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How to start a portable welding business

Portable or mobile welding service helps individuals and businesses who need welding to be carried out, but they do not have the expertise and/or necessary equipment to do it themselves. If you have experience in welding and are looking for a way to earn an income with your own small business, a portable welding business could be the solution.

You do not require a permanent brick and mortar premises will have limited startup costs and can manage your own workload and schedule. In most cases, you will need to invest in certification and licensing, equipment and a vehicle, but once you’re up and running (and have an effective marketing strategy) you should be able to earn a steady income.

To kickstart your venture, here is a quick guide on how to start a portable welding business:

Complete your training

If you have not already done so, you need to complete your training and certification in welding from an accredited school. There are many schools around the country that offer this program, and you are likely to find at least one in your area. You can use the American Welding Society School Locator to kick off your search for an accredited welding school in your area.

Get your welding and business licenses

Once you are fully trained your next step is to become officially licensed as a welder. You can do this by submitting an application to the licensing board in your state and sitting an exam. The exam will test your knowledge of the equipment as well as the process of welding and fabrication. You will also need a license for your business and to register the name and for taxes.

Buy your welding tools

You need to ensure that you have the required welding tools. You can either by second-hand or new, but with new, you are likely to receive a warranty and possibly a longer lifespan. The type of tools you need will depend on whether you are welding metal or plastic. For example, you may require a portable plastic welder such as the Leister Triac ST, plasma and air cutters, welding and respirator helmets, a fume extractor and protective gear such as welding goggles.

Purchase your vehicle

To transport your tools and maximize your earning potential, you need to have your own vehicle, so you can travel to various sites. The vehicle can also act as a moving advertisement for the business if you get the business name and contact details displayed on the vehicle.

Find local clients

In order to find clients, you will need to be proactive in the early days and approach companies that may need your services. Send them a letter introducing yourself and the services you can offer and offer an introductory discount. Once you have completed a few jobs and have some happy customers, you will have testimonials you can shout about in your marketing. Some clients may even recommend you to other businesses or individuals. It’s also important to create a website so you can start to experiment with digital marketing such as social media and search engine advertising.