Do you want to start a mobile welding business at home? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a welding and fabrication business with NO money and no experience.
Okay, so we have provided you an in-depth sample welding and fabrication business plan template. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample welding and fabrication marketing plan backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for welding and fabrication businesses. In this article, we will be considering all the requirements for starting a welding and fabrication business. So put on your entrepreneurial hat and let’s proceed.
Why Start a Welding and Fabrication Business?
When you look around where you work or reside, we will sure note items that were produced by a wielder or has been through a welding process. This is why the services of a skilled welder will always be needed and the craft will keep getting attractive. Whether you are aiming to start a career in the welding industry, or you are already earning a living from the same industry, just understand that there will always be demand for the services of a welder for years to come.
It is very important to note that the welding industry dates back to time immemorial because of the constant need to have metals joined together to meet various needs. It is believed that the welding industry is one industry that shows a substantial return on your investment at every turn and moment. Before starting a welding business, you need to go for welding training in order to get certified.
Before starting a welding and fabrication business also, you should have some plans in place. Plans like how you intend to compete in the market, how you intend to make your business known to people, as well as other important factors that must not be overlooked.
Before launching this type of business, it will pay you to carry out your market research, economic and cost analysis and of course feasibility studies. If you get these things right before launching your welding and fabrication business, it will not take long before you break even and start smiling to the bank.
So, if you desire to start your own welding and fabrication business, all you need do is to read this article and you will be well equipped.
Starting a Welding and Fabrication Business at Home – A Complete Guide
- Industry Overview
Basically, welding is a fabrication or sculptural process that joins materials, usually metals or thermoplastics, by causing fusion, which is distinct from lower temperature metal-joining techniques such as brazing and soldering, which do not melt the base metal.
This ever-blooming industry seems to be growing the fastest with recent years showing maximum growth. The welding industry has been said to grow at approximately 6% per year at the very least. Conventional electric arc welding equipment and filler metals represent over two-thirds of this total. This industry has many segments and each segment of the industry has its own growth patterns noted after accurate research.
It is important to note that welding is now the universally accepted method of permanently joining all metals. The wielding industry is considered a mature industry but it is still a growing industry when viewed from different perspectives.
The true impact of welding on the metalworking industry should be measured on the value of the parts produced by welding, the amount of money saved by the use of welding over other metal fabrication processes, and in the value of products made possible by welding. Facts on ground have shown the growth of the welding equipment and materials industry, which also serves as an indication of the projected growth for the future.
The welding and fabrication industry will continue to blossom because people will always need their services. Despite the fact that the industry seems over-saturated, there is still room big enough to accommodate aspiring entrepreneurs who intend opening their own welding and fabrication business in the United States of America.
Over and above, welding and fabrication businesses all over the world are still enjoying good patronage particularly if they are well positioned and if they know how to network with stakeholders and reach out to their target market.
Starting a Welding and Fabrication Business at Home – Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who need the services of welding and fabrication companies cut across businesses and households, hence the demographic composition for a welding and fabrication company is all encompassing. The truth is that, when it comes to the welding and fabrication business, there is indeed a wide range of available customers.
So, if you are thinking of starting a welding and fabrication company, then your target market should include; the public sector, construction companies, facility managers, building contractors, artists, households, oil and gas companies, pipe laying businesses, and every businesses and individual that has need of welding and fabrication services within the location where your company is located.
List of Niche ideas Within the Welding and Fabrication Business That You Can Specialize in
Most welding and fabrication companies tend to carry out general business activities carried out by a standard welding and fabrication company, that is why it seems that there are no niche areas in the industry. But on the other hand, some welding and fabrication companies may decide to major in some key areas such as;
- General welding and fabrication
- X-ray welding
- Ultrasonic welding
- Arc welding
- Oxyfuel gas welding
- Resistance welding
- Solid-state welding
- Other welding
The Level of Competition in the Welding and Fabrication Industry
The competition that exists in the welding and fabrication industry goes beyond competitions between welding and fabrication companies, it also involves construction and auto repair companies who also provide welding and fabrication services. So, it will be right to say the competition in the welding and fabrication industry is tough.
The truth is that, no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you brand and promote your products or business properly, you will always make headway in the industry. Just ensure that you pay attention to details when carrying out your job, make use of effective materials and processes, and know how to attract and reach out to your target market.
But over and above, there are several welding and fabrication companies scattered all around the United States of America. So, if you choose to start your own welding and fabrication company in the United States, you will definitely meet stiff competition amongst other welding and fabrication companies, including other related companies who also provide welding and fabrication services in your city or country.
List of Well – Known Brands in the Welding and Fabrication Industry
In every industry, there are always brands that perform better or are better regarded by the customers and general public than the others. Some of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long while and so are known for that, while others are best known for how they conduct their businesses and the results they have achieved over the years.
These are some of the leading welding and fabrication companies/brands in the United States of America and in the globe;
- Ramsay Welding & Fabrication Company
- Clark Welding & Fabricating Co. Inc.
- The R.I. Welding Fabricating Company
- American Fabricators, Inc. (AFI)
- Aleris International
- ABM Fabrication and Machining
- Trident Welding & Fabrication Inc.
- Accurate Welding Services
- Advanced Gas Products Welding
- Alloy Bellows & Precision Weld
- Arc Machines Inc.
- Rockford Industrial Welding Supply Inc.
- Bear Metal Welding & Fabrication Inc.
- Precision Trailer Hitches and Welding
- Carmel Welding & Supply
- Coastal Welding Supply
- Compton’s Welding Services
- Continental Field Systems
- Custom Way Welding Inc.
- M&M’s Welding and Fabricating Inc.
Welding and fabrication business has been in existence from time immemorial and it is indeed a competitive business; as a matter of fact, you will come across several welding and fabrication companies when you go sourcing for the services of welding and fabrication companies.
So, if you are mapping out your economic analysis, you should carry out thorough market survey and costing of the required amount needed to purchase the needed equipment, the amount needed to secure a business facility and to obtain the appropriate license and also the cost to successfully run the business.
Over and above, if you are considering starting a welding and fabrication company, then your concern should not be limited to the cost of registering the business, purchasing the needed supplies and equipment, but also on branding and on how to build a robust clientele base. The truth is that if you are able to build a robust clientele base and have far reaching business network, you are sure going to maximize profit in the business.
Starting Your Welding and Fabrication Company from Scratch vs Buying a Franchise
If you are looking towards starting a welding and fabrication company, you would have to start from the very scratch simply because you can hardly get a franchise of a welding and fabrication company to buy.
Besides starting a welding and fabrication company from the scratch is less stressful when compared to other small scale businesses which usually require detailed groundwork before launching the business. With a welding and fabrication company, you should just try as much as possible to position your business in a good location, get the right welding and fabrication machine/equipment, build business relationship with key stakeholders and then leverage on every marketing tool within your disposal especially the internet when it comes to marketing your services.
Please note that most of the big and successful welding and fabrication companies around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand.
Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face When Starting a Welding and Fabrication Company
If you decide to start your own welding and fabrication company today, one of the major challenges you are going to face is the presence of already established welding and fabrication companies and other related businesses that offer the same services as you do. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.
Some other challenges and threats that you are likely to face is economic downturn; if the economy is in bad shape, businesses such as a welding and Fabrication Company and the likes usually struggle to maintain their old customers or even welcome new customers. Unfavorable government policies can also hamper the growth of your welding and fabrication company. There is nothing you can do as regard these threats and challenges other than to stay positive that things will work well for you.
Starting a Welding and Fabrication Business at Home – Legal Matters
- Best legal entity to use for this type of business
When considering starting a welding and fabrication company, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow.
Generally, you have the option of either choosing a general partnership, limited liability Company which is commonly called an LLC, or a sole proprietorship for a business such as welding and fabrication company. If your intention is to grow the business and offer your services to customers all across your state and throughout the United States of America, then choosing sole proprietor is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.
Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for sole proprietorships and general partnerships. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholders meetings and other managerial formalities.
These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your welding and fabrication company; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners, investors’ expectation and of course taxes. You can start this type of business as limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or an ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.
Upgrading to a ‘C’ corporation or ‘S’ corporation will give you the opportunity to grow your welding and fabrication company so as to compete with major players in the industry; you will be able to generate capital from venture capital firms, you will enjoy separate tax structure and you can easily transfer ownership of the company; you will enjoy flexibility in ownership and in your management structures.
Catchy Business Name Ideas Suitable for a Welding and Fabrication Company
When it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. If you are considering starting your own welding and fabrication company, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- Master Stroke Welding and Fabrication Company
- Westside Welding and Fabrication Company, LLC
- Greater Heights Welding and Fabrication Company, Inc.
- Quest Rally Welding and Fabrication Company
- Perfect Edge Welding and Fabrication Company, Inc.
- Elias and Elisa Jones Welding and Fabrication Company, Inc.
- B J. Lake & Sons Welding and Fabrications, Inc.
- Spicer Ronald Welding and Fabrication Company, LLC
- Sol Carides Welding and Fabrication Company, Inc.
- Max Ludacris Welding and Fabrication Company, Inc.
In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your welding and fabrication company.
Here are some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own welding and fabrication company in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Risk insurance
- Motor vehicle insurance (comprehensive insurance)
- Workers compensation
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
Intellectual Property Protection/Trademark
If you are considering starting your own welding and fabrication company, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run the business without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
Is Professional Certification Needed to Run a Welding and Fabrication Business?
Aside from your ability to handle welding and fabrication equipment and tools, professional certification is one of the main reasons why some welding and fabrication companies stand out. If you want to make an impact in the welding and fabrication industry, you should work towards acquiring all the needed certifications in your area of specialization. Certification validates your competency and shows that you are highly skilled, committed to your career and up-to-date in this competitive market.
These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own welding and Fabrication Company;
- Certified Welder and Fabricator
- Degree/Diploma in Welding, Fabrication and Metal Work
List of Legal Documents You Need to Run a Welding and Fabrication Company
The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. If you do, it won’t be long before the long arm of the law catches up with you.
These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own welding and fabrication company in the United States of America;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Tax Payer’s ID/Tax Identification Number
- Business Plan
- Non – disclosure Agreement
- Employee Handbook
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
- Contract Document
- Franchise or Trademark License (optional)
Financing Your Welding and Fabrication Business
Starting a welding and fabrication company can be cost effective especially if you choose to start on a small scale; but if you choose to start the business on a large scale with a well-equipped workshop facility and over a handful of full time employees, then you would need to go source for funds to finance the business because it is expensive to start a standard, large scale and well-equipped welding and fabrication company.
When it comes to financing a business, one of the major factors that you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.
Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your welding and fabrication company;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell of shares to interested investors
- Applying for loan from your bank
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
Choosing a Suitable Location for a Welding and Fabrication Company
Even though you can afford to start a welding and Fabrication Company from any part of the world, when it comes to choosing a location for your welding and fabrication company, the rule of thumb is that, you should be guided by the access to availability of clients. Of course, if you are able to start your welding and fabrication company in the right location for such business, you won’t struggle to make headway with the business.
It is important to note that a business facility in good location does not come cheap hence you should be able to allocate enough fund for leasing/renting in your budget. If you are new to the dynamics of choosing a location for a business such as welding and fabrication company, then you should feel free to talk to a business consultant or a realtor who has a full grasp of the city and perhaps country you intend starting your welding and fabrication company.
These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your welding and fabrication company;
- The demography of the location
- The demand for the services of welding and fabrication related businesses in the location
- The purchasing power of the residence of the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The number of welding and fabrication companies and related services businesses that in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community/state
- Traffic, parking and security
Starting a Welding and Fabrication Business at Home – Technical and Manpower Details
On the average, the technology/equipment needed to run this type of business include welding and fabrication equipment and tool box, inventory-management software and other relevant software applications. So also, you will definitely need computers/laptops, internet facility, telephone, fax machine and office furniture (chairs, tables and shelves) amongst others and all these can be gotten as fairly used.
As regard leasing or outright purchase of a workshop facility, the choice is dependent on your financial standing, but the truth is that to be on the safe side, it is advisable to start off with a short term rent/lease while test running the business in the location. If things work out as planned, then you go on a long term lease or outright purchase of the property.
When it comes to hiring employees for a standard welding and fabrication company, you should make plans to hire a competent Chief Executive Officer /Manager (you can occupy this role), Admin and Human Resources Manager, Service and Production Supervisor, Operations Manager, Sales and Marketing Officer, Accounting Clerk, Welding and Fabrication Engineers/Technicians and Front Desk Officer.
These are some of the key employees that you can work with. On the average, you will need a minimum of 5 to 10 key staff members to run a medium scale but standard welding and fabrication company.
Please note that there will be times when you are expected to go out of your way to hire experts to help you handle some high profile contracts especially from big corporations and government agencies. If you are just starting out you may not have the financial capacity or required business structure to retain all the professionals that are expected to work with you.
The Business Services Process Involved in a Welding and Fabrication Company
When it comes to the business process of a welding and Fabrication Company, there are no hard and fast rules about it. Basically, it is the duty of the marketing manager to help the organization source for clients and contracts.
Before a deal is sealed, the company is expected to carry out inspection on the location and the type of job to be carried out. This will enable them know the type and quantity of welding and fabrication supplies, materials and equipment to deploy to the site.
Once a deal is sealed, then the welding and fabrication company goes out there to carry out their job as agreed by both parties. If the job is carried out and the client is not satisfied, the welding and fabrication company is expected to go back and do a thorough job at no extra cost to their client.
It is important to state that a welding and fabrication company may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility; the above stated welding and fabrication company business process is not cast on stone.
Starting a Welding and Fabrication Business at Home – The Marketing Plan
- Marketing ideas and strategies
Generally, running a business requires that you should be proactive when it comes to marketing your goods or services. If you choose to launch a welding and fabrication company, then you must go all out to employ strategies that will help you attract customers or else you will likely struggle with the business because there are well-known brands determining the market direction for the welding and fabrication industry.
As a matter of fact, your marketing strategy should center on reliability, swiftness, safety, pricing, secured payment platform, and above all excellent customer service. You should ensure that whenever your customers hire your services, they would get an excellent job. The truth is that, if you are able to put the above stated in place, you won’t struggle to retain our old customers and at the same time win over new customers.
Businesses these days are aware of the power of the internet and which is why they will do all they can to maximize the internet to market their services. In other words, a larger percentage of your marketing effort should be directed to internet users; your website should become your number one marketing tool
Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your welding and fabrication company;
- Introduce your welding and fabrication company by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to the public sector; construction companies, facility managers, building contractors, artists, households, oil and gas companies, pipe laying businesses, and every businesses and individual that has need of welding and fabrication services within your location
- Advertise your business in relevant business magazines, newspapers, TV and radio stations.
- List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Attend relevant international and local expos, seminars and business fairs et al
- Create different packages for different category of clients in order to work with their budgets and still meet their demands
- Leverage on the internet to promote your business
- Join local chambers of commerce around you with the aim of networking and marketing your services; you are likely going to get referrals from such networks.
- Engage the services of marketing executives and business developers to carry out direct marketing
Factors That Will Help You Get the right Product Pricing
One key factor that will help you offer your welding and fabrication services at rock bottom prices is to purchase your products (welding supplies, materials and equipment/tools) directly from the manufacturers in pretty large quantities. The truth is the higher the quantity of items that you purchase directly from the manufacturers, the cheaper you tend to get them.
Another strategy that will help you offer your welding and fabrication services at the right price is to ensure that you cut operational cost to the barest minimum, channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name. Aside from the fact that this strategy will help you save cost, it will also help you get the right pricing for your services.
You can also try as much as possible to work with independent contractors and marketers; with that, it will help you save cost for paying sales and marketing executives.
Strategies to Boost Your Brand Awareness and Create Your Corporate Identity
If you are in business and you are not deliberate about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portray your business to be. One of the secrets of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend fortunes year in and year out to boost their brand awareness and to continue to communicate their corporate identity the way they want people to perceive them to be.
If your intention of starting a welding and fabrication company is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.
No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and requires consistent brand awareness and boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create corporate identity for your welding and fabrication company;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community based events/programs
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your services
- Install your billboards in strategic locations all around your city or state
- Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted neighborhoods to create awareness of your welding and fabrication company
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- Contact the public sector; construction companies, facility managers, building contractors, artists, households, oil and gas companies, pipe laying businesses, and every businesses and individual that has need of welding and fabrication services within the location where your company is located informing them about your business and the services you offer
- List your welding and fabrication company in local directories/yellow pages
- Advertise your welding and fabrication company in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
- Position our Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your welding and fabrication company is located.
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and trucks/vans are well branded with your company logo et al.