Niche vs. General Weld Business
Niche means a very tight area of a market. It is like a general weld shop as opposed to a specialty shop that only welds Lamborghini Exhaust Manifolds and that is their niche. It is a specialty area that you have experience or skill in that few other people have. Now that that is out of the way here is the deal about niche business versus a general weld shop.
A general weld shop does every type of welding but a niche welding shop only does one type of welding or product. Here are the pros and cons of both:
A general weld shop has a general customer base. Not an exact science but anyone who needs a weld or wants to fabricate anything. You get all sorts of works coming in through the door and you success depends on just about every type of weld or product needed! You advertise to many industries and have a wide range of equipment for getting the job done.
A Niche welding business has customers that are people who have been looking for you but don't have many choices or competition for the specific welding service they want. This is an area that very few people fail but most never try. A niche business does not get many customers or business in general but when they get them they charge whatever they want because there is no competition. Case in point: a business has a $100,000 die that needs a crack repaired, but if the wrong welding business is chosen, they might ruin or destroy it. A general weld shop will probably do a good job fixing it, but the customer will not trust just anyone with such a large investment. They will go way out of their way to find someone who fixes broken dies, and nothing more. It's like when you go to your doctor and they say you need to see a dermatologist (just an example). A dermatologist has one niche and that is skin issues. Anything that has to do with our skin a dermatologist can fix. Are you the equivalent of a dermatologist in the welding field?
Another great thing about niche businesses is customers will find you from all around the world. People have confidence in someone that specializes in the one type of service they need done. Let's say you repair Tools and Dies. Chances are people will ship their broken components to you no matter how far away you are because they feel safe in paying you to fix it. The last thing anyone wants to hear is "we have never fixed one of these before but we will give it a shot". Think about this, you go into the hospital and find out you need heart surgery and the surgeon says "I have never done this before but I will give it a shot". You would run, not walk from that hospital.
As for specializing in multiple niches you can always open multiple business names for those specific niches. Large corporations do this all of the time. They have specific companies that only bid for certain types of jobs and you can do the same.
Since you are starting a business then you need to think about these options, how they affect your business and what a better choice for your personality is! It really comes down to, are you good with new projects every day or do you do better doing the same types of welds every day? Just give it some time and things will work out for the best.