Did you lose your job last year? Maybe you’re well established in your current welding job but recent events have made you think about starting out on your own?
If so, you wouldn’t be alone. Workers were furloughed and the unemployment rate reached 5% in the UK between September and November.
In response to jobs hanging in the balance and people being out of work, there was a boost in the numbers of people setting up on their own. In fact, almost 85,000 new businesses had been set up by October 2020 – a 12% increase year on year and a sign that workers are making their own way after finding themselves without a job.
So, if you find yourself considering setting up your own welding business, you’re not alone. You’re among many people who have launched their own venture. While there is a lot to consider, it is doable. Here’s a guide to help you get started.
Make a plan
Before you do anything, you’ll need to come up with a business plan. This will be your guide through every stage of the process, and you’ll refer to this in the months and years to come.
First, you’ll need to decide what type of business you’ll run. Will you be an independent contractor? This is a great way in as you can offer your services as an expert offering help to local businesses. You’ll need your own kit and tools to offer your service sin this way.
Or are you hoping to set up a welding shop where people come to you for your services? Here, you will need to think about how many people will work for you, how you’ll drum up business and who you’ll provide services for.
Next, how will you fund your business? If you’re setting up shop, this is going to be a key consideration. Will you need a bank loan? Or do you have your own savings that could cover the setup costs? Have you got any investors lined up to help you out?
You’ll need to then build budgets into your business plan. Consider the costs involved. As well as paying for tools and staff salaries, you will need to factor in the legal and insurance side of setting up a business, along with marketing costs so you can get your name out there.
The plan also needs to cover long-term goals. How much profit would you need to turnover in order to keep going beyond the first year? Beyond the first five years?
What equipment will you need?
If your background is in welding, you’ll already know the reputable brands to use and the right equipment for the job. The tools you use will need to be well-maintained and regular health and safety checks will be needed to keep you and any staff you hire safe.
Another way of keeping everyone safe is using the right personal protective equipment (PPE). Invest in high-quality welding masks that ensure you are protected while still being able to see the work you’re doing. Gloves and overalls are also ideal PPE to use.
Are you planning on being a one-man-band or will you eventually need to hire staff to help out? As your business grows, you will need to answer this question.
If you do need additional staff, budget for their salary and invest in a team that can help you. You need them to understand the work you do and they will need to be skilled in handling welding and metalwork equipment safely.
Give yourself time to work out a thorough plan before you do anything else. It’ll be worth the effort when you begin to see a profit.