If you’re a skilled welder, you might be wondering, “Can I do onsite welding and heavy equipment repair as my side gig?” The answer to that question depends on your skill level, and what your focus area is. In this article, you’ll learn how to start a mobile welding business, determine your target market, and decide whether you want to work as a contractor or hire an employee.
Start a mobile welding business
If you’re familiar with welding equipment, start a mobile welding business to provide repairs on-site. Depending on your area, you can offer structural repairs and heavy equipment welding.
You can also advertise your service in local classified ads or put up a sign in your front yard. Most people don’t own a welder, so the prices that you can charge are much lower than what you can charge at a shop.
You’ll need to have welding equipment and a business license to get started. In addition, you’ll need to establish a sales and marketing strategy and set up a legal entity. You’ll also need to learn how to budget.
Starting a mobile welding business can be a lucrative side gig if you’re dedicated to it. This side hustle requires some planning and practice, but the rewards are worth it.
Advertising your business is crucial to your success. Advertise locally in local papers and on social media. While it might seem intimidating at first, advertising your business can help you gain exposure and build a customer base. Advertising your business online is also an excellent way to generate publicity.
A successful mobile welding business can earn anywhere from $60 to $125 per hour. Depending on your location, you may need to invest in welding equipment. A welding van, for example, can cost between $20,000. A welding van is an essential piece of equipment for any mobile welding business.
Most mobile welding businesses make money through welding assignments. They can also become profitable through long-term projects. One of the most profitable markets for mobile welding businesses is the marine equipment industry. Marine equipment is prone to get damaged by water and rust, so mobile welding is an excellent option.
Mobile welding companies are exposed to many different markets. It is important to carefully study the local markets and determine what you want to focus on. Different regions have different regulations and customer bases. Therefore, you should consider the focus of your business before launching it.
You can also take a look at our best welding helmets guide.
Costs of onsite welding and heavy equipment repair
If you’re considering starting an onsite welding and heavy equipment repair business as a side gig, you’ll have a few expenses to keep in mind. Most welders join unions, but there are a few who choose to operate their own businesses.
No matter which route you choose, it’s important to know how to price welding jobs. The two biggest costs are material costs and labor rates. Your pricing must take into account not only these but also any operational overheads. Though the latter can be tricky to estimate, certain methods can help you get an idea of what to charge.
First, determine your budget. You should start by figuring out your daily expenses and determine if you can afford to buy new equipment. For example, if you plan to charge by the hour, you should be aware of the cost of welding equipment.
You may have to invest in additional equipment if you plan to work on large projects. However, you can make up for this expense by charging more per hour.
In addition to being self-employed, you can also hire other people to do your repairs. Many large businesses need maintenance work done on their property. Sometimes this is short-lived and only requires a few hours of labor.
These companies need additional workers and may hire contract welders to help out. Contract welders are often paid well, and they can do an extensive range of projects in a short amount of time.
If you’re a welder who is looking for a side gig, consider joining a union. Unions offer apprenticeship programs that allow you to progress through the ranks. As you work your way up, you’ll be able to earn more money and become a full-fledged member.
The average wage for an apprentice is $18 per hour, but it’s possible to earn much more as you gain experience. If you can obtain structural certification, you can earn up to $25 per hour.
One important thing to remember when starting a side business is to be sure to follow the terms of your contract with your current employer. Some companies are OK with you doing welding work as a side gig, but others won’t approve. You should also check with your attorney about any legal issues that may arise.
Choosing a focus area for a mobile welding business
Before you begin operating your mobile welding business, you should decide on a focus area. This way, you won’t have to spend a ton of money promoting your welding services to the public. Instead, you can use free marketing methods to spread the word about your business. The ultimate goal is to get people talking about your services.
Choosing a focus area for your welding business should be based on your level of experience and what your ultimate goals are. For example, a mobile welding business that services nuclear power plants will have different standards and ultimate goals than a welding trailer shop that services Jet Skis.
Once you’ve decided on a focus area, you can start contacting businesses that use welding services. These can be restaurants, truck stops, electricians, cooling and heating repairmen, mobile home dealers, and other companies that need welding services. Even bowling alleys and auto parts stores can benefit from welding services.
Once you’ve decided on a focus area, you can begin developing your business plan. You should outline the different aspects of your welding business, including how you’re going to attract customers and how you’ll handle expenses.
You should also include an operations plan for everyday short-term operations, such as answering calls, meeting clients, sending invoices, and collecting payments.
Another focus area for a mobile welding business is residential welding. These customers are often looking for welding services for small projects in their homes. These customers don’t expect to spend hundreds of dollars, but they’re happy to negotiate for the best price. If you choose to focus on residential welding, be prepared to haggle more than other markets to win their business.
A mobile welding business is highly competitive, but you can find many repeat customers. You can build up your business with part-time or contract welding work, and eventually, buy the equipment you need to expand your services. If you can get a steady stream of regular clients, it may be possible to acquire a business loan.
The first step in starting your mobile welding business is deciding on the market you’d like to focus on. Consider the type of equipment you have, where you’ll be located, and the tools you’ll need to provide high-quality work.
Some regions have a high demand for heavy and compact equipment repairs, while others are looking for structural repairers. Once you have decided on a focus area, it’s time to learn more about the market and how to best cater to it.
Hiring a contractor for onsite welding and heavy equipment repair
If you’re handy with heavy equipment, you could consider hiring a contractor to do onsite welding. You can charge less for small jobs than for larger projects. Some welders charge a minimum fee of $60, while others base their rates on how much welding is required. Some also offer paint touch-up services.
Minor repairs can be performed on-site at a client’s location or in a welding shop.
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