There’s no doubt that this month has been very difficult for many of us. If you work in an industry which requires you to be on-site, you may find yourself sitting at home right now with an empty schedule and a head full of worries. One great way to get out of your own head and put your free time to good use is to launch a pursuit that you’ve always toyed with starting, but have never had the time to seriously chase. In other words, if you’ve ever thought about starting a welding, woodworking, or metal fabricating shop of your own, now’s the perfect time to get the gears moving! Below are some tips on starting your own metalworking shop from our Apex fabrication machine vendor.
The difference between a goal and a plan is a piece of paper. So, before doing anything else, sit down and create a list of physical things you’ll need (metal fabrication equipment, a workspace, ventilators and safety features, the right permits and approvals); business things you’ll need (a business name, a tax ID number, licensing, insurance); and marketing things you’ll need (a website, a logo, advertising, email services). Having everything on paper will make it easier to tackle each item one by one.
There are a variety of services that come under the umbrella of “metal fabrication,” from welding, to cutting, to grinding, to shaping. Even though you probably want to eventually do it all, it’s important to start with the items that will bring you the most profit and the least costs. When making your decision, consider which services have the least expensive machinery; the most local demand; and the least local competition. If you are exceptionally skilled in one area of metal fabrication, it goes without saying that you should start off with that service, as customers will quickly learn that you’re the only guy around that can do it so well.
After assessing your services, look for a location that will be large enough to fit your tools and give you ample space to move around. The smaller the space, the higher your risk for accidents; so even though costs are a concern, try not to be stingy. If you are doing a lot of welding and grinding work, you will need to ensure that the fumes will be expelled from the shop, so ensure that there is enough ventilation. We also recommend eyeballing the tools you plan to purchase before committing to a space, so that you can better assess the space requirements you’ll need.
Since you, hopefully, have some experience in metal fabricating, you probably already have some idea of what you’ll need. Basic items include:
After ensuring you have the basics, you can start acquiring the machinery you need, like a press punch, shearing machine, plasma cutter, laser cutter, waterjet, hydroforming machine, or tube bending machine. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our Apex equipment vendor’s product inventory for a good idea of some options. Our blog, The Top 4 Machines Every Fabrication Shop Needs, is another great reference.
Lastly, you’ll want to take out the appropriate insurance for work accidents and injuries; secure the accreditations you’ll need such as a business license and Employer Identification Number; and special work permits. Local government offices can help you find out exactly what you need in terms of paperwork. Finally, you’ll be ready to take the steps that will really launch your business: setting up shop; hiring and training employees; and marketing your business.
In order to grow your business, you need to produce quality results. And in order to get quality results, you need quality equipment. If you need safe, reliable metal fabricating equipment in Apex NC and the surrounding areas, contact Active Machinery today for a free estimate or consultation.