Bulletproof Welding – Featured small business of the month

November 21, 2017 Published by

Here at SMB Insurance, we work with small businesses and entrepreneurs in almost any industry you can imagine. One of our clients, and our November 2017 featured small business of the month, stands out in terms of being unique. Bulletproof Welding, owned and operated by Neiko Pratt, is an artisan welder and is your one stop shop for all things metal. Whether it’s a decorative piece of art work, a beautiful railing for your porch, or an ornate staircase, Neiko and his team can do it all. We took a few minutes recently to catch up with Neiko and he was gracious enough to share some really interesting insight with us about being a small business owner and running a welding company.

1. How long have you been in the welding industry and how/why did you get started in it?

I’ve been in the welding industry going on 9 years, but have always been good with working with my hands and creating things. Once i found metal work/welding in high school vo-tech i discovered the endless possibilities that comes along with it..

2. What prompted you to start your own business?

After years of working different welding jobs, and dabbling in all aspects of the trade, i began doing side jobs. It started off as a job here and there, then got to the point where i would leave my 9 to 5 job just to go work on my own jobs. Eventually I started bringing in enough work, and had gained enough experience to be comfortable working for myself.

3. What’s the most rewarding part of being a small business owner?

I think the best part of owning and operating my own business is the fact i have almost unlimited creative freedom. Working for somebody else, regardless of my own ideas, things were always done to somebody else’s vision. Being able to meet with customers, pick their brain, and literally bring their idea to life, with my own twist is what i do it for. My favorite part of everything is seeing the faces of my customers light up once they see their envisioned product with their own two eyes. Any product i deliver is always hand crafted/fabricated to the smallest of details, and any welding specific jobs i do are always done at the highest possible quality deliverable. At the end of the day the appreciation i receive for all the hard work that goes into the things i do leaves me wit pride and passion.

4. What’s the most challenging part of being a small business owner?

Looking from the outside in, it seems operating a business is no harder than just having a job with responsibilities. When my business was just a side gig it wasn’t that bad, just some late nights and hard work. Upon becoming a legitimate company and going at it full time I’ve come to learn its the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Juggling jobs, finding time between them, money management, communication; traveling- estimates then on site work, ¬†and still finding the time and energy to actually complete the job on time with the standards and quality that started the business has become more than just a job. My slogan is ” our quality, your standards,” staying true to that on top of everything else is a never ending task.

5. What’s one piece of advice you can offer to others considering starting their own business?

I think the best thing I could tell somebody wanting to start their own business, at least in the trades, would be to make sure you are passionate in what you do. A persons passion, or lack of, is very evident in what ever they put forth. On top of that, i think knowing the ins and outs of your business is also very important, you never want to be caught in a situation where you dont know what to do. Lastly, i would say be prepared to give it your all, and dont give up when it gets rough just keep pushing forward, if your good at what you do you dont need to find work, it finds you.

6. What makes Bulletproof Welding unique among your competitors?

I would say Bulletproof Welding is unique from other companies because we do it all. That may sound a bit basic but most welding companies only deal with one aspect of the trade. There are ornamental iron companies, production companies, structural companies, on site welding companies, and special fabrication companies. Bulletproof Welding LLC is unique in the fact that when you call with a need we are your one stop shop for all things metal. We can build you a thousand products, create a beautiful railing for your home, come to your job site and do all the welding you need, and even build the building you may work out of years from now!

7. What’s the most unique and/or most memorable job you’ve done for a client and why?

My favorite job I have ever completed has been a recent job. A woman found me on Facebook following an advertisement I put on a local yard sale page, she wanted a railing for her wrap around porch but wasn’t sure the best way to go about it. A day or two later i went out to her house, we picked each others brain about the best look that would compliment her home as well as stand out from anything you would normally see. After our conversation we agreed on a beautiful intricate designed rail. I spent so much time on this thing, hand bending and twisting, setting this part of the design here and that part there. I finally installed it and when it was all finished and set we both stepped out to the street to take a look and this lady was ecstatic! I was impressed with my own work, but her reaction is what business owners dream of! That job gave me the best feeling knowing that all of the energy i put in was well worth it and reminded me again of why i do what i do in the first place.


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