Are You Ready to go it Alone in the Welding World?
If you’ve grown to be a top notch welder, you have no problem with the idea of personal marketing, and want the freedom of being your own boss, perhaps you should consider taking your welding job into your own hands. While the idea may be daunting to some, if you are up to the challenge it could definitely be well worth it. Today’s economy is tough for everyone, including welding businesses, and sometimes the fear of losing your own welding job or employment can be worse because sometimes that control is not left up to you. Self-reliance can be both a blessing, or a disaster, for if you do make a mistake, there isn’t anyone else to blame but yourself. But don’t be so quick to doubt yourself, the risks don’t have to dissuade you because going into a welding business for yourself can reap not only rewards in the payment department, but you will be granted flexibility too. And of course that warm and fuzzy feeling inside at having successfully built your own welding enterprise.
Of course it is always imperative that you honestly assess your skills. If you aren’t an awesome welder and able to handle all the possible materials and tasks at your own current welding job, you shouldn’t strike out on your own just yet. Take the time to practice like a fiend and master every aspect of your welding work, and only then can you feel confident that you will be able to not only support yourself, but sell yourself because that is going to have to be something you can do. When you are sure your welding is superb, then you need to read up on all the necessary (Mundane and tedious too!) details you will need to address in staring your own business. This includes getting a business license and other paperwork, so do a little research into what the exact laws and regulations are in your state and area.
The next step is getting out there and getting your name to the different places a welding job is in need. Start small, and take a tour of your local machine shops. Take a business card and a sample of your welding and speak with the shop owner. The smaller ones are usually made up of a few guys, and many times they aren’t professional welders but machinists. If you can prove to them that your skills are vastly superior to those of their current employees, then you can bet they will turn to you on their more intricate or detail oriented welding jobs. From those smaller shops, take your welding career venture to bigger companies and see if they are in need of any sub-contracting work.
Don’t forget to pass out your business cards and contact information to your family, friends, and other welding associates. Word of mouth can be an excellent marketing tool as well. And in this day and age, you may do well to think about setting up a website for yourself listing your credentials and with photos of your work. You can even upload a video of you doing a welding job or simply speaking about your prior experience. There is a whole world of possibilities in the marketing department.
And lastly, when you are out there working for yourself and doing welding jobs, don’t be talked into simply doing ‘favors’ or ‘freebies’ for your friends or even local contacts. This can turn into a nasty habit that is sometimes hard and usually uncomfortable to break them of. Always set a minimum price and stick to it. You are after all using your welding job to make money, and you don’t see doctors out on the streets performing free physicals! Have confidence in yourself, and stand behind the fact that the work you do is well worth paying for!
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