Running a welding BUSINESS from a garage???

NOTE: This is **NOT** about me!
I have a friend, who is 50 years old, all around very handy guy, knows
how to MIG weld, generally decent at fabrication, small engine repair
etc. His English, I would say is B-. He is energetic.
He has a dream, to have a "welding business" that he would operate
from his garage. To have people stop by with their welding needs and
to pay him live money for this kind of work.
He wants to learn learn to do stainless and aluminum TIG
welding. Right now he knows only MIG and stick, mostly MIG.
His funds, shall I say are LIMITED.
I am just wondering what do you think about the prospects for that
business idea. Maybe you are, were or know someone with that sort of
business plan and know how it worked out.
I do have some opinions about it, but I will withhold them to see what
you think. I just laid out pertinent facts.
Thanks
i
Reply to
Ignoramus11878
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"Ignoramus11878" wrote in message news:ePOdnUvLF6N0pA snipped-for-privacy@giganews.com...
The people I know who do that have enough driveway or parking lot space for a truck towing an equipment trailer to turn around.
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
I think that he's got some notion of being a 21st-century village blacksmith, and I don't think that'll work.
Now, if he could bring himself to the notion of building to print for local small manufacturers, with all the associated hassle of invoicing and collecting, then he may have a viable business plan.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
Agreed. Work on the BUSINESS aspects. The fact that it's welding will only complicate it. See if the land is zoned for such activity. Then add up all the startup costs for permits and insurance and and and. Where I live, businesses get to pay a tax to support mass transit...go figure. How are his bookkeeping skills?
Doing it off the books and tax free is a recipe for disaster. If he fixed my lawnmower and it broke, causing me injury, I'd be having a discussion with his insurance provider.
You can't just dabble. You're in business or you're not.
I've fixed stuff for my neighbors and turned down payment. That first dollar of income is very expensive. You need a lot more of them to break even.
Reply to
mike
What you say, kind of, makes sense. I personally (my company) have all kinds of insurances, business license etc.
But some people I see, like illegal immigrant Mexicans, think differently. They ask themselves, if they have no money, why do they need insurance? Why do they need permits? And they answer that they do not need any of this and operate completely under the radar. No insurance, no permits, no nothing.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus11878
Yep, lots of that going on. But I wouldn't recommend it.
My neighbor had a barbecue vending truck that he took to farmer's markets etc. Built his garage into a kitchen. Whole neighborhood smelled like barbecue beef. Was interesting, originally, but soon became irritating. I came really close to calling up the permits people to see if he had one. But that would have started a neighborhood war. He moved soon after, so it was no longer an issue.
I'd be much more concerned about a welding business if you could see the arc. Kids watching what's goin' on wouldn't be a good idea.
Reply to
mike
"Ignoramus11878" wrote in message news:xOCdnUPl4IIGyA snipped-for-privacy@giganews.com...
How expensive is the Mordida in your area? -jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
It depends on his neighbourhood. Not readily done in most places. But what might work is subletting space at some business like your place. Near her e is a barbeque stand that obviously rents part of a parking lot and has a small shed where customers come to get food for lunch. He also has a barbe que trailer usually parked next to the shed.
Dan
Reply to
dcaster
You can get by that way, maybe. But you can't get big. If he wants to just subsist, well -- he can try that.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
I had another thought -- if he's certified, he'll make lots more money. It may be a good investment for him in both time and money to take the classes and get the sheepskin.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
Check out the price of a stock Harley, then consider that people buy them just to cut them up and put them back together.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
Hm , when I hear motorcycle I think let's go for a ride ... I've made parts for motorcycles , but mostly for giveaway to friends . There is a market , but the big boys are very very good at stealing ideas , and they have the money the small guy doesn't to fight it out in court . I know a guy that designed and had manufactured and marketed an air filter for Harleys . Harley stole the name , and Arlen Ness stole the device . And he didn't have the upfront cash the lawyers wanted to take the case to fight either one .
Reply to
Terry Coombs
There are a lot of folks who think that you have to "pay your dues," but the simple fact of the matter is that home based businesses exist. Many of themn make money. Is it possible? Certainly! Is it practical? Maybe. Is it legal? Depends on the AHJ in that local.
I run a perfectly legal home based machine shop as a hobby business in the work shop next to my house. Basically as long as I don't create a nuisance and my neighbors don't complain the county is happy to collect their portion of my sales taxes and leave me alone. Since I do things for my neighbors when they need a hand they don't complain, but all of my operations except the occasional bit of cutting or welding are inside. Even the welding is done at the back door of the shop so it won't be a hazard to neighbor children.
Liability can be mitigated a number of ways. An attorney can help him with a simple service agreement for work that includes a limitation of liability depending on the type of work he does. Insurance is not required most places, but he can weigh the risks and make his own choices. In the socialist police state of Illinois it may be a little more restrictive. Of course he needs to check the local regs and talk to the local AHJ. I have to say it's a laugh to me that Illinois based vendors often want me to sign a limitation of liability just to sell me parts. Tells me a little bit about the business environment there.

Reply to
Bob La Londe
Bob,thanks. I do not think that in Illinois a weldor is required to have a license or insurance. If he does his welding inside his shop, then he would probably be able to fly under the radar.
Realistically, I think that permitting is not an issue, the issue is whether he can find enough customers to make his work worthwhile.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus11791
Such places seem to survive in the countryside, but it sounds like a really tough sell in a decent suburban environment.
Who are the customers and how will they find him? It's not like you can hang a big sign up saying "Achmed's Welding".. and if you could, who actually would have a need and would go to him?
I suppose if he had a van in the driveway, sign painted on it, it might have half a chance. There's a disconnect between keeping the activities reasonably unobtrusive and being visible enough that folks will come to him. There are mechanics who work out of their houses, so a welder isn't that huge a jump. But I don't see the customer base.. and welding with arcs, flames, sparks, compressed gas cylinders and such like will certainly scare some neighbors, and customers dropping by could annoy them.
Best regards, Spehro Pefhany
Reply to
Spehro Pefhany

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