Metal fabrication is an essential service in the manufacturing as well as construction industries, which makes owning a metal fabrication business a lucrative idea for a start-up business.
However, while many people have the entrepreneurial spirit to start the venture, they lack the necessary information about how to go about it. If you are such an individual, below is a step-by-step process on how to start your metal fabrication shop.
• Start with a base of operation
Start by finding a suitable working space, preferably located near potential clients.
For a metal fabrication shop, you don't expect to have it located in the CBD in a high rise office complex but rather in the industrial part of town where you can access raw materials efficiently, and your neighbors won't get offended by the noise.
Industrial areas are ideal for starting a metal fabrication shop because rental spaces are available in various sizes, neighboring industries and business can be customers as well as suppliers of raw materials.
Ensure the shop's location is easily accessible from the road so that potential clients can easily find you.
• Tools of the trade
Before providing metal fabrication services, you require various pieces of equipment utilized in the business. Depending on the types of metal fabrication services you intend to provide, machines such as welders, CNC cutters, benders, press brake machines, rollers, etc. are essential.
These machines are relatively capital intensive to acquire and hence properly planning your finance is advisable. You may opt to start with a few tools critical to starting the business and gradually add the rest as the enterprise grows.
However, this approach could cost your clients' reputation, especially if you lack the machines necessary for the services they specifically require at the time.
Hence, it is advisable to either specialize in one type of metal fabrication or wait until you have sufficient capital to purchase all the equipment required to offer the full range of fabrication services.
• Comply with all the set policies on safety, insurance and licensing
Metal fabrication as a trade is prone to safety hazards that could cause harm or damage to people as well as property. It is for this reason that metal fabrication businesses are required to have insurance cover to protect the owners from such liability. It is advisable to get comprehensive insurance cover for the firm so as to cover your workers, the equipment as well as third parties that get affected.
Additionally, before you can open the shop's doors for business, you will need to get an operating license from relevant authorities. Note that the licensing authorities will require proof of insurance and they will conduct a preliminary visit to the shop to check for its suitability as well as safety parameters.
Consider consulting or joining the Australian Steel Institute and Australian Steel Association on how to prepare your shop before applying for a license.
• Alternative to the above process
If the above process isn't appealing to you and you are set on running a metal fabrication business, the second option is to buy or lease a shop from or via a metal fabrication franchise.
This option is easier and less time consuming than starting a metal fabrication shop from the ground.