New Guy..... - Sandblasting - Contractor Talk

New Guy.....

 
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Old 09-30-2014, 03:50 PM   #1
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New Guy.....


Greeting everyone, I initially posted this on the introduction forum but found out that I needed to be over here. Ok, I'm learning my way around the forum.

So here is my repost:


Iíve been lurking around this site for a few weeks now gathering informationÖ.so I thought I should join and introduce myself.

Foreword: Iím getting ready to turn 56 in November and Iíd like to take my present part-time sandblasting business (in shop with 2 cabinets) and guide it to the mobile sandblasting business model. This would be used to supplement my retirement income when I decide to pull the handle on my day job.

Initially my thoughts were to have several sandblasting cabinets in my out building, as I already have one decent size cabinet and one smaller one, air compressor and large room that I occasionally do larger items like jeep frames and some farm implements. As this is relatively small scale operation now, I want to turn it into something much more than ďoccasionalĒ. However, during my research it appears that once you step up to the commercial world, most of the companies that want items blasted also want them painted/coated. So I donít have the facilities for this and really donít want to venture down this road. If Iím wrong on this assumption, Iíd like to know.

This brings me to the portable sandblasting (media blasting) using a trailer with compressor and pot. I believe this entails concrete buildings, head stones, boat hauls, Automobile bodies, graffiti removal and there are probably more that Iím not familiar with.

Iím open to all recommendations here, as there appears to be a wealth of knowledgeable people on the forum. My requirements would be to NET $2500 to $4500 dollars a month. It would be just me, and possibly my Grandson helping if I needed it. I realize like most other endeavors in life, you could spend a massive amount of money on the start-up cost, or you could be frugal in the beginning and still be profitable and Ö.build it bigger/better as you go. I prefer the latter if possible.

Iíd also like to know where I can find more information on the requirements of this business model (exact equipment for varying jobs/ differences in POTS / Do I need more than one POT to stay competitive (allowing you to run more than one type of media). Is there anything in print that I could read?

Thanks to everyone who has shared their knowledge and experience. It is much appreciated!
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Old 11-20-2014, 09:21 PM   #2
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Re: New Guy.....


Quote:
Originally Posted by old patriot View Post
Greeting everyone, I initially posted this on the introduction forum but found out that I needed to be over here. Ok, I'm learning my way around the forum.

So here is my repost:


Iíve been lurking around this site for a few weeks now gathering informationÖ.so I thought I should join and introduce myself.

Foreword: Iím getting ready to turn 56 in November and Iíd like to take my present part-time sandblasting business (in shop with 2 cabinets) and guide it to the mobile sandblasting business model. This would be used to supplement my retirement income when I decide to pull the handle on my day job.

Initially my thoughts were to have several sandblasting cabinets in my out building, as I already have one decent size cabinet and one smaller one, air compressor and large room that I occasionally do larger items like jeep frames and some farm implements. As this is relatively small scale operation now, I want to turn it into something much more than ďoccasionalĒ. However, during my research it appears that once you step up to the commercial world, most of the companies that want items blasted also want them painted/coated. So I donít have the facilities for this and really donít want to venture down this road. If Iím wrong on this assumption, Iíd like to know.

This brings me to the portable sandblasting (media blasting) using a trailer with compressor and pot. I believe this entails concrete buildings, head stones, boat hauls, Automobile bodies, graffiti removal and there are probably more that Iím not familiar with.

Iím open to all recommendations here, as there appears to be a wealth of knowledgeable people on the forum. My requirements would be to NET $2500 to $4500 dollars a month. It would be just me, and possibly my Grandson helping if I needed it. I realize like most other endeavors in life, you could spend a massive amount of money on the start-up cost, or you could be frugal in the beginning and still be profitable and Ö.build it bigger/better as you go. I prefer the latter if possible.

Iíd also like to know where I can find more information on the requirements of this business model (exact equipment for varying jobs/ differences in POTS / Do I need more than one POT to stay competitive (allowing you to run more than one type of media). Is there anything in print that I could read?

Thanks to everyone who has shared their knowledge and experience. It is much appreciated!
Good post Old Patriot…...I too would love to have an answer from some of the pro blasters on the site. I am a little further behind you in experience but, I have some of the same questions to this business model.

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Old 11-21-2014, 06:32 PM   #3
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Re: New Guy.....


It is a big step you are trying to take if you are going to go from blasting in a cabinet to working on site. It will probably be quite a steep learning curve. The more equipment you have the better. You can have all the gear in the world but have it sat in the yard with no work. So the best equipment does not guarantee success. You can do most jobs with a small pot and a small road compressor but it can take you 3 or 4 times as long as with a better set up. Now this does not matter as long as the job is done but if you are on a price you want to be in and out of site asap to make the most money or if you charge by the hour your customer will not want to pay you 6 hours when someone else maybe doing it in 2.

If you are going to do mobile blasting have you got any experience ? I honestly see the actual standing with the blast hose as the easy bit. Dealing with dust control, protecting windows, media selection, air pressure selection, blast profile spec, Health and safety on site. Environmental issues. Dealing with a contractor. Waiting for your money. The list goes on. Nothing that cant be dealt with but things that get overlooked.

Your biggest hurdle will be pricing. If you don't know how long stuff takes then you are going to get it wrong and run the risk of loosing money. Then next time you will go for more money and risk pricing yourself out the market.

As for trying to work out how much you can earn from your new business venture well who knows !! Some days you can make it big. some days you will get it wrong and it could cost you to go it work. If you price too cheap the customer will always expect that rate so you will never make good money out of them. Charge to much then you will never get the chance to know if you priced it well as they will go somewhere else.

Get a website and put pictures up of what you do but never put who the job was for or where it was. There is no easier way to find potential customers than off your competitors website if they list who they are working for !!

I can honestly say I am not a clever bloke and most blasting companies I know are not clever people so brains does not come into it. Mobile blasting is a dusty messy job that you will either love or hate. If you can find enough work and get the price right you will be fine!!

When I started I had a load of equipment and not 1 days work booked in. 7 years on I still pull my hair out when the phone don't ring and pull my hair out when I have to much work on. It is always one way or the other.

The final thing you will need is a bit of luck along the way !!

Hope that helps and it is just my opinion

oh and good luck !!!
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Old 11-22-2014, 12:01 PM   #4
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Re: New Guy.....


Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Blast View Post
Your biggest hurdle will be pricing. If you don't know how long stuff takes then you are going to get it wrong and run the risk of loosing money. Then next time you will go for more money and risk pricing yourself out the market.
This is a really good point. As you said old patriot, with mobile work you're really increasing the variety of jobs you can take on and making sure you're pricing right is really important both for your bottom line and how you're seen by customers. Do some research on common blasting jobs in your area and get a ballpark of pricing.

Good Luck
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Old 12-06-2014, 03:12 PM   #5
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Re: New Guy.....


Some very valid points here, and I appreciate the input. As stated....being new to the mobile game means learning everything!
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Old 12-06-2014, 10:57 PM   #6
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Re: New Guy.....


Hi old patriot. For a pot, any multi media pot will do for starters. I can shoot whatever I need with my Surface Tek for instance. Pretty much every pot out there unless it is a "soda only " pot. They are not able to shoot abrasives. I would buy a newer pot name brand pot that you can call the manufacturer to get parts or help with.

You don't make money per month when you are self employed. You are still thinking like an employee. You get money per job and after each job is done you un employed again. It's one at a time. It isn't like you are going to have T.V. commercials so you kinda just wait for the phone to ring. Most contractors are very cheap and may also require insurance. Every last one will tell you they have a lot of work for you if you bring the price down. Not one of those who say that will ever call you again so stick to your guns.

You should never have to loose money on a job. If you price by the hour you can't loose. If you price by base price plus so much per bag you can't loose. If you price by one set price it is always plus material at x amount per bag over so many bags then you can't loose money. When you have enough experience and you know a job will run thirty to forty bags you can price it for sixty bags and be fine. Never give one absolute set price and you will be fine.

I get by fine working smaller jobs by my self with a 185 but if you can swing a 275 it would probably be worth it for the extra speed with out using too much more fuel.

people find me from the internet and from seeing my truck around town and I keep a listing in the phone book. I get a ton more calls than jobs. Some are just too far away or too big for me.

I have never painted anything that I blasted on the road. I also almost never include any clean up. I prefer to just blast and go. After ten hours blasting I have nothing left to offer.

I now insist that I get at least half the likely value of the job in cash after I set up and before I start blasting. The balance can be a personal check with matching I.D. and their home address or cash. A business check is a joke. They can change the name of the business every week and be incorporated or based in another country. Do not invoice. When they don't send you a check you are done. You can sue and get a judgement all you want but they do not have to give you any money. If they say they always get thirty days from their other businesses they can post date a check for as long as they need but you then have the check. A bounced personal check is actually a crime and much easier to get paid from. Note if you take a payment of any amount for a bounced check it reverts to civil and is no longer a crime get it all or nothing. Meanwhile you already got half in actual cash money so you didn't just loose.

By the way you don't have to worry about needing a certain profile. Jobs that require that kind of precision are few and they hire much larger companies than the one or two man new guy. Guess I've gone on enough.

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