Mooresville Welding ready for new era

Posted by on Jun 12, 2012 in Featured, Print Article | 0 comments

What does it mean to have a business that is virtually debt free?

For Mooresville Welding owner, Jeff Allen, it’s a great feeling. He says, “We can breathe.” However, that doesn’t mean the business is taking a break. In fact, Allen just recently expanded his operation by 5,000 square feet, added more fabrication machinery and increased his product line.

At age 23, Allen became the owner of the company on June 1, 1991. At that time, the business had already been an established family-owned operation since 1939.  Not only is Allen celebrating 21 years in business at the Open House slated for June 2, he is excited to begin a new chapter where his son, Justin, will begin the long takeover process of ownership. “I’m proud to have my son continue the tradition and follow in my footsteps,” Allen says.

He likes to envision a family-owned business at the corner of Washington and Bolton well on its way to its 100th  year of serving the community. He says, “This business is a tremendous asset to the community.”

He has worked hard to maintain the quality and reputation the company had when he took over and to keep customer satisfaction up so they come back. It’s important to him that same level of products and services continue into the future. He sees that happening as his son learns the business.

Just like most small businesses, the biggest struggle every week is financial. “We can’t make ends meet unless we diversify and that’s what we’ve done over time.”

According to Allen, Mooresville Welding is one of the best kept local secrets because people don’t realize how the shop can help them. The main three operations in a welding shop are repair, fabrication and metal sales. And those functions can service small businesses, large businesses and homeowners. No job is too big- or too small.

Homeowners may need a lawn ornament, mailbox or a garden gate latch repaired. The sky is the limit on fabrication. Allen says, “It could be a little custom tool, a shelf bracket or a bulldozer bucket. If they can sketch it, we can make it.”

When people can do the work themselves they still need the metal to do it. He says that’s when they come to Mooresville Welding for steel, stainless steel and aluminum.

“Some people,” Allen says, “think they are inconveniencing us to do a small job or sell them a little metal.” Small jobs are important to him. “The community keeps us in business,” he says. “It’s the guy who can come in and get a bracket for his home and realizes we can help his employer with a truck bed or larger project. Our customers spread the word.”

Mooresville Welding has specialized in flatbed truck bodies since 1945. They service farmers, individuals, large and small companies or truck dealers in a variety of industries and for a myriad of uses.  They are familiar with projects that require customization and heavy duty applications. To do this the business stocks a wide range of truck and trailer equipment.

“It takes different types of welding machines to weld different metals and projects,” he says. They have an enclosed trailer outfitted to go on-site for some jobs and do MIG welding, TIG welding, arc welding and gas welding in house. Allen says welding is both an art and a craft. “You have got to be able to build something in your mind and then go do it.”

As far as being a business owner, Allen acknowledges he knew very little about it when he took the leap. “Starting up something brand new is hard without an established customer base,” he says. “I feel blessed that we had the broad customer base that we had from Day 1. The phone number has never changed. We still have people calling us that haven’t been here for 20 years.

“We partner with many different businesses in Mooresville to support each other in our businesses. I really appreciate the community. It seems everyone in this area really wants to buy from local businesses. We know each other, we buy from this community – we support each other. With the local businesses that might do similar work to us, we don’t look at them as competition, but as someone who we can help or they can help us. We’re all here to help each other. Because of the tight-knit community we have, I think that’s the norm.”

Allen says he stayed in Mooresville because he’s tethered to this business. “But if I wasn’t tethered, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” he says as he looks out the window of his office. “I’d say because of – it’s just home. It’s my comfort zone – the community, the town, the area. I can’t picture anywhere else where I’d be comfortable.”

As printed in the Morgan County Business Leader, May, 2012

by Elaine Whitesides

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *