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Thread: need advice on new biz and where to market/advertise

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    triad, north carolina
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    need advice on new biz and where to market/advertise

    I have been welding for 15 years. I married into a farm family and made products for many surrounding farms. I built plows 32 triple axle trailers and just about anything. I also built 7 custom motorcycles and many classic cars. I made most of my income from the farms and people I knew. I now am divorced living in a total different area and starting from the bottom .... I came out of my divorce with

    Doall-916 bandsaw
    Buffalo Drill press
    geka- bendicrop 50
    miller 252
    ellis- belt sander
    hymertherm- 60 plasma cutter
    4x8 welding table and steel saw horses
    grizzly lathe
    Bridgeport mill
    Lincoln- 140 mig
    all kinds of clamps and holding devices ect

    Im not in the farming communities anymore and closer to big cities. I have a building with very good access to highway and good location. I tried to get a normal job with no luck so im sticking with what I know and I have the equipment for. I just never started this way as I kind of got pushed into it before. im looking for ideas on marketing and where to advertise ect.
    And yes our farming business was very good which helped me gain all the tools I have. With all the tools I have acquired I believe I should at least try to start a welding and fab shop.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    South Carolina
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    Re: need advice on new biz and where to market/advertise

    A big sign on the side of the road.
    Hobart 125 EZ
    Hobart Handler 140
    Everlast STH 160
    Generic 210 Amp Welder/Generator
    Hobart Air Force 500i plasma cutter
    Chinese 50 amp plasma cutter!
    Youtube Channel : Henrymac100

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Re: need advice on new biz and where to market/advertise

    Do you have a shop now? Based on the equipment you have I'm guessing yes, but with the divorce part of the equation there's no telling. Being closer to big cities than farming communities, does that mean you are too far from the farming communities to do work for them or that you now have the opportunity to do more work in addition to serving the farm communities? For cities it really depends on who you want to market to and what kind of work you want to do.

    I have a couple of friends that do lawn and landscape work and they seem to always need something welded or want a new rack/basket/ramp welded on their trailers, welding up cracks in lawnmower decks, converting their equipment trailers into leaf vac trailers. If there are as many lawn/landscape companies around you as there are around here then you could probably make a living just serving that market. Half of those lawnmower guys go out of business each year and are replenished with a new crop the following spring, so you'd always have fresh new customers. To market to this group would be pretty easy, open up your front door and pick up all the pieces of paper that fall out of the crack they were stuffed in, then walk out to the mailbox and read your junk mail, then get on craigslist and look at the services section. That should provide you with dozens of leads to get in contact with, call them up, tell them what you can do for them, ask them what repairs/modifications you can do for them that will make their lives easier and their businesses more profitable. Buy them a cup of coffee at the gas station in the morning and hand them a business card. If you can save these guys 2 minutes a stop by doing something to make loading/unloading/equipment handling more efficient that will add up to big bucks in profit margins for them over the course of a season. Making their equipment more secure and easier to secure means they won't get tickets for having unsecured loads going from lawn to lawn and their employees are more likely to lock the trimmer down when they run to the backyard for the last bag of clippings so that $500 piece of stihl equipment doesn't find legs and walk away.

    If you want to do the iron fencing and ornamental rail gig, I'd look at marketing yourself as a custom fence & rail company. When people want those things they look to have a fence & rail company that can weld, not a welding company that can build fences. Again, landscaping companies would be a good place to market to. Talk to their landscape designer and tell them what you can do. Custom trellises, ornamental iron window planter boxes/box holders, fire pits, custom rails, fences, gates, benches, garden swings, whatever you can think of. Make some samples or concept designs to show them. Next time they're designing a landscape and they think "hmm, the homeowner sure would enjoy having a nice bench in this corner of the yard" guess who's card they're going to be digging through their drawer for!

    Nobody can tell you to do X and you will make a living at it, it's up to you and just because one person is making a living at doing X doesn't me you will and vice versa. IMO, it is generally better to do work for other businesses as they tend to make their decisions based on logic rather than emotion. If you show a business owner that you can save them money, make their operation more efficient, shield them from liability in some way or make their lives easier, they'll spend the money. Working for Jane Q Public takes a little more effort because there is always emotion involved, they want you to articulate how that beautiful new gate is going to make them the envy of all their neighbors and when you have one little hiccup in the schedule it'll be like you just squashed their dream...most aren't going to be that way, but a higher percentage than dealing business to business.

    One other piece of advice is to make sure you are "all legal" before you start marketing yourself as a business. Have a business license and have insurance for the scope of the work you plan on doing. You aren't going to be working for people who have known you since you were a baby and passing you a wad of cash all "hush-hush" for doing work for them. Most business you'd work for will require that you have those two basic things covered before they will do business with you and the insurance can save you from being ruined in the event something goes wrong.
    Last edited by Bryan27; 02-04-2014 at 09:33 PM.
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