There will always be a demand for locksmiths – from people who are locked out of their property to clients who are worried about security and wish to replace their existing locks. A locksmith business can be started cheaply and it can be very lucrative, making it a highly attractive proposition to prospective entrepreneurs.
Why start a locksmith business?
Locksmiths can earn a lot of money. This is especially so in the emergency call-out market, with many firms charging £70 or more to visit a client straight away and replace a lock. This market is also always in demand – however other non-emergency locksmith services are still profitable, especially if you win a contract on a large-scale building project. But it’s not just the profitability that makes starting a locksmith business attractive – the start-up costs are low and since there are few formal requirements it is a fairly easy business to get yourself into.
What skills will I need?
Taking a training course such as those that are offered by the UK Locksmith Association or local colleges can teach you basic locksmith skills. Aside from practical skills, you will need to be highly personable and be good at dealing with clients – you will be visiting new clients everyday so it definitely helps if you are a ‘people person.’ It is also essential to be reliable and flexible as your clients are relying on you to attend quickly and do a good job. You will also need to be good at marketing, especially in the early days, as well as possessing general business skills such as being able to deal with administration tasks and record keeping.
What are the keys to success with this business?
Marketing and branding will be key. The locksmith market can be highly competitive and you will need to establish your name and brand within the area that you intend to operate. It is essential to convey to your clients that you are trustworthy and will complete high quality work, so consider joining a trade association such as the UK Locksmith Association. Simply displaying a recognised logo on your marketing materials will go a long way towards reassuring your clients – and being a member offers other benefits too such as receiving help and advice in setting up your business, industry updates and notification of legislation changes. Another essential element of this business is being reliable. Word of mouth can have a significant positive or negative effect on your business – so make sure you create a positive reputation and be a company that your clients will be happy to recommend to others.
It is possible to start a locksmith business with a relatively low budget. Aside from training and marketing expenses, you will need to purchase tools and equipment to complete the work, as well as a van to visit clients in. The van could be purchased or leased – and you will also need to devote some money towards painting it in your company colour scheme (this is obviously a good idea as it gives you advertising and exposure). This business is often started from home and operates as a ‘one man band’ – so save money on hiring premises by completing things such as admin tasks at home.
Your next step
Start by conducting some market research. This can be a highly competitive market so it is essential to weigh up your competition. Is there space within the local market for another locksmith company? What could I offer that would differentiate my business from the competition? Take some time to investigate what rival companies offer and how much they charge for their services. You may find that it would be better to specialise in one particular service – for example emergency call outs or locksmith services to commercial clients.
Book a viewing at one of our available commercial properties today to find out how Workspace can help you set up your business.