Introduction to Starting a Welding Business
This book is not for business magnates, or investors looking to get in to the welding, fabrication, machining or manufacturing industries. Welding is a unique industry that requires knowledge of specialized techniques that most other business owners cannot relate to. For example; simple jobs such as a small pipe located in a tight spot may take a week to weld properly. This is the reality of welding. On the other hand a million pound structure can be installed in just a few hours.
If, you do not understand the metallurgy issues that come with fabricating metal products, then stay away from welding related industries. These industries require processes that cannot be rushed, or in other cases breezed through.
Over time, the author, and many of the welders and fitters he worked with, made the transition from welder to welding business owner. The author studied successful business operations from some of the most successful and established welding shops, fortune 500 companies and chose his business focus from among the large number of opportunities that welders have (see chapters 4 and 8). This book provides real world solutions to the problems that they faced when building a business. It is chock full of business do's and don'ts, (there are lots of both).
The following are examples of comments from welding business owners who received advance copies; "This book is Excellent, I wish I had this when I decided to go into business years ago." "It would have saved me a year of wasted effort." "I found, that I had so much more to learn about marketing."
It is welder's personalities that draw them into this high-paying business. They heard of successful high-flying welders, somewhere in the world, making thousands of dollars a week. Welders today, just as the gold seekers going to California during the nineteenth century, travel far, and work hard for the lure of big money. They travel the whole world for jobs, becoming what they call "road warriors", risking health and well being, spending their own money, and doing just about anything for a fat paycheck. They work hard to get the really big money jobs, for example; the government defense contract jobs. They are risk-takers, they tend to be people who like to try new things, do not mind failing, and love to learn. They learn from their mistakes, and do not beat themselves up when they make a mistake. As a personal example; the author has learned how to work on Wall Street, and as a pipe welder. Both jobs, for much the same reason, the large paycheck. His evaluation of both sets of co-workers found them to be much the same people, different class, but the same attitude and mind-set.
The character traits of welders are; hard work, love of money and a never quit attitude. Those traits make them, in many cases, successful when starting a business. As business owners they are considered blue collar Phds, for their mastery of many different business-building skills. They learn quickly that there are different types of education.