What is useful to know when becoming a Locksmith?

What is useful to know when becoming a Locksmith?

If you are thinking of becoming a locksmith, there are lots of aspects to consider before setting up your business. Most people are aware of the basics, such as completing a locksmith course and perfecting skills, but there is much much more to it. In this blog we will go through what is useful to know before becoming a locksmith.

 

Knowledge of the local area

It’s a great advantage to know where things are and how to get there quickly. Most jobs you go to will have an element of emergency and most customers won’t want to wait a long time. It would work to your advantage if you don’t have to spend time looking up postcodes and pre planning routes before every locksmith job. If you are planning on marketing yourself as an emergency locksmith, then you need to be able to places quickly. Much like a taxi driver a learned knowledge of the best routes and shortcuts to places, will only help your business be successful.

We are lucky that nowadays technology is on our side, so if you haven’t got one already and don’t know the local areas like the back of your hand; it is worth investing in a good quality sat nav. If you are looking to expand the areas you cover to maximise your return, it is certainly worth getting one also.

Where to get the best stock and tools

Your van needs to be stocked with everything you need to complete jobs for customers. This can get expensive, so it’s good to know where the best place is to get your stock and tools. You want to be providing your customers with the best quality parts without charging them the earth. It’s important that your customers can trust in the locks and other security devices you fit in their homes. We encourage all locksmith engineers to only work with parts that bare the British standard kite mark. This is way you and the customer know that the parts have been rigorously tested and have met the standard that the British Standard institution set as safe.

Keytek® offer a wide range of the best stock and tools for locksmiths and you can get a discount if you train with us.

How to speak to customers

It’s worth remembering that being a locksmith involves lots of face-to-face interaction with customers. While this should be covered in training, having a natural ability to speak to people you don’t know will put you at an advantage. The better you interact with your customers, the more likely they are to use you again, or recommend you to their friends. This word-of-mouth trade is essential to make your business successful. If you have already worked with the general public then this will also put you at an advantage, but if you are a complete newbie to this, it might be worth looking for a customer service course to help prepare you.

A top tip from Keytek® is to always explain what you are doing to the customer and be transparent about prices when you are onsite. Another must is to always put the customers mind at ease, remember you will be coming across a lot of distressed customers if they are locked out, have been burgled or have lost their keys!

 

How to put a quote together

It’s really important that you don’t under or over charge your customers. Undercharge and you won’t make any profit. Overcharge and you are going to get complaints from customers and no repeat or word of mouth business and most likely, some bad reviews online. You will need to do some research about what other locksmiths charge for their services in your area. You will need to decide how much profit you wish to make from each job and price it accordingly. This also ties in you getting the best price for your own stock and tools as the less you pay for these the more profit you will make. You can purchase software to help you make clear and professional quotes. Its good practice that you keep a paper or online copy of your quote, this way you can refer back to it, if the customer queries any charges. It’s also important to give the customer an idea of what you will be charging before you get to site. This ensures that there are no shocks for the customer, and you shouldn’t have a problem with the payment at the end of the job.

 

How to Market your Business

All businesses need some form of marketing to gain customers. You don’t need to have the knowledge to build your own website or anything like that. But a good overview of how to market yourself on Facebook and the other main social media sites would be beneficial. There are also plenty of companies, such as Squarespace or GoDaddy that can help you set up and host a website. You can use there templates and guidance to set up a simple website, that customers can access to find your contact details. Some locksmiths find it easier to subcontract with a company such as Keytek®, as they take care of all the marketing for you and send work your way..

It might surprise you to know that marketing ‘offline’ is still very much alive in the locksmith business. So have a look at local directories and magazines near you, you might find you get a lot of work from these! Also as already mentioned, word of mouth is also a fantastic way to market your business, so leave a business card onsite with your customers.

To find out more about marketing your locksmith business, visit out How To Market Your Locksmith Business Page

How to do a tax return

It’s very important as a business owner that you file your tax returns promptly and correctly. Failure to do so can get you in lots of trouble with HMRC. Its good practice to keep all invoices and receipts for any jobs you do as this will help you fill in your tax return correctly. Once you have filed the return HMRC will then send you a bill of how much tax you owe. There is software you can buy to help you with tax returns, such as Quickbooks. If you do submit your tax return late, then you could face over £100 in fines. To find out more about Tax Returns then read our tips page. 

 

There are so many things to consider when starting a locksmith business and it can seem overwhelming. Here at Keytek® we are more than happy to take you through all the steps and answer any questions you have about becoming a locksmith. Contact us to find out about our locksmith training courses.