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  • Marketing a welding business??

    Hello my name is Mason.
    Ive been in the pipe welding trades for 15 years. 6G certified in steel, stainless, aluminum

    About 6 months ago I bought a 325 trailblazer, dynasty 200 and a 12 VS wire feeder. all is paid for. also bought a 2015 ford F250. (making payments on that one)

    I live in las vegas, I work full time for a company and have been doing side work.
    I have a state and county business lic. and liability insurance ect.

    I have a add on YP, craigs list and google. and I know it takes time for word of mouth. I advertise that Im certified and weld carbon steel, stainless and aluminum. my adds are pretty good, I got a good facebook business page also.
    www.facebook.com/mcwmobile

    Here is my questions, work is just hit and miss, more miss than hit although.
    Just looking for some advice of welding business owners??
    Cant really talk to other local welding businesses, because we a competing for work.

    Example- 4 weeks ago in one weekend I did a pipe job for a fuel company 40 4in. pipe welds in one day, I took a fellow pipe welder with me. Next day sunday, I did a 8 hr job on a I beam and supporting beams. That was a great weekend.
    The next two weekends almost nothing.

    Any and all advise would be great
    Thanks
    Mason

  • #2
    right now the economy sucks as for picking up more work and getting your name out there .what I do is I apply at every contract company there is just so I can get my foot in the door at multiple companies. when you go on a job for a contract company just hand out a business card to the foremans while your there and also give one to every white hard hat guy you see.i say white hard hat because 99% of the time the big guy who makes the calls wears a white hard hat.

    it also doesn't hurt to offer to take the main guys out to lunch from time to time let them know that if they ever need a favor to give you a call like welding up simple stuff for them personally. the next thing is something I don't do but others do and that is give them stuff my brother owns a crane company and I do all the welding for him and in the past he has bought rifles and other stuff for the big guys but it paid off because for giving out 2 or 3k in gifts he has gotten way over 400k and more in work from them. also you can hit the internet search the tractor forums they always need something fixed or made I do a good bit of internet work like that they send me pictures and measurements and I build it.

    Comment


    • #3
      If there is enough work in your area to support a business & you are good at it, then word of mouth will catch up to you. When on a job site be visible to others there & have cards ready if needed.

      Most of my new customers come from referrals of present customers.

      I also do more than just welding. For instance I just retro-fitted a small folding grain auger onto a box that it wasn't made for. Not a lot of welding but some engineering & re-designing to make it work. Kind of need to be a "jack of all trades" but specialized in welding.
      MM250
      Trailblazer 250g
      22a feeder
      Lincoln ac/dc 225
      Victor O/A
      MM200 black face
      Whitney 30 ton hydraulic punch
      Lown 1/8x 36" power roller
      Arco roto-phase model M
      Vectrax 7x12 band saw
      Miller spectrum 875
      30a spoolgun w/wc-24
      Syncrowave 250
      RCCS-14

      Comment


      • #4
        Ive been hunting down work for the last 27 years, so far everyone has given you good advise.

        Just as MMW said, most of my work comes from companies that have been with me 20 plus years, every year or to I pic up new better customers.

        You have to wait for your competition to fail with a customer and hope they give you a try.
        All of this doesn't happen overnight, It takes time to build clientele.

        What worked for me 27 years ago was going into the industrial parks that were in a 20 mile radius of me, clean shaven with my welding rig, clean work clothes, safety glasses and not reaking of cigarette smoke, I would knock on doors and hand out business cards from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, However I never made it to 5:00 pm because I always found someone that would ask me to look at something, I would then pick up where I left off the next day.

        Doing this can be very discouraging because 95% of the people dont need you, but you need the 5%.

        Just as MMW said, You need to be a master of welding and a jack of all trades in several other areas.
        I get a lot of my work because I can cut, drill and pour concrete, I can design fabricate and erect my steel ( You have to be able to hold your customers hand and walk them through projects )
        I also erect and maintain conveyor systems in places like FedEx, UPS, Asphalt plants Concrete plants and automotive plants.

        I also work on heavy equipment, Big trucks, campers Etc.
        These are just a few of the places you might want to seek out if you have any of these skills.

        The type of tools and equipment will limit your abilities also.

        Dont be afraid to meet and greet your competition, You might find if you have certain skills they might need you.
        I send lots of smaller jobs to small guys that I know will do a good job and in return they will many times send the jobs that are too big for them to me.

        When and if they send you to one of their customers dont steal them away, I have several conveyor companies that I do work for and their customers will try to hire me direct and I'm always polite and honest and tell them they need to contact my customer for future work ( Sure you might steel a customer here and there ) But they will find out and never deal with you again.

        Honesty and integrity will pay off in the end.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks so much, all the advice is great! I know things like starting a business takes time. I am a good welder but I'm going through a huge learning curve making a business out of it.
          I'm also thinking of getting my contractor license so I can bid on piping jobs. Mabey start small and start to get a couple employees. Sometimes it seems like you need to specialize in one certain field. Like you wouldn't want to go to a general doctor to have heart surgery. You would want to see a doctor that specializes in heart surgery

          Comment


          • #6
            Keep records of everything. In a business you may need them at some point.

            When working for your current employer take notice of how the business is run. Many times employees never understand why decisions are made & complain about them. Sometimes rightfully so but other times it's cause they don't understand the business side of it. Cash flow or deep pockets is essential to staying in business. Don't over buy on equipment. Keep picking up good used equipment now so you won't have to spring for full price new stuff, unless you need it now. Keep making contacts now but don't try to steal business. Is there an area that your current employer doesn't handle or want to get involved in for his customers? Maybe you can provide that service without cutting into your employer.

            Don't rip people off, it will come back to you someday. It's hard to get a good reputation but easy to get a bad one.
            MM250
            Trailblazer 250g
            22a feeder
            Lincoln ac/dc 225
            Victor O/A
            MM200 black face
            Whitney 30 ton hydraulic punch
            Lown 1/8x 36" power roller
            Arco roto-phase model M
            Vectrax 7x12 band saw
            Miller spectrum 875
            30a spoolgun w/wc-24
            Syncrowave 250
            RCCS-14

            Comment

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