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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Olive Branch Ms
    Posts
    129

    Default Advice on starting a welding business

    I am considering starting a welding business and thought I would get some advice from you guys. I started welding about a 1-1/2 years ago and have decided that Tigging aluminum is my favorite process. I called an industrial welding inspector in Memphis and got some good info on getting certified. I am going to sign out the aws code book from their office to read up on the cert process. I am meeting with my CPA in the morning to get the lowdown on licensing, taxes,LLC, liability issues etc,,. I have spent several days checking on the availability of people that can tig aluminum and I was surprised how few I could find. I called boat repair shops, auto shops,equipment rental places to see who they use and most were having to send out for repairs. The couple of people that can tig aluminum here stay very busy. I own all my own equipment and a flatbed dually. I will have to get a power supply if I go mobile but I am not sure if I want to do that. I have a full time job that allows me three days off during the week. I don't have dreams of work falling in my lap. I know I am going to have to spend some time introducing myself and passing out cards. I really want to do this. I'm sure there are things I hav'nt even considered that will catch me by surprise. I am wanting some advice. I intend to keep this a simple one-man operation. ,Thanks, Adam
    Webb's Welding and Repair LLC
    MM210 w/a 3035 spoolgun
    Syncrowave 250
    Spectrum 625
    Trialbazer 302 w/HF
    http://webbsweldingandrepair.com/home

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    So. Cal
    Posts
    335

    Default My take

    I've been in biz for over 25 years starting with just myself. Today I have 4 additional welders 2 install guys and my office manager. Only 6 employees not counting me but we get a lot of work done. Be sure you are properly licensed, insured and are certified in the areas you will be working in. Take care of those who take care of you, be confident in your work and don't take on anything your not. Make industry friends, network yourself with your competition and always, always, always be upfront and honest with your customer. Don't sell yourself short, walk away when it smells bad and jump in when it smells good. There are many great people here in this forum that can add to my comments and help you with just about any tech questions you have. By coming here to this forum you have already networked into a great community. My last comment is: Remember, you have to eat and there may be others that depend on you as well. Keep that day job until you have so much fab and repair work you don't have time to eat.

    TacMig
    We depend On:
    Miller | Esab | Lincoln | Fronius
    Baileigh | Drake | Eagle | Knuth
    Victor | Harris | Smith | Bessey
    Snap-On | Hilti | Ingersoll Rand
    Burco/Koco | Onan | BobCat
    Tracker | Infratrol | AmeriCast

    We belong to or support:
    American National Standards Institute
    American Welding Society
    The Welding Institute
    Fabricators & Manufacturing Association Int'l.

    Anderson & Co. LLC
    Metal Cr
    afters

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Olive Branch Ms
    Posts
    129

    Default Thanks Tacmig

    Thats some good advice. I have no intentions of letting the day job go. My biggest fear is some unknown that just comes up from out of nowhere and bites me square in the rear. I'm not scared just cautious. I'm really looking forward to getting with the cert guy and seeing if I can get it done. Some guys at work are of the opinion "Whats so special about getting certified?" You guys tell me. Is it a waste of time and money? It seems it would prove to someone that you are determined to produce a quality weld. Thanks again Tacmig for the advice. Adam
    Webb's Welding and Repair LLC
    MM210 w/a 3035 spoolgun
    Syncrowave 250
    Spectrum 625
    Trialbazer 302 w/HF
    http://webbsweldingandrepair.com/home

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    So. Cal
    Posts
    335

    Default Being certified

    Being certified (depending on the level) isn't always the prime course Vs. experience. But if you are going to own your own shop it's not an option. Contractors, home owners, business owners often ask if you are certified. And as far as insurance goes you won't get coverage unless you are certified basic (CW). At least around here. I welded and attended the school of hard knocks for about 8 years before getting my basic and later my structural (by-the-way there is good money in structural) but if you don't have your cert here forget it! In my opinion and I will probably be blasted for this but, I will hire a welder that has years of experience on the job to any school grad any day cert or no cert! However, again I would recommend getting at least your basic as a credential for your customers and/or insurance.

    TacMig
    We depend On:
    Miller | Esab | Lincoln | Fronius
    Baileigh | Drake | Eagle | Knuth
    Victor | Harris | Smith | Bessey
    Snap-On | Hilti | Ingersoll Rand
    Burco/Koco | Onan | BobCat
    Tracker | Infratrol | AmeriCast

    We belong to or support:
    American National Standards Institute
    American Welding Society
    The Welding Institute
    Fabricators & Manufacturing Association Int'l.

    Anderson & Co. LLC
    Metal Cr
    afters

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    SouthWest
    Posts
    2

    Default Sba

    Adam - you need to go down to the Small Business Administration. They will help you start up sucessfully. They are free. They also have classes you can take to understand business principals , accounting, Legal Entity, etc.. They may charge $40-50 for the class but well worth it.

    Also you need to write a business plan, you can do this with SBA's help or get a software program. A business plan is very important - if you choose to startup without one the chances of you being in business 2 years in the future is extremely low - something like 10-12%.

    The actual welding part is the easy part! Remember if it was easy to start your own business and keep all the profits- everybody would be doing it.

    Good luck - keep us informed how it goes.

    Erik

  6. #6

    Default

    tacmig- was just wondering what you mean by "basic CW"?
    "smokin' joints for 19 yrs."

    A.A.S. Weld Tech.

    AWS CWI 08011711

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    minnesota
    Posts
    6

    Default

    As far as certification goes, it depends on who your welding for. If your welding on noncritical parts it's not that big of a deal for the average guy. If you start contracting with businesses that depend on the part, a lot of the time it's required on big projects. In the end you can't go wrong with certifications. The more you have, the more you got going for yourself and you could be one up on your competitors.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    So. Cal
    Posts
    335

    Default Basic CW

    Quote Originally Posted by arrowside View Post
    tacmig- was just wondering what you mean by "basic CW"?
    Basic as we call it here, is the primary certification CW "Certified Welder". This is the basic certification level.
    We depend On:
    Miller | Esab | Lincoln | Fronius
    Baileigh | Drake | Eagle | Knuth
    Victor | Harris | Smith | Bessey
    Snap-On | Hilti | Ingersoll Rand
    Burco/Koco | Onan | BobCat
    Tracker | Infratrol | AmeriCast

    We belong to or support:
    American National Standards Institute
    American Welding Society
    The Welding Institute
    Fabricators & Manufacturing Association Int'l.

    Anderson & Co. LLC
    Metal Cr
    afters

  9. #9

    Default

    Couple things i would highly consider would be to look into getting a welding procedure specification for the work you would be doing most (get one for regular steel too). Also look into setting up some sort of quality plan as well (kinda like the ISO systems), these 2 things will help show that you're comitted to producing quality work, it's a good thing to help get you're foot in the door.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Olive Branch Ms
    Posts
    129

    Default Thanks Guys

    You guys are great. Contacting the SBA and the qaulity plan are some good ideas. I started the LLC today and applied for liability insurance. Funny thing,,, The LLC attorney wants his busted duck blind repaired on his boat and the insurance agent wanted to know if I could repair the box blade on his tractor. Thanks again guys. Adam
    Webb's Welding and Repair LLC
    MM210 w/a 3035 spoolgun
    Syncrowave 250
    Spectrum 625
    Trialbazer 302 w/HF
    http://webbsweldingandrepair.com/home

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