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How do market our business ?

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  • How do market our business ?

    Just starting this because I had a interesting situation yesterday and it got me thinking. I was out getting materials (thats the other thread) and we had a guy come in and ask my helper if we do portable welding, which I dont do anymore- long story, but I may start again, anyhow, he left a flyer and a card, also the hint that he needed a part time job. But it got me thinking that hes out there knocking on doors and grabbing up some of my customers, which is all good, that is business ! But then again, I could always use more business so what should I do to raise awarness that I am around ? Many of my customers are "walk ins" because I have a decent road sign in front of the shop.
    Whos doing what to bring in their business ?

    Heres the new signature to seperate this Dan from that Dan

  • #2
    Great question.
    I've had an expensive phone book ad for a couple years and seem to only get a few calls from it. Doesn't seem worth it. Had the best results from sign out front and word of mouth. Seems the market here won't support to many full time welders. [resort area]. Some Marine work and some construction, mostly repairs vs fabrication. At least with my self and a few other welders I know. Interested to see how everbody elses deals with this. Couple of guys here seem to do a tremendous amont of work and I'm curiuos to see what type of work they do and what their areas are like . Great question.


    • #3
      Word of mouth and internet products i make and sell. Plus the local welding shop sends me all the work he dosen't want to mess with. I have a large sign today but i am sure the zoning is hot on my heals so it may be gone tomorrow...Bob


      • #4
        Hey Dan,

        Just out of curiosity, what part of the country are you in? In our region, the oil field is going nuts again, so it seems anyone that can strike and arc can find business of some sorts. The problem I have found with this kind of indurstry is that fact that word of mouth is so important. Yellow pages are great for retail and other consumer based lines, but really, how many people in the general public need welding work? Anybody that needs something welded with any kind of regularity usually knows where to look and can ask around a little bit and get a word of mouth refferal. It's a very vicious catch 22 sometimes, I feel. You may check around some similar industries in your area that may let you post a flyer or something at their establishment. Of course if it was my shop, I would want to know enough about you and your work to be able to promote you without risking my own reputation. But I think that is only reasonable. I know one guy here local that has about 90% of his moble work with local freight companys maintaining their docks. It's more involved than just welding, but he does a ton of that with it. Anyway, just my two cents. SSS


        • #5
          I am in south central wisconsin.
          I agree that people need to know a bit about the shop and the work they do prior to referring them. I see some of these welding places that only mig weld and are pretty much just "scabbing" things togeather, just rough repair work,and offer no type of machining process at all. I would like to think that being a Job shop I have the advantage, but I know of one old timer that is loaded with work and he only welds, does a good job of it too, his advantage is that he has been around forever and he has no real overhead, he works out of a barn on his property. He is also fairly cheap, which helps, but he is also 2 months behind. My customers are usually the "I need it yesterday-next week" type that cant wait. I hear Yellow pages work well in my area but dont know if I want to chance the money out without researching the potential. My business Roller coasters a bit, I get really busy ( 16 hour days) then I get a week of nothing. I have a hard time bringing my two guys in ( they both do part time) when its slow, and I need to be there when it is busy. Like mentioned earlier-my reputation is on the line, and my business. I was considering a mailer to local business ? I am in the other catch 22, if I get too busy I need more help, yet I cant bring in more help without steady work. I thought trying to dial in on some of the local machine shop over flow may be intersting, I just dont want to end up doing 1000 piece jobs all the time, thats why I have job shop and not a machine shop. Plus My love is welding more then all the other process's.
          Here is a pic- I know its not welding related, but I spent a bit of time on this and thought others may find it intersting.Its a distributor I made for a old 60 buick V8, I guess the guy builds rods with these big old buick motors,doesnt look like much but I spent 8 hours making this for him, he needed it YESTERDAY for a car show.
          Attached Files


          • #6
            Somebody here mentioned that the general public needs very little welding and i think their right. thats probably why the phone book [for me] doesn't seem to work so well. Its seems everybody who needs welding, knows where to go. Most of my welding work is not fabrication but repairs. Equipment/marine repairs. You might try going to your local contractors/landscapers/ equipment repair shops etc and give them a card. I didn't remember if you did any mobile work, I do not. But alot of their equipment can be dropped off. And if your willing to work through the evening for them that could sell them, drop it off at 4pm and pick it up at 7am. All my work is pretty much that way. Or leave a couple of days or over the weekend. As I do this part time its OK by me. Your distributor looked good. Looks like your customer was converting from a points dist to a newer electronic dist. Looked cool.


            • #7
              Sign out front, word of mouth and start giving away business cards by the hundreds. Also see what kind of welding sells in your area, and then how many people are doing that type of welding.



              • #8
                Business is Business


                You have missed the point altogether! Let's do a business 101 analysis,
                you don't do portable welding "anymore" - he does. You don't knock on doors looking for business - you have a sign - he knocks on doors. He hinted he is looking for work (Knocking on doors) - business cards and signs DO NOT compete with a guy at your front door ready to weld.

                If you are not hungry enough for business and are satisfied with walkin's - he will eventually eat your lunch.

                My humble opinion would be to call him and have him come in and do some typical welds you do in the shop. If he has the talent, hire him and base a percentage of his salary on the business he brings in. You now have a welder that likes the road, and likes face time with customers and generating income for your shop.

                Think it through.



                • #9
                  Well Steve,

                  I really dont think I have missed the point~~as you mention, I believe that I made the point that you mentioned over again. I can read what I write- I was more interested in other ways of bringing in business, not to mention that I thought it would be a interesting subject in general. As far as business 101 goes, I do have a pretty good idea of the basics you mention, I think anyone on the forum that can read probably knows that if someone needed something welded and someone looking to weld knocks on their door- they will probably have the guy at the door weld for them.
                  As far as calling this guy and having him come in and discuss working for me or even with me, I have no interest in either. I dont need another guy right now, and I did try to contact him twice for a outside job and he didnt return calls, so he has already had his number removed from my phone book. Its to bad, I had a decent "hot" job for him that would have been very financially rewarding if he were available. Even one of my guys tried to call him the next day after he stopped in and he never returned his call either.
                  All that said, I think we are on the same page. You made the key point, the hungry guy will always get the most work ! But at the same time the guy with the least work will have the time to go out looking for work.


                  • #10
                    I went to a festival this weekend, besides seeing the sights, listen to the music and eating a little of the junk food, I talked to people about their metal needs. I listen to what said and talked to them about what it would take to get their business.

                    Had a great time, maybe have one or two new customers, don't know, and maybe not for a while.



                    • #11

                      I am humbly chowing down on crow. I had a lapse and forgot how many flackey people there are out there that can't hold a job because they are undependable.

                      As a business owner I was flirting with hiring another person until I found out California would levy something like $40,000 per year in employee costs... I'm in business one more year - then I shut it down.

                      The current Governor - Arnold "the putz" has taken a left wing liberal enviro-nazi turn and signed legislation that is going to ruin business here in the state. If you are using a 10hp diesel generator to run equipment - it needs to be registered with the state (fee extrta) - or a $10,000 fine per day.


                      • #12
                        Wow! I have the exact oposite problem, we have no real regulation, no enforcers if we did.

                        My generator has a 1.0 liter engine, never thought about it causing polution problems in my area.



                        • #13
                          I used to work for a company that would dild custom trailers,buckets for skis steers and other stuff like that,and they would have sticker with the company name,city and phone number.Semed to work.Hope it helps.


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