Miller Electric

Welding Discussion Forums

Home » Resources » Communities » Welding Discussion Forums
 
Miller Welding Discussion Forums - Powered by vBulletin

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Blissfield, MI
    Posts
    78

    Default Weld shop round 2

    It's been nearly a year since I last posted questions on this subject so I want to ask you folks how you started. In short, 15 year Millwright, lost job at Ford due to plant closing. Bought grandpa's farm shop, 5000sqft, 3 phase, full shop overhead crane, 400sqft office. For welding equip: 3 phase hobart mig, miller dynasty 350, hypertherm 1000 plasma. Great facility and equipment but no work. Put a nice sign out front and I thought the work would come. Did you folks hit up local businesses to try to get work?? I advertised in a local paper for 14 weeks and got 1 job. I am currently working for local 1393 millwrights and piledrivers and hate it! Driving 150 miles a day sucks when I could be pulling my own work right across the street. What's my next move???
    Thanks Shane
    Modern Metalworking

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    541

    Default

    Where are you located?
    I live in Indiana and have more than I am comfortable with. I need you shop, I am building a small one.
    As someone on this sight once said, the equipment alone doesn;t make a weld shop, the work does.
    Knock on doors, take samples of you tig, mig on steel, aluminum, whatever your capabilities are. No one is going to beat down you door if no one knows what you can do.
    Good luck, and keep the faith.
    Tim Beeker,
    T-N-J Industries
    (my side bussiness)

    Miller Synchrowave 350LX with tigrunner
    Esab 450i with wire feeder
    HH135 mig
    Thermal Dynamics cutmaster 51 plasma cutter
    Miller aircrafter 330 - sold
    Marathon 315mm coldsaw
    vertical and horizontal band saws
    table saw
    Dewalt cut off saw
    Sand blast cabinet
    lots of hand grinders
    Harris torch
    beer fridge

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Idaho
    Posts
    203

    Default Weld shop

    I opened my shop in Dec. 2004 and spent the winter sweeping the floor and playing Solitare on the computer.

    Then I decided to put lettering on my truck (both sides and rear of the bed shell), giving the name and cell phone number of my business. Shortly after, I actually got a job from someone who was behind me on the highway and called me on my cell phone. I can't even count the number of people who have called, saying they had seen my truck around town.

    Next, I printed business cards and brochures, and mailed those to local businesses that were obvious prospects (construction companies, etc.)

    But the biggest result came from placing an ad in the yellow pages. The one drawback is that it only comes out once a year. The first year I just used one line. After seeing the increase in business, I am now at 1/4 page and the increased cost has paid for itself many times over.

    Hnag in there. Once you get repeat customers and word of mouth, that 150 mile drive may look pretty easy!
    Last edited by mikeswelding; 12-07-2007 at 10:49 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Idaho
    Posts
    203

    Default Weld shop again

    One other thing I forgot that has been very successful. I invested in a ball cap, work shirt, and light-weight jacket and had a local embroidery shop put the name of the business on them. As a result, I have actually gotten jobs while standing in line at the grocery store!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Blissfield, MI
    Posts
    78

    Default

    Located in Blissfield MI. 15 miles North of Toledo, OH. I had the sign and business cards done professionally with my cell as a business number. Should I get a hard phone line in so I will have a fax and in the phone book? Would the results be better if I went personally to business instead of sending a card? I will set out on the next rain or bad weather day (building a ethanol in Fostoria Oh). Thanks for the replies and will post results. I have met with a few businesses that said they would send me some work but did not. The bad part is I'm not much of a salesman, just love to weld and fab so I have been very reluctant to go door to door. I have always had the impression that you had to be a good B.S.'er to be successful which that is a trait I don't possess. I'm to honest.
    Shane
    Modern Metalworking L.L.C.

  6. #6

    Default

    not that i own my own business .. or know anything about it by any means.. but my uncle who does his own electrical contracting.. had a really bad stretch for a while a year or so ago.. he got cought up with a fella that can laser print logos on **** near anything... he bought a stockpile of pocket knives off tv and blank pens.. got them logo'ed with info on them..and handed them out like candy... and it worked well..business picked up niceley.. he also logo'd his truck as much as possible.. and handed out packets of cards to everywhere and everything he could think of... all of this turned out well in his favor.. word of mouth is also really really good too!

    as a receiver of the gifts.. where i work we constantly get vendors in with free goodies like that..and every time i think i need a part or service i always remember the guy that came in and gave me that really cool pen...

    and a guy walking around with a shirt or jacket with his name and logo on it looks more "profesional" then joe shmo walking around with a flanal jacket and tattered burned levi's...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    northern NJ
    Posts
    1,847

    Default

    I have heard that it is a good idea to have a useful trinket made up with your name & number on it to hand out. Something that they will keep around such as a magnetic clip to hold papers, paper weight, etc.

    Yes, go out & visit in person. Dress nice, not some ripped, dirty work clothes. Appearence does matter. Try construction co., supermarkets (shopping carts), motorcycle repair places (especially if you do aluminum). Just try to think of anyone who might need occasional welding but not enough to invest in equipment. Good luck.
    Last edited by MMW; 12-08-2007 at 06:39 AM.
    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    northern NJ
    Posts
    1,847

    Default

    Even if you visited them once don't be to proud to go visit again. Sometimes they lose your number or maybe someone else was just there & they will remember the last guy who visited & hopefully it will be you.
    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    173

    Default

    Lot of good advice in the posts above, much of it I would heed.

    I started a business a few years back and most thought I would never make it as there was too much competition. I started a business in a major US metro area and went from # none to # 1 in a short time. I used many of the recommendations above and I did a few other things.

    1) Get yourself a website. All you need is one page with a few fotos of you and your shop. Short intro of your businesses capabilities and specialties. Address, directions, map, fone and fax and a e mail. You can do this for only a few $ a month. check: www.godaddy.com

    Check out my site on $10 per month: www.savagesun4x4.com

    2) You have a computer so pick up a Vonage account or other VOIP account. Use this as a fax number and outgoing land line if you need to. check: http://www.vonage.com

    3) Hats and shirts...GREAT idea I wore them everyday.

    4) Go see you local newspaper about doing a mailer. I bought the client list and traded services for envelopes and printing and I paid for the postage. I sent out 3,000 mailers that had a ONE page intro about me and my business abilities and a coupon on the bottom good for a discount on service or parts. I also included a business card in every envelope.

    5) Get you a flyer (flyer is the same as intro letter) with you info on it and a box of business cards and stop by some target businesses that might be customers. If they are too busy and don't have time to talk to you, fine, just lay it on the desk/counter say thanks.

    6) Stop in and see all of your competition, introduce yourself, drop off the flyer and bus card, tell them you are new and trying to give it a go. Ask them for any overflow work they may have or any time sensitive jobs you can help out on and do it cheap just to show them your work. Be sure to tell them you are a one man show and if you get a big job would they be interested in sharing with you.

    7) Do not waste your time sitting in the shop waiting on work to show up. Stop off at coffee shops, bars n such and meet some folks, pass out business cards. Stop off at the local welding and steel supply, get to know them, give them you card, tell them you are looking for new work. Ask if they have a bulletin board where you can post a flyer and business cards.

    8) Lets us know how you are doing, ask us for help and advice...again.

    9) After a few years I sold my business to my competition, retired and moved to Scottsdale, AZ, you can too.
    Don
    Scottsdale, AZ
    www.savagesun4x4.com

    MillerMatic 211 AS
    Hypertherm PowerMax30
    Bernard 300 Amp Q Gun
    Bernard 200 Amp Q Gun
    Milwaukee Band-saw/stand
    10 Angle Grinders 8, 4 1/2" -2, 7"
    DeWalt Chop Saw
    Craftsman Twin-Blade Saw
    12 Ton Shop Press
    Optrel Satellite Helmet
    Miller Elite Helmet

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Blissfield, MI
    Posts
    78

    Default

    Final note, price? It's been a year since I posted this also and had some crazy results with $90/hour being the lowest? If I go looking for work and they ask what I charge what would be a reasonable amount. Take into consideration that I am working along way from home during the week so I won't readily available to go to their facility to look at a job. I was thinking around $60/hr. or should I just bid the job instead of time and materials? I was thinking about hitting the retail stores but am reluctant because I don't yet have a Trailblazer, but I am experienced at dock repair/installation, but the shopping cart repair is a good one I have not thought of. Everyones replies have been very helpful and I plan on going out on the next time we get sent home because of weather.
    Thanks, Shane Wyman
    Modern Metalworking L.L.C.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Warning: Non-static method PhpQuickProfiler::getMicroTime() should not be called statically in /mnt/stor3-wc1-dfw1/357822/357839/www.millerwelds.com/web/content/lib/pqp/classes/Console.php on line 77

Warning: Non-static method PhpQuickProfiler::getMicroTime() should not be called statically in /mnt/stor3-wc1-dfw1/357822/357839/www.millerwelds.com/web/content/lib/pqp/classes/Console.php on line 77

Warning: Non-static method PhpQuickProfiler::getMicroTime() should not be called statically in /mnt/stor3-wc1-dfw1/357822/357839/www.millerwelds.com/web/content/lib/pqp/classes/Console.php on line 77

Warning: Non-static method PhpQuickProfiler::getMicroTime() should not be called statically in /mnt/stor3-wc1-dfw1/357822/357839/www.millerwelds.com/web/content/lib/pqp/classes/Console.php on line 77

Warning: Non-static method PhpQuickProfiler::getMicroTime() should not be called statically in /mnt/stor3-wc1-dfw1/357822/357839/www.millerwelds.com/web/content/lib/pqp/classes/Console.php on line 77

Warning: Non-static method PhpQuickProfiler::getMicroTime() should not be called statically in /mnt/stor3-wc1-dfw1/357822/357839/www.millerwelds.com/web/content/lib/pqp/classes/Console.php on line 77

Warning: Non-static method PhpQuickProfiler::getMicroTime() should not be called statically in /mnt/stor3-wc1-dfw1/357822/357839/www.millerwelds.com/web/content/lib/pqp/classes/Console.php on line 77

Warning: Function split() is deprecated in /mnt/stor3-wc1-dfw1/357822/357839/www.millerwelds.com/web/content/lib/footer.inc.php on line 82

Welding Projects

Special Offers: See the latest Miller deals and promotions.