Thinking of starting a locksmith business to begin your entrepreneurial career but don’t know where to start?
You’ve come to the right place, and in this guide, we’ll discuss actionable tips and tricks you can use to start a successful locksmith business.
How to Run An Successful Locksmith Business
The locksmith industry is often overlooked by many, but it is actually a $2,8 billion industry (in the US) that is also still growing. After all, as long as people still build new houses and buildings, the need for locksmiths will always be there.
So, how should you begin in starting your locksmith business? Let us begin with the first tip right away.
Leverage Locksmith Business’s Versatility
One of the key highlights of the locksmith business is the fact that it is so versatile.
You can offer many different kinds of services from picking broken/stuck locks, installing new locks on houses and commercial buildings, installing automotive locks on vehicles, and in this Internet of Things age, locksmiths are also often expected to be able to install smart security cameras, smart doorbells, and other pieces of equipment related to home and property security.
Leverage this fact when deciding what types of services you are going to provide. Do market research and check what kinds of services have the most demand in your area, and make these services available in your business.
Invest In the Right Equipment and Infrastructure
Another key advantage of the locksmith business is its low startup capital.
You can start the locksmith business as a home-based business, which will allow you to eliminate the cost of renting or purchasing a property, which is often the most substantial part of your startup investment.
In that case, you’ll only need to invest in locksmith tools and equipment.
- You most likely need a large enough vehicle to transport your equipment and supplies when visiting clients.
- Lockpick set, pick gun, vice, tubular pick, and other tools for picking locks.
- Lock installation kits.
- Key cutter and key duplication machine if you are planning to offer key cutting services.
- Car key programming equipment for replacing automotive key.
- Keycode conversion software like Lockcodes Codes on Line for cutting the keys with keycodes.
- Fieldd as a cost-effective, all-in-one locksmith scheduling software to manage the non-technical side of your locksmith business like managing appointment schedules and generating automated billing for your clients.
With all these pieces of equipment, you should be able to keep your startup investment low and cost-effective.
Pay Attention To The Legal Requirements
It’s important to identify what’s legally required before you can lawfully start the locksmith business to avoid future issues.
Most states in the US would require locksmith certification, appropriate licensing, bonding, and insurance before you can start and run the locksmith business.
However, even if they are not a legal requirement in your area, you should consider getting certifications, bonding, and licensing as they will help you in establishing credibility and attracting more clients.
It’s also crucial to protect your business with appropriate insurance policies to protect your business (and yourself) from accidents and future liabilities.
Check with your local trade associations about the legal requirements in your area, and you can also check SBA’s guide to state licenses and permits here.
What Types of Services Are The Most Profitable?
As we’ve mentioned above, you can offer various types of services as a locksmith business. Yet, which are the most profitable?
In general, the most profitable model is to offer retaining services to businesses and governments. They often require ongoing lock system/security system maintenance and repairs, so you’ll be able to get a sustainable source of income in the long run.
Also, you might want to consider offering a 24/7 emergency service where you can charge more (more on pricing strategy later), so you can maximize your potential revenue.
Effective Pricing Strategy
How much should you charge your locksmith services? This can be the most challenging question to answer, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer as many different factors can affect it.
The best approach is to conduct competitive research and check how much your competitors are charging their clients. You don’t always need to charge lower than them. In fact, if you can offer more value (i.e. if you have a specialized tool nobody else in your area has), then it’s perfectly okay to charge more.
With that being said, here are some examples you can use as benchmarks.
- For basic locksmith services like changing or picking a lock, you can charge $40 to $100.
- You can charge $5 to 25 per cylinder for cylinder repairs.
- You can charge between $1 and $4 per key duplication, but if it’s a complex key you can charge up to $20. Specialized automotive keys can cost more than $150.
- You can charge a minimum fee of $100 for new installations, and $20 to $30 per lock on top of this minimum fee.
- If you have to go to the customer for service, the average mobile fee is between $40 and $150.
- You can charge more after business hours or during weekends, up to $250.
Locksmith Marketing Tips
Getting your first few clients is often the biggest challenge of the business, and here are a few marketing tips you can use.
- Network and build partnerships with other businesses in the area. You can join local communities and events that can be great opportunities to network with potential partners and clients.
- Start by doing locksmith jobs for family and friends (for free), and ask them to recommend your services to others.
- Social media is where our target client is nowadays, so use social media marketing effectively.
Above all, the key to winning more clients is to consistently deliver high-quality services to get more referrals from happy customers.