Sandblasting is a popular way to decorate glass, stone, metal and hard plastic. It may also be used to design headstones, clean floors and walls and to remove paint and rust from outdoor furniture, farm equipment and cars. Starting a sandblasting business can prove to be a rewarding experience for an artist or someone who enjoys hands-on work. According to Entrepreneur.com, you can expect to pay anywhere from £1,300 to £6,500 in start-up costs. As long as you can identify a locale in need of your services, provide excellent customer service and craftsmanship and market your business, even a part-time sandblasting business may prove lucrative.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Liability insurance
- Blast cabinet
- Blast machine
- Safety gear
Purchase liability insurance. Liability insurance protects you and reassures your customers. They may request to see proof of insurance prior to hiring you. Also, contact your local building department and inquire about any permits or licenses you may need. It is your job to obtain any building permits.
Take a class on sandblasting techniques, such as one offered by Ronclamp.com (see link below), to improve your skills. If you are inexperienced with sandblasting, consider hiring a contractor. Visit Constructiondeal.com or call (866) 663-4711 for a directory of sandblasters in your area. Or check your local online and offline directories.
Determine what size of blast machine and cabinet you will need for your business. Visit Clemcoindustries.com to purchase a blast cabinet large enough to accommodate your business, and cabinet accessories such as turntables, vertical lift doors, tumble baskets, HEPA filters and dust collectors. Here, you can also purchase your safety equipment, such as air-supplied respirators, light- and heavy-duty blast suits, carbon monoxide alarms, comfort vests and climate control tubes. Choose from a selection of blast machines, from ones that hold .5 cubic feet of abrasive to ones that hold 160 cubic feet (see link below). To purchase used equipment or buffing, polishing and grinding equipment, visit Grandnorthern.com or call (800) 968-1811.
Select your sandblasting media. Visit Kramerindustriesonline.com (see link below) or call (888) 515-9443 to purchase your media. Choose from aluminum oxide, white aluminum oxide, corn cob (ideal for wood, thin metals and plastics), crushed glass grit, glass beads, plastic, pumice (for softer materials), silicon carbide grit, steel grit, steel shots and walnut shells. Vary the abrasiveness depending on the materials you will be sandblasting. Purchase a primer, such as an epoxy primer from Epoxysystems.com. Visit them online (see link below) or call (321) 206-1833.
Visit Scmsysteminc.com or call (800) 755-0261 if you intend to do micro-sandblasting. You can find tools, supplies and a video demo on the company's website.
Purchase a van if you intend to have a mobile unit. Use custom lettering to advertise your business on your van. Visit Customonlinesigns.com at the link below.
Determine what methods of payment you will accept. Many contractors use PayPal or Google Checkout to e-mail customer's invoices. With either of these methods, your customers may pay online using their credit card. If you would rather accept payment physically, get a merchant account such as one offered by Merchantexpress.com (see link below) that allows you to use a credit card swipe machine to take your customer's credit card information.
Tips and warnings
- Create a portfolio of your work to show potential customers. Consider purchasing a website for your store from GoDaddy.com or a similar site.
- Ask customers to post your signs in their yard in exchange for a 5 per cent discount.
- Consider incorporating your business and obtaining a federal tax identification number.
- Visit the IRS website to learn what your tax responsibilities will be, such as making estimated tax payments.
- Detail all costs and sales in an Excel spreadsheet.
- Advertise on Craigslist, in local directories and on Google Maps.
- There are safety issues involved with sandblasting. Make sure your blast cabinet is large enough to accommodate your needs. Always wear safety gear.
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