crap customers, were gone from my list, three years after I started. Dumped the last one, just this year, 25 years after I started on my own. Why??? He wanted me to arch some trailers for him, since he historically doesn't pay for way too long, and since I'm not doing enough other work right now to cover him, sorry, I just can't subsidize doing work for him anymore.

    I will admit, I stuck with him a lot longer than I should've, simply because my dad, admired the guy. School board member, president of the school board, etc. etc. Over the years, cost me money. Thankfully, also over the years, I was always doing enough other work, to cover the frigging deadbeat.

    Only way, you will ever find out, if you can make it in business, is just go for it, take your lumps. It's not easy, if it was everybody would be doing it.

    All depends on what YOU want out of life, and how much risk YOU are willing to accept. Understand, I myself, not having a "job" for 25 years or better, I have no recourse in any way, no unemployment, no nothing. As it should be, as it is. Question, are you also willing to take that risk????????
    Thanks for the good advice. I know what your saying about those customers too. Not first hand but the owner of my shop had to deal with one like that & you could tell it was slowly hurting him financially. He ended up letting all his best people go to save a few dollars & got some morons off the street that didnt know anything & his customers knew & they started going to other shops to get the work done cause the quality went way down.

    Leave a comment:


  • JSFAB
    replied
    JC, get your head out of the clouds.

    No, there is no wonderful, easy website to join, that you can plug bids into.

    It takes legwork, and it takes time.

    There are far more clients, that will not pay promptly, if they pay at all, than the ones that do.

    Trick is, find the good payers, do good work for those, and get referrals from them. Generally, not always, people of a certain business ethical philosophy, tend to hang together. That is, I get a referral from a good-paying customer, is always more better than a referral from a poor-paying customer.

    As you get further into your business life, you will find, some of the most admired people in your community, are the crappiest people to do business with.

    90% of my crap customers, were gone from my list, three years after I started. Dumped the last one, just this year, 25 years after I started on my own. Why??? He wanted me to arch some trailers for him, since he historically doesn't pay for way too long, and since I'm not doing enough other work right now to cover him, sorry, I just can't subsidize doing work for him anymore.

    I will admit, I stuck with him a lot longer than I should've, simply because my dad, admired the guy. School board member, president of the school board, etc. etc. Over the years, cost me money. Thankfully, also over the years, I was always doing enough other work, to cover the frigging deadbeat.

    Only way, you will ever find out, if you can make it in business, is just go for it, take your lumps. It's not easy, if it was everybody would be doing it.

    All depends on what YOU want out of life, and how much risk YOU are willing to accept. Understand, I myself, not having a "job" for 25 years or better, I have no recourse in any way, no unemployment, no nothing. As it should be, as it is. Question, are you also willing to take that risk????????

    Leave a comment:


  • J C
    replied
    Originally posted by wroughtnharv View Post
    Hey. You might have just found yourself a career. YOU build a website where weldors and clients can find each other. Think Harmony.com for the lonely welding projects of the world.

    There's no such animal that I know of. I'm not sure there ever will be. That's because the one time jobs are few and far between. Most of the welding work involves businesses that hire weldors to do the welding with their equipment at their place and on their time.

    Those who contract out their welding usually do so because there isn't enough of the welding to support having full time weldors and their equipment. They are out there. But usually those companys find one or two weldors that do the work the way they want it done for a price their willing to pay.

    All the working weldors that are self employed that I know either produce a product, gates, trailers, etc or they work for just a couple of companys and they do whatever it takes to keep those clients happy. That's because the kind of work you're wanting isn't frequent enough to sustain many welding businesses.

    Think of the call I got the other day wanting to know if I could weld a washing machine tub, in the house. I shined that call because of the potential libiality, welding in a client's house and it the client thought me showing up was cheaper than a new washing machine they were either desperate or a fruitcake, maybe both.
    Yeah I know what your saying. The fab shop I worked at for years had 4 or 5 engineering firms that they worked with all the time & they produced a product. Would it be a bad idea to maybe start off mobile & see where that takes me then maybe work my way into a shop of my own if all goes well? Do the mobile welders do pretty good for themselves?

    Leave a comment:


  • wroughtnharv
    replied
    Originally posted by J C View Post
    Is there any websites to place bids on jobs?
    Hey. You might have just found yourself a career. YOU build a website where weldors and clients can find each other. Think Harmony.com for the lonely welding projects of the world.

    There's no such animal that I know of. I'm not sure there ever will be. That's because the one time jobs are few and far between. Most of the welding work involves businesses that hire weldors to do the welding with their equipment at their place and on their time.

    Those who contract out their welding usually do so because there isn't enough of the welding to support having full time weldors and their equipment. They are out there. But usually those companys find one or two weldors that do the work the way they want it done for a price their willing to pay.

    All the working weldors that are self employed that I know either produce a product, gates, trailers, etc or they work for just a couple of companys and they do whatever it takes to keep those clients happy. That's because the kind of work you're wanting isn't frequent enough to sustain many welding businesses.

    Think of the call I got the other day wanting to know if I could weld a washing machine tub, in the house. I shined that call because of the potential libiality, welding in a client's house and it the client thought me showing up was cheaper than a new washing machine they were either desperate or a fruitcake, maybe both.

    Leave a comment:


  • J C
    replied
    Originally posted by c wagner View Post
    Just a hunch but try your state's government website first.

    Another word of advice. If finding work on your own is too difficult you might want to reconsider starting your own business. There are many difficult things that come with owning your own business, some you can pay other people to deal with and it is well worth the money. The end result of owning your own business is that YOU are in control, now is a good time to start taking control of things yourself.
    Getting work is not hard. I wanted to get more work than just a guy off the street. I do suff at home everyday for people it's just I cant remember the website that the shop I used to work at used. Thats all. Just looking for some extra info.

    Leave a comment:


  • c wagner
    replied
    Originally posted by J C View Post
    Originally posted by captkipp View Post
    Log on to your state's govenment website. You can usually register there as a business and get yourself listed as being a state vendor. Without doing this the state bid folks will not know or care that you exist. In our state, registration is free. You just have to have a FEIN #.
    Just a hunch but try your state's government website first.

    Another word of advice. If finding work on your own is too difficult you might want to reconsider starting your own business. There are many difficult things that come with owning your own business, some you can pay other people to deal with and it is well worth the money. The end result of owning your own business is that YOU are in control, now is a good time to start taking control of things yourself.

    Leave a comment:


  • J C
    replied
    Originally posted by J C View Post
    Is there any websites to place bids on jobs?

    Leave a comment:


  • Sberry
    replied
    Should I just go to every local business in town or only certain ones?
    You would be wasting time with every business, you need to be a specialized marketer. An example, Hobart and Miller would waste a lot of effort if they try to market to everyone, they would find it a huge waste, no matter how much they threw at it my grandmother just isn't interested in a welding machine.

    Leave a comment:


  • J C
    replied
    Is there any websites to place bids on jobs?

    Leave a comment:


  • J C
    replied
    Isnt there some kind of website you can go to & see what jobs need bid? I know truckers have something like that to find loads.

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  • J C
    replied
    Originally posted by MMW View Post
    I have heard that you need to replace 10% of your customers per year because for a variety of reasons you will lose customers. I have seen it happen where the company is booming along & to busy to go bring in new work. Then one cust leaves & it is no big deal because they are still busy. Then another one & so on. All of a sudden, where did all the work go? Now they have to scramble for work to keep the doors open. This is where "banging on doors" comes in. Unless you are so in demand, like Chip Foose or OCC then you need to keep finding work. The next guy (your competition) for sure is knocking on YOUR customers doors trying to lure them away from you so you better be keeping good relationships with them as well as trying to lure others away from your competition.
    So back to what you said about going door to door. Should I just go to every local business in town or only certain ones?

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