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Business start up question

General welding questions that dont fit in TIG, MIG, Stick, or Certification etc.

Business start up question

Postby jroark » Thu May 19, 2016 7:37 pm

I know it's election time and that may be an influence in some of your answers but just to ask anyways, how do you guys feel about starting a business or already having your own business as opposed to working somewhere that you can make decent money and not want to kill yourself at the end of the day? Some people that have their own shops say go for it and some say no, but I get the same mixed responses from people at work too. I'm not planning a huge venture but just starting small to see where it goes. So how do y'all feel about it?
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Re: Business start up question

Postby Otto Nobedder » Thu May 19, 2016 7:46 pm

The answers you're getting are linked to the respondent's personal level of confidence and courage. Starting a business is not for everyone. Some people started businesses in the depths of the Great Depression. Some succeeded.

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Re: Business start up question

Postby Farmwelding » Thu May 19, 2016 8:42 pm

Depends on what type of person you are. Some people are better suited for one thing or the other. If you have a really good idea and the ability to start a business go for it. Or some guys work for a living and then weld after work, weekends, or if they are temporarily laid off. You can always do both (brown dog welding does welding art and makes some good money.)
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Re: Business start up question

Postby jroark » Thu May 19, 2016 10:01 pm

I don't really have some kind of new idea or anything creative. Just welding repairs, yard junk and other stuff. I guess it depends on demand and ability also. I was just curious about some personal feelings about how you got started or how you felt after you did and if it worked out or not, and if you knew why or why not. All my dads brothers and my dad have their own businesses or did have and it just seems like it's expected in my family. I'm just less froggy than I used to be and don't jump as fast as I used to. :D
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Re: Business start up question

Postby Diesel » Thu May 19, 2016 11:47 pm

I'm in the middle of this at the moment. I have a great "boss" that is handling all the contracting and license stuff. He's ~10 years older and has much more experience and knows way more people. Retire marine and ironworker that his family started. That's why he's in charge of the business end. If you were to start one I'd find a good lead man that can take charge and get it done. There are plenty of jobs and contracts you can get to put food on the table. But it all depends on who you know, what your area is like and how far you're willing to travel.
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Re: Business start up question

Postby motox » Fri May 20, 2016 5:26 am

i agree with Diesel. I've been in business for
40 yrs (not welding) and the most important
thing you need is customers.
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Re: Business start up question

Postby DLewis0289 » Fri May 20, 2016 8:19 am

It can be scary, especially if you have a family depending on you. No guarantee there will be a paycheck every Friday. But on the other hand you could make a boat load of money if the business is successful. Risk/Reward calculation.

You can start really small, like a 20k investment to test the waters.

Important things: Insurance, Licensing if applicable and form a LLC for personal asset protection (check your state laws on personal or multi (wife, brother, dad, partner, etc which is best)

My personal opinion, set your self a salary, put money back in the business every opportunity.

And if everything goes right, in the beginning will probably be the hardest and longest hours you have ever worked.
Last edited by DLewis0289 on Fri May 20, 2016 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Business start up question

Postby ldbtx » Fri May 20, 2016 8:38 am

Owning your own business can be very rewarding. You'll find, if you're successful, that you are the hardest boss you've ever had. You'll put in longer hours than ever before, and be ultimately responsible for every detail. When I had my business, not a welding business, there were times when in order to pay the bills and make sure the hands got paid, we had beans at my house. But, we always got through those times. Would I do it again? Oh, hell yeah!

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Re: Business start up question

Postby Coldman » Fri May 20, 2016 9:23 am

Firstly you have to be very good at what you do if not wait until you are.
Its best if you have already developed relationships and have work to go on with rather than starting off cold. Easy to go under that way.
Never leave a job until it's finished and the customer is happy and if a problem develops don't make excuses just get in there and fix it.
Do the difficult jobs nobody wants to touch. Your customer will appreciate it and give you gravey jobs and repeat orders.
If you really want to bullet proof your business be good at least three things so if one segment is slow one of the others will be busy.
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Re: Business start up question

Postby DLewis0289 » Fri May 20, 2016 10:31 am

Coldman wrote:Firstly you have to be very good at what you do if not wait until you are.
Its best if you have already developed relationships and have work to go on with rather than starting off cold. Easy to go under that way.
Never leave a job until it's finished and the customer is happy and if a problem develops don't make excuses just get in there and fix it.
Do the difficult jobs nobody wants to touch. Your customer will appreciate it and give you gravey jobs and repeat orders.
If you really want to bullet proof your business be good at least three things so if one segment is slow one of the others will be busy.


Coldman makes a tremendous point that if you can do it, it is a big boost in regard to existing relationships. Basically how our business got started back in the 50's. Grandpa built water towers for CB&I and saved a little money. Dad was a millwright/electrician for GM Foundry Divisions. Grandpa put up the money for equipment and Dad basically started subcontracting for GM and built from there.

And for the record, and I say this with pride. Grandpa had an 8th grade education struggling to read me the funny papers as a kid and Dad went as far as a High School Diploma. Did it and did it well.

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