Pat Gehling had over 25 years of experience in welding and repair when he decided to start his own company, GehlPRO Welding, which opened for business in March of 2014. Pat’s entrepreneurial experience and strong business sense was crucial to his success in building the new company from the ground up.
Years before opening the business, Pat and his wife, Sue Gehling, contacted the North Central Iowa Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for business counseling. Former center director Lisa Shimkat was able to make trips from Fort Dodge to Carroll to help the couple create a business plan based on Pat’s years of experience in the industry, knowledge of welding logistics, and some financial projections.
“Lisa was very motivating and encouraging,” Sue says. “She’s fun to be around and always followed through with everything.”
Lisa was able to provide professional and helpful advice for how best to go about obtaining financing. Once the couple was in a position to start operating their own business, Lisa put together sales and costs spreadsheets and assisted Pat with basic business set up.
“Pat and Sue were incredible to work with on this project,” Lisa says. “We were able to work together and find efficiencies, cost savings, and additional ways to make their company stronger. The company is a great addition to the Carroll community.”
Pat’s company is a fully-integrated metal facility that does not only welding, but also a lot of repair work, fabrication services, contract manufacturing services, and more. The state-of-the-art shop was custom designed to Pat’s preferences and has modern equipment. The facility is also stocked with a hefty supply of steel products to accommodate the diversity of projects done at the shop.
Besides Pat, the company employs three skilled workers full-time and one part-time employee. The company quickly became an active member in its community and was honored in September 2014 with a Spirit of Excellence Award from the Carroll Area Development Corporation, only six months after opening.
“We’ve got some great options for the future, we think,” Sue says. “We want to see if we can take this business to the next level!”
The Gehlings contribute to the many civic organizations that stop by selling items supporting the school or community. GehlPRO Welding is also part of the Carroll Chamber of Commerce and involved with Pheasants Forever.
“Having the assistance and encouragement from the SBDC helped us realize there are many opportunities for future growth,” the couple says. “Being pushed to think outside of the box helps you recognize additional markets you may have ignored otherwise.”
To learn more about this Carroll, Iowa metal-working and repair facility, visit the impeccably designed GehlPRO Welding website at www.gehlprowelding.com or their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/GehlPROWelding.