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  • Question about starting Business

    I have started a welding business and have been getting a little here and there. I would like to get things going a little quicker. I know it will take time so i am not going to get frustrated about not getting much to do.

    Anyway Tell I get more work the only welder i have is a Dyasty 300DX. So everything i weld if it's not aluminum or stainless is stick welded. getting darn good with the 6010.

    Where are good places to look for work. I live near Hanford(nuke storage area) and a pulp mill also a lot of food processing.

    Any ideas for the guys that have there own thing going on.

    KB Fabrications you are the closest to me if you ever find your self in needing help of cant take on a job i may be interested.

    Dry Creek Welding
    Dynasty 300DX Tigrunner
    Trailblazer 302
    Spectrum 2050
    suitcase 12RC

  • #2
    Gary M,

    Good topic! I have acquired most of the equipment I will need to start my part-time mobile weld/fab business, and what I don't have I am in the process of making (truck crane). I have not gotten my feet wet yet because there are several things I need to do, or check out like business permits, insurance, and anything else anyone suggests that is important but often overlooked.

    I am not going into this with the idea of killing a fat hog right away, but at the same time I think a person should avoid making little or no profit just to get the work, and get your name out there. At the present time I am thinking about an hourly rate between $45.00-$55.00 with a 1 hour minimum.

    There are quite a few savy people on this and other forums who should be able to chime in and give upstarters like us some solid advice. Would you be both mobile and in shop? I hope your topic generates a lot of responses, because I feel there are probably quite a few people who would appreciate this information. The one piece of advice that seems to be very consistant in regards to this topic is that when you enter this or any other business venture, is you should be knowledgeable about the work you accept, do good work, and be honest.


    • #3
      good topic. I also am starting a mobile repair company, the expected start time is next summer. I mainly want to concentrate on aluminum and stainless ti work. I alrewady have a hf251d and a super 32 suitcase, also a bobcat 225g which i plan on replacing witha a302g. Insurance is the biggest bill, but if you stay with repairs and away from new products its not overwheming. I also hope that lots of people chime in on this topic as i would like to learn more about what is important for the self employed.
      Trailblazer 302g
      super s-32p
      you can never know enough


      • #4
        I agree with Pat, Don't cut yourself short just to get work, this in turn lowers everyone down a notch. In my area due to excess the going rate is 35.00 an hour + set up fee (usually 75.00) Hardly worth doing. But if you like what you are doing it's tough to ask for money( I have said to myself how can you ask for money when I would do this for free ) Then I look at all those Blue boxes & it becomes easy to ask for money . That **** insurance is not cheap either.... Take it one step at a time.
        Occupational License.
        And a good sense of Humor. You will really need this on some of the crazy stuff people want fixed.


        • #5
          My only suggestion is, if you want to have a business your going to need a MIG welder. Here is an example of why. Lets say I have an old trailer that needs some metal replaced. I don't want to pay you by the hour to lay down nice TIG welds on this trailer. I want it done as quickly as possible so I pay less. A MIG will do a fine job and take alot less prep and weld time. Even if you plan to do alot of aluminum, most shops around here use a MIG with a spool gun if they can. They save the TIG for more critical stuff that either needs to be "pretty" or can't be done with a MIG. I know you have a stick welder also, but if I take my stuff to a business I don't necessarily want to see the guy using a stick welder to do the work either. Of course if your the only welder in town then none of this matters


          • #6
            I started my bus. three years ago. I was the head welder for Co-Motion Cycles for 3 years and when my wife got pregnant with our first son, we decided I would quit my job and stay home with him (her job has phenomenal benefits). After about 6 mo., I was getting a little ancy to weld and, really on a whim, started KB Fabrications. I had no Idea about running a business but with some help from friends and our accountant I plunged ahead.

            The first year I probably had 4 total jobs doing things like pot racks and gates, mostly for friends. It was hard but since I was staying home with my son, I only had limited time to work anyway. The second year, I landed a gig with another local bicycle co. to make their front racks. That has since blossomed into 5 different things I do for them (with several more things on the way). In the beginning of my third year, I got a chance to do all of the welding for a co. here that makes parts, tools, and just about anything else you can imagine, for the helicopter industry. I'm actually getting kind of spoiled because almost everything I weld comes off of a CNC machine ready for the torch.

            I have created kind of a niche for myself here in Eugene. Doing small jobs here and there, getting to know people, and people getting to know what I am capable of (welding and otherwise). Most big shops here have a 2 to 3 week wait for custom weld/fab work. I can usually get things back to folks in a couple of days max. Above all, be conciensous about your work and show your customers that you care about them. If you can do all that where you are your chances of success will be much greater IMO.

            The very best of luck to you. If I can be of any help or if you are ever in the area, look me up and come on out to the shop.
            Dynasty 350DX
            Dynasty 200DX TigRunner
            MM 350P
            MM Passport Plus
            Spectrum 375 Extreme
            08' Trailblazer 302


            • #7
              I also have started a small fab shop and my specialty at the moment is aluminum and stainless marine fabrication. Luckely my shop is right in a marina where a lot of work is word of mouth. Unfortunatly lasy summer I botched up a job and that word of mouyh is a double edged sword. I still work at my regular job as a Union pipe welder/ Steamfitter, so the hit I took was not a killer blow. We all learn form mistakes and it only make us better at what we do in the future,
              But to answer your question..The local paper is a great source to advertise in .In the beginnig I did not put my add as a buisness simply because the advertiser rep heard buisness and wnted to tripple the cost so I advertised as if I had some thing to sell and went from there people called looking for specific items and evntually bought other thing or custom stuff.
              Best of luck to you


              • #8
                well one great thing about becoming a business, is getting to deduct all of your tooling costs!?! This is an immense help to me, I get raped on taxes, and spend way too much on tools (If thats possible ).

                Now I'm just researching what is the best type of business to start, Incorporated, or ......

                Good Luck!!


                • #9
                  Thanks for all your responces!

                  One thing that is helping me out is that Me and my wife have a Farm Ins. Policy so the insurence is not costing me much more then before.

                  As in the Mig welding Oh yes i know what you are saying that is my next large purchase. Will be a Inverter power supply. The direction I would like to move something like the XMT would be best. If a job comes my way and i need more then one or two other welding. I will be able to set up the Engien Driven welding and the dynasty or XMT for more stick welding. They sometime get big welding jobs with irigation.

                  Few years ago they put in 10 miles of 42" pipe got smaller from there on, well they payed so much for the truck and then so much for each welder.

                  I am planing on doing so foot work and getting some regular customes.

                  Good luck with you other guys that are starting welding Business also.

                  Dry Creek Welding
                  Dynasty 300DX Tigrunner
                  Trailblazer 302
                  Spectrum 2050
                  suitcase 12RC


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Pat
                    Gary M,
                    At the present time I am thinking about an hourly rate between $45.00-$55.00 with a 1 hour minimum..
                    I have a two hour minimum charge on bigger stuff. Little piddly teensy tiny stuff that takes less than 20 minutes, I price by the job with the irritation factor figured in there. I have that factor for one customer mostly.

                    I do the same with the mobile work, be it welding or bobcat work. Flat rate with a two hour minimum to cover transit. Fuel is expensive these days. Don't start out selling yourself short. That can be a hard habit to break.

                    '06 Trailblazer 302
                    '06 12RC feeder
                    Super S-32P feeder

                    HH210 & DP3035 spool gun
                    Esab Multimaster 260
                    Esab Heliarc 252 AC/DC


                    • #11
                      Hi Guys,

                      I am another one who started my own mobile welding business, the good ole bobcat 250nt with a MIG suitcase was my starter and enough to get me going, my jobs ranged from marine through to heavy earth moving to doing fences, gates and of course those irritatingly fiddly jobs! I put an advertisment in the Yellow Pages and it has served me quite well, advertising is the key!!

                      I started out wanting to be a jack of all trades and weld anything and everything but in the end you are far better niching yourself in something that you enjoy and are interested in, for me it is marine, hence the reason I have restructured and am now building and manufacturing plate aluminium boats.

                      If you have any industrial estates in your area then it is a great idea to go around and introduce yourself to every business there! You never know when someone may need a mezanine floor, a trolley fabricated, shelf fixed etc. etc. You will probably even walk into some work!

                      As has been previously said, never compromise your price, you need to charge somewhere between what you think it is worth, and what someone else would do. I actually made up a few things that I needed welded and rang around the other guys who are already setup in my local area, me bad I know, but how else are you going to find out?! Irritation factor is an excellent component to build into any price, if you end up being awarded the job, at least it is offset with a tidy little profit at the end of it!

                      Unfortunately you aren't here in Australia where we have a tradesperson shortage right across the board, it looks like I'll be needing to put on a few sub contractors in the near future courtesy of a new contract that looks like coming to fruition!

                      I think the best piece of advice I have to offer is to make some contacts that are complimentary to your skills, people like designers, architects, engineers etc. You don't have to take on every job that comes your way but it surely has to be a lot better being able to pick and choose rather than scraping by!

                      Keep us informed as to how you are going, would love to hear how you are getting on.
                      "Its the way it spatters that matters!"


                      • #12
                        Welding as a Business

                        Greetings everyone:

                        As my first post on the board I think this is a fitting thread for me to jump into. I have recently gone back to my old trade and started my own welding business (mobile) too. Dollar signs appeared in my eyes when I heard how much money was being made by the Pipe Weldors in the Oil&Gas industry. I had heard the rumours over the years but had to actually see what it was all about. So I spent a couple of months last out in the field making contacts and getting a general feel for the scene. Let me tell you this - nobody wants to talk to you in that industry unless you have your own rig and then you are golden! I signed on as a Weldor's Helper for a short period (sucked up a bit of pride there!) to see the work first hand. I geared up this summer and have a couple of smaller local contracts under my belt now and am heading up to Northern BC soon for about 4 months of hair straight back rod burnin'

                        "Anyway Tell I get more work the only welder i have is a Dyasty 300DX. So everything i weld if it's not aluminum or stainless is stick welded. getting darn good with the 6010. "

                        Get darn good with 7018 and 6010 in 3/32,1/8 and 5/32 and you will have it made!

                        "Few years ago they put in 10 miles of 42" pipe got smaller from there on, well they payed so much for the truck and then so much for each welder."

                        Plus live out allowance to each welder plus consumables and fuel if they were lucky. At the end of the day the pipeline Weldors make a LOT of money!

                        "At the present time I am thinking about an hourly rate between $45.00-$55.00 with a 1 hour minimum.."

                        This sounds like a reasonable $US rate for somebody to lug around a Dynasty and plug into somebody else's power at a Mill or some other Industrial facility. Low/zero maintenance/fuel/consumables cost!


                        PipePro350 SS,Pro300 SS,X-tremeVS,Dynasty200DX,MM251, SA-200 Redface,SA-200 Shorthood,SAE-300


                        • #13
                          Thanks for the posts

                          hurricunning thanks for the insight. I have been working my tail off the last few weeks making contacts and trying to get work. It makes it hard when I work full time as a welder/fab for a truck repair shop.

                          "heading up to Northern BC soon for about 4 months of hair straight back rod burnin'" You need any help?

                          Thanks So much everyone!

                          Dry Creek Welding
                          Dynasty 300DX Tigrunner
                          Trailblazer 302
                          Spectrum 2050
                          suitcase 12RC


                          • #14
                            Glad to see this thread. After about 6 years of trying to get an ornamental ironworks going, I'm still trying. Working another full time job slows things down, but the regular paycheck is hard to give up.
                            What I have learned is:
                            Keep receipts! Your accountant will love you.
                            Keep track of mileage.
                            A good accountant to do your taxes will save you lots of $ over time.
                            Make time to maintain your equipment.
                            Follow good safety practices. Here's why. If you get hurt, you can't work, which means you can't make a living. Besides that, I like being able to see, walk, hear, etc.
                            What I still need to learn:
                            What's the best kind of insurance to have? By that I mean the best for working on someone else's property or for liability if someone gets hurt for some reason on work you've done?
                            How to estimate how much time a job is going to take. You can run into some "interesting" problems installing things in peoples houses. It's hard to explain to people that installation is time and materials. They want to know a price up front.
                            Some of these things aren't problems for pipe welders, but are for others. Each speciality has its own problems.
                            Good luck.
                            It's hard work starting a business, but I really like being able to make my own business decisions.


                            • #15
                              I found myself starting a business also. Being a student and trying to run things is tough, but I am trying to make the best of it. I found myself always wanting to do the small jobs for everyone, and then everyone started coming to me to do them. I too find myself selling short and having trouble asking for money at times with people, but they have to realize that it IS a business and that nothing in life is free. There are definately differences between helping someone out and letting them have a free ride. One of the hardest things to do as a business man is to ask a friend/family member to pay up once you have worked your butt off for them! Everyone wants something for nothing.

                              Good luck to everyone out there, Burn it up!

                              Nick Bezates
                              Bezates Fabrication

                              2 Ranger 9's
                              1 Champion 16(Hobart)
                              Invertec V-205 TIG setup
                              Powermig 255
                              AC/DC 225 Stick
                              Cutmaster 50
                              Thermal Dynamics Stak Pak