If you are a crash repairer, an industrial painter, a pressure wash cleaner or any trade really, and are looking to diversify your business and expand the services that you offer, mobile dustless sandblasting offers a fantastic opportunity. With proper abrasive blasting equipment and a bit of training from a reputed and knowledgeable supplier, you can be ready to diversify your business and add a new revenue stream in no time. You can offer a great range of onsite services such as paint and corrosion removal and surface preparation to a wide range of customers. Apart from earning very good profits, you can choose the work hours to be as flexible as you want to suit your lifestyle.
The demand for dustless sandblasting services is generally good and the applications are numerous and spread across different industries. The total startup cost to set up the business is relatively very low compared to other businesses and you do not need to have any trade qualifications or hold any certificates or fancy college degrees. All that is required is for you is a commitment, belief in yourself and the desire to succeed.
If this sounds like you and is of interest to you, keep reading and discover the easy steps to help you go through the entire process of starting your own mobile dustless blasting business.
As an entrepreneur, you will already know that planning is crucial for success. Any business plan should start with market research. The research should explore the demand for dustless sandblasting services in your area and the number of potential competitors.
A study into the demand for dustless sandblasting services is vital and you should search for potential users of your services in the particular area that you wish to service. Potential users can include but are not limited to the following
- Businesses (analyze your area for companies that commonly use sandblasting services such as engineering companies, mines, agricultural equipment, automotive restoration, machinists, crash repairers, construction sites, offshore facilities, etc. This will give you good insight into the demand and is very helpful for planning your next steps.)
- State government, local councils, statutory bodies (removing graffiti, line marking, jetty restoration, cleaning public spaces, statutes, new art/sculptures, stenciling concrete in parks etc – the possibilities are endless and are only limited by imagination.)
- Households (if you look around many things need to be cleaned from rust or could use paint removal or simple cleaning – houses, decks, swimming pools, vehicles and you could pro actively approach potential customers such as those who have graffiti on their walls)
Assessing the market is all about taking a look at the industry you’re hoping to move into and determining: is there a problem that needs solving? Sometimes, the customer may not have thought of sandblasting to be the solution – see what their problem is and how you can solve it. The versatility of the mobile dustless blasting makes it appealing to be a large range of applications.
You should search for other providers of dustless sandblasting services in your area. You can do a simple google search as well as go through business listings. Try and make inquiries on the services that they provide and find out their hourly charge out rates. This is critical information that will help you position yourself optimally in the market. This is about gauging whether an opportunity exists, how big it might be – and then carefully considering how you will position your business to take that opportunity.
|The idea is to have a clear idea on how you will carve out a position of your own: why customers will choose your business over others offering similar services. This is where brand positioning comes in – your brand should occupy a distinctive position in the minds of your customers.
|Revenue If you have analyzed the demand and competitors well, you can estimate the number of jobs you can do, an average size of each job and calculate the approximate revenue for the first year and set up the price. In Australia, dustless sandblasting services command a premium and are generally paid by on an hourly basis at a rate ranging between $200-$300 depending on the size, location and complexity of the job. Over a period of time once you become familiar with the time taken to do a job, you can quote a fixed price for the job – eg to blast a car – many customers appreciate the certainty of the fixed price.
Now that your initial business idea has become more specific, you will have a clear picture of what you will do and how. It’s time to search for a suitable dustless blasting machine to carry on your new blasting business.
Sandblasting Equipment Suppliers
There are several factors to consider in choosing the sandblasting equipment and the sandblasting equipment supplier.
- Reputation of the sandblasting equipment supplier– You would want to check out the credentials of the sandblasting equipment supplier, number of years the business is in existence, their website, see how it ranks on popular search engines online, the Google reviews it has received, their rating on social media sites and industry forums. If you find several second-hand dustless blasting machines being sold cheap online on sites like Gumtree, there may well be a reason for it and you may wish to steer clear of that brand.
- Features, Design, Technology and Size- Compare the alternative features of competitive dustless blasting machines, the design and user friendliness for the size and the applications that you need. Do not be fooled by clever and aggressive marketing gimmicks. Ask the sandblasting equipment supplier for any additional information that they may have chosen to deliberately omitted in their brochure.
- Local Support – What kind of training and technical support can the sandblasting equipment supplier provide? Do they have a technical team in the country or are they based overseas? Do they have the skills to be able to diagnose your problem remotely or are you dealing with a sales person with no practical experience in the use of dustless blasting machines?
- Place of Manufacture- Most people have a preference for buying locally made high quality equipment rather than mass produced cheap stuff that is made in China and is sold just on cheap price. Locally made dustless blasting machines are generally better suited for local conditions and applications.
- Versatility- You would want to be able do a range of services and applications to maximize the potential of your business. Is the dustless blasting machine capable of handling different abrasive media and can the media and the pressure be finetuned to achieve different profiles on different substrates?
- Warranty, parts and support- What kind of warranty does the sandblasting equipment supplier offer and what sort of parts need to be replaced and at what cost. Check what kind of support is available as you may require this in the middle of a job on a weekend.
- Operating cost and efficiency- Ask the sandblasting equipment supplier to list the operating costs of running the equipment and compare them with other dustless blasting machines. Some of the suppliers have vague to downright unrealistic data about sandblasting media usage, water usage and efficiency in their brochures.
- Demonstration-Where ever it is practical, ask for a demonstration of the unit to see the operation for yourself on the kind of applications that you want to use it for. This may prove to be enlightening to verify any fancy claims that the sandblasting equipment supplier may have made as well as to judge the knowledge and support that you are likely to receive from the supplier.
- Cost– You must compare the costs of alternative dustless blasting machines keeping in consideration all the foregoing factors. You may be able to find abrasive blasting equipment made overseas at a fraction of the cost, but many customers have found its value to be in the scrap metal. Also, more expensive does not necessarily mean better equipment as sometimes, locally made abrasive blasting equipment is cheaper than overpriced overseas equipment.
- References– Find out independently through your own research other users who have the same brand of dustless blasting machine and obtain feedback about the unit.
Sandblasting Media and Sandblasting Supplies
The dustless blasting machine should be capable of handling multiple forms of media to be able to achieve the desired profiles on different surfaces to meet a wide range of customer requirements. Check out if the sandblasting equipment supplier can also supply good quality sandblasting media and sandblasting supplies at a reasonable price. Can the supplier provide guidance in choosing the right sandblasting media for the right job? Does the supplier have independent test reports and batch reports for each batch of sandblasting media? Does the supplier have a range of sandblasting products such as rust inhibitor, nozzles, couplings and sandblasting protective equipment available in stock to avoid having to keep sourcing sandblasting supplies from various different manufacturers? Does the sandblasting supplier offer ease of convenience such as an online shopping portal to order sandblasting spares?
Vehicle Operating costs, Sandblasting Protective Equipment
Estimate the cost of investment in a suitable vehicle for your mobile business, the approximate running costs of your vehicle and the cost of sandblasting protective equipment such as sandblasting helmets and blast suits.
Now when you know who your potential customers are, you should focus on reaching out to them and presenting the services you provide. Through developing communication with target customers and gaining their trust, marketing is essential for the success of your business. Chalk out a marketing strategy, your channels for digital and print media and draw up a marketing budget. You should also consider investing time and money in things such as brand name and logo, website, videos, blog, brochures, business cards, flyers, posters, etc.
Some good quality sandblasting equipment suppliers are able to assist by providing marketing packages that may be useful to get the business started.
List all other overheads such as insurance, accounting, telecommunication and administration and borrowing costs.
Okay, now you have all the necessary data for doing the math. Armed with the cost of the dustless blasting machine, sandblasting supplies, sandblasting media, the expected charge out rates prevailing in the market and the operating cost of the abrasive blasting equipment, you should be able to calculate the profit you can make, the return on the investment and the payback period. List your assumptions and seek the help of the accountant or a friend to double check the calculations.
You can choose whether you wish to finance the investment through your own funds or seek bank borrowing. Many sandblasting equipment suppliers offer easy financing options to individuals or businesses to purchase the dustless blasting machine at competitive rates. By financing the equipment through an operating lease, you can claim the lease rental as a deductible business expense and you can preserve your cash to fund the working capital and growth requirements of the business. Speak to your tax accountant for professional advice.
Taking the Next Step
Once you have done your market research, calculated the payback and done your due diligence, you are ready to take the step to add become your own boss. In his book Poverty, Wealth, and Riches, best-selling author Kris Vallotton wrote that financial freedom usually depends on having multiple income streams.
You can join the large number of entrepreneurial people who have chosen to have control over their destiny and choose the lifestyle that they wish to lead making handsome profits and yet working lesser hours. Good luck and enjoy your own business! Also, never stop researching, analyzing, planning, and improving because that is the recipe for long-term success.