Quote Originally Posted by Sberry View Post
I had a bud that was a specialist but wasted his career trying to sell the "has run" parts of his business. He should have focused on his expertise instead of the common labor and got away from the thinking that if he was cheaper they would flock to the door, so sad really.
One of the biggest mistakes I see new welders, any business for that matter, make is they figure that if they go in cheap then later on they can raise their prices.

Biggest problem with that is you're going to get the price shopper. That means the next guy who comes in cheaper is either going to get your work or you're going to have to drop your price to keep the work.

The second problem with that is the quality buyer is going to ignore you because you're not priced competively. They're going to figure you're going after the price shopper and your angle is cutting quality.

A lot of very smart and very rich businessmen have got there based upon selling it at what you're planning on making from the start.

I look at ornamental iron fence right now. Most of it is coming out of China and to be honest, the welder working in a small shop can't compete with it price wise and a lot of the time, quality wise. Companys are buying it by the container and it's the box store principles at work. Limited selection and cookie cutter installation.

The stuff comes in eight feet sections. Anyone with a sawsall or portaband can cut it to fit between posts. Anyone with a 110 volt mig can weld it in with flux core wire. The finish is powdercoat and that's five times more durable than paint, ten times more durable it it's done by a welder in a shop in his backyard.

A weldor can't pay his living expenses much less keeping equipment and insurance up on what you make at that price doing it that way. If you're making it all yourself you'll find yourself better off just handing the client money and running for your life.

If you want to make a living doing that then you either have to do it faster and buy in larger quanities or find a product that they can't do. I got sixty five dollars a foot a couple of years ago for three and a half foot fence in between six foot fences that were installed for less than twenty dollars a foot. Mine was one off and the client jumped on it because they could.

But I can't make a living just doing that kind of fence. That's because most clients don't want to pay four times as much for something that's custom made when they can get ornamental iron from a dozen sources a lot cheaper.

The welders with a nest on the ground usually have a group of clients that don't want to pay the price of having an in house welding work force. So they hire out the welding to contractors they can depend upon for quality and timely service. A weldor with three or four of these clients can do pretty good most of the time. This isn't a most of the time time but having old clients who need work occasionally comes in handy.