Welders interested in opening their own shops need to know a lot more than how to weld a tight bead. Operating a welding business requires not just performing high-quality welds but also sound business planning. Read on to find out about five things future business owners should keep in mind if they’re planning to start a welding business.
1. Financial Planning
Launching any kind of business requires some startup capital, and welding shops are no exception. Business owners who are used to using company equipment will need to purchase their own mig welding supplies, and even those who already have the right equipment on-hand will need to anticipate other expenses.
These expenses can include rent at a commercial property, business insurance, utility payments, marketing expenses, and more. Welders who don’t have a ton of expendable cash should start looking into loans well in advance and may want to consider adding a second job to get through the first few difficult months of shop ownership.
2. Business Plans
Business plans are essentially executive summaries that identify a company’s mission and target markets for potential investors and other interested parties. Writing a business plan can be stressful, but there’s plenty of information out there about what to include and how to get started. It’s fine to use a template. Just be sure to keep the plan professional and include as many details as possible.
3. Marketing Strategies
While word of mouth is a powerful thing, it may not be enough to sustain a brand-new welding business. It’s perfectly fine for shop owners who are just getting everything up and running to stop into local repair shops and other businesses that may need welding services for a quick introduction but don’t stop there. Be sure that everyone in the area knows the shop is open for business by advertising in local papers and coming up with a geographically targeted digital marketing strategy.
4. Location Options
All welding shops must be designed not just for functionality but also for safety. It doesn’t matter whether welders want to set up shop in a rented or purchased commercial building or in their own garages. The areas they choose must be properly ventilated, free from anything burnable, and equipped with fire extinguishers.
It’s also relevant to note here how future welding business owners will take walk-in clients and phone calls, especially if there will only be one person handling everything when the business opens. Using a Bluetooth headset and a VoIP phone line is one of the simplest and most affordable options, but make sure the computer is a safe distance from the welding table.
5. Machines and Materials
When a welding business just gets started, machines and materials are usually the biggest day-to-day expenses. It’s worth taking out a loan to purchase high-quality equipment instead of settling for machines that won’t cut it in the long run. When it comes to materials and consumables, the most important thing is to have a reasonable supply on hand to meet order requests quickly and efficiently.
Make the Dream of Business Ownership a Reality
There’s a lot that goes into planning and executing the opening of a welding business, but welders shouldn’t let it put them off. Learn as much as possible about the business end of things before opening up shop, then put it all to practice and be patient. It can take months, or even years, for a new business to really get off the ground.