If you’re not familiar with our “Starting A Business” series, let’s get acquainted. We’ve discussed a wide variety of new business ideas, from wedding venues to coffee shops, animal hospitals to garden centers, trampoline parks to equestrian arenas. We get into the nitty-gritty of how, where, and when to jump on all of these business ideas, how much it’ll likely cost you, and what kind of an entrepreneur it takes to run such a business. But if you’re already reading this article, it isn’t because you need a shiny new business idea. It’s because you’re already one step ahead in the game: you have the skill to provide welding services, but you need the business sense.
You’ve come to the right place. While we do have seemingly boundless ideas for new storefronts, service centers, rental opportunities, and more, we really have one piece of advice that works for nearly every scenario. Whether you’re opening a clothing company or a grow house, a brewery, or a bridal shop, one single rule will always apply. When in doubt, niche down.
Why should you open a niche welding business?
To “niche down” your business idea means to take a broader idea and pick a specific audience that could benefit from a more narrow level of service. In the world of aluminum welding, one of the more popular niche services is marine welding. You may be thinking, “that may be true for some people, but we’re not on the coast.” If you’re an inland born and bred welder, don’t ignore the opportunity to provide marine services altogether. As the economy is bolstered, tourism surges, sending more and more families to the coast for summer vacation. Boat owners are more likely to spend money on luxury services, like making boat or dock upgrades. Potential design and fabrication services you could offer include:
- Boat T-Tops
- Custom rod holders
- Marine railings
Advertising to a specific audience with niche services in mind will increase visibility and decrease competition in your region. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t offer a wider variety of services. For example, marine welding may also include upgrades to waterfront homes, including beautiful aluminum railings that won’t inhibit water views or a stylish spiral staircase.
How do you start a marine welding business?
Unlike other welding markets, marine welding has a tendency to attract a more high-end clientele. Customers who are looking to make custom upgrades to their boats, docks, and homes are likely prepared to spend top dollar for exactly what they had in mind. And in turn, they will expect a service that looks and feels just as high end. This expectation translates into a need for a fabrication location that protects their investment, all while providing an aesthetically pleasing storefront.
Most industrial businesses including welders choose steel buildings for both office spaces and fabrication locations because of the flexibility prefab metal buildings can provide. In a single space, steel buildings provide the highest level of protection for both costly welding equipment and your customer’s boat, whether it be a family flat bottom, a commercial fishing vessel, or a sport fisher. Prefabricated metal buildings properly anchored to a concrete slab are built to withstand every natural event from hurricane-force winds to earthquakes. For an added layer of protection, steel is both fire and pest resistant.
Because of the advanced level of protection and durability that only steel can provide, prefabricated metal buildings also tend to come with lowered insurance premiums. Investing in steel for any business can translate into increased cost savings over time. But for marine welding businesses, steel buildings make perfect business sense. Only steel can support up to 200 feet of width without the need for interior support columns, leaving the fabrication portion of your building-wide open for practically any workflow. Custom overhead doors and a flexible workspace allow you to move boats, metal, and equipment freely as your projects change throughout the year.
Meanwhile, in the front of the house, the office space can be upgraded with a wide variety of facades and interior customizations to attract and sell to a higher-end clientele. Metal buildings are often thought of as strictly industrial, but prefabricated metal building kits are uniquely flexible. You get all the benefits of a metal building for the fabrication portion of your marine welding business, all while providing the attractive office aesthetic to your customers and staff in the front of the house.
At the end of the day, the most important takeaway is this: you shouldn’t be afraid to niche down your services. When it comes to starting a welding business, not all of your potential customers will necessarily know that they want or need a metal fabricator rather than a traditional contractor. By narrowing down your services and targeting your ideal customers with more specific project ideas, you’ll actually be casting a wider net.
For more information on Prefab Metal Building, CLICK HERE or give us a call 888-783-3535.
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