Locksmiths are constantly in demand and many people lack the information on how to properly start a locksmith business without losing all their savings. Apart from all the practical skills to work as a locksmith, opening a business is a whole different process that would require some investments. This blog will take to a cost breakdown when starting a new locksmith business.
Accreditation or Qualification
Whether working independently or for a locksmith company, it is vital you consider a locksmith accreditation, which will cost you around £2000–£2500. The locksmith industry depends wholly on trustworthiness. So if you are fully trained and accredited or qualified, you certainly get more jobs than a non-trained locksmith.
Previous to 2019, the only option in the locksmith industry was either a non-accredited course (a course with no official certificate) or an official accreditation through a training academy who are approved by a company like the NCFE. Official accreditations are still a viable option; however there is now an official qualification in locksmithing – the first ever in the UK. We at Keytek® suggest a course that is either a qualification, or an accreditation to at least a level 4 to start a successful locksmith business.
Click here to view our locksmith courses and accreditations.
The main equipment that you will work with is very crucial. You will need a wide range of tools to enable you to operate and complete jobs successfully, and you will also need to carry a wide range of stock on board (locks and other parts) to ensure that most of your customers are sorted within the first visit. Although you may need to order specific products for some customers if the part is more unusual, but bear in mind you will need to leave the customer secure until this part arrives. This basic equipment could cost anywhere from £2000-£3000 for your basic stock and tooling.
If you attend a Keytek® locksmith course, the trainer will run through all our stock and tooling packages to ensure you purchase one that fits you and your new business. To take a look at some of our packages, click here
Marketing is essential for a locksmith business; you won’t get any jobs without advertising your business as a locksmith. The cost of advertising is hard to identify as there are many types of marketing you can do that could benefit your business. However, the following are estimates of how much it would cost you.
A simple and small ad in a newspaper would get you some jobs every week, especially for brand awareness. A weekly tabloid newspaper ad can cost you from £5–£9 per column. It is very effective to invest in if you want to be more local to your customers.
Most local directories will cost you around £50 for a listing per month in 1/8 page. A full page will cost you around £220 per month.
Leaflets / brochures
The cost of designing a brochure can go from free (if you know how to design it yourself) to an estimation of £15–£150. The difference in prices will vary based on several factors, including the brochure’s quality and paper thickness. Another consideration if you will be using leaflets as a way to increase awareness for your business is the permission of distributing them, which is required by the law to be done through the Royal Mail and clearly paid for. Click here for accurate information and prices on leaflet distribution based on your post code.
Social media is a great tool to advertise your business for free, unless you pay for a sponsored advertisement. Paid ads now mainly depend on the daily budget that you set; you can start with as little as £1 per day, depending on how competitive your area is in your business.
Google is a crucial aspect when it comes to locksmith businesses. Think about it, someone is stuck outside their home, what would now be the first thing they do? They open Google and search for the nearest locksmith. To appear on Google you will of course need a website which we discuss below.
You can also look into paid advertising on Google with Google Ads, If the competition isn’t too high, then you can pay as little as few pence to £1 for pay per click whereas if it is a high competition, prepare yourself to pay around £20 per click. However these types of campaigns usually need to be managed by professionals, so you will need to factor in a management cost for this also.
Even better advertising that can make you more trustworthy is having your own website. According to Startups, there are two main ways to start your own website. A website builder is the first option, which can help you build a professional-looking website, which could be for free, but with extra features and paid plans, it will start costing you from £3 per month. If you lack the skills of designing a website, you can go to a website designer, which could be a bit costly, and will typically charge you anything starting from £4,000 up to hundreds of thousands. However these websites are usually purpose built and will easily out perform a template built website.
The second way of building your own website, which is preferable, is using a content management system like WordPress. This will certainly cost you less than a web designer, however you will need some website experience and skills to do this.
If the idea of marketing and advertising seems daunting for you, a lot of Locksmiths join a national locksmith company for their work or to supplement their private work. The benefit of this is that the company will do all the advertising, booking and invoicing for you, all you need to do is complete the job for the customer. This means you have all the benefits of being self-employed, without having to solely rely on your own advertising. Most companies won’t have a signup fee and it is a great way to start your career as a locksmith.
Keytek® are also a national locksmith company offering sub-contracting across the country.
Pricing your services
A very important step is to price your own services. There are many factors that can affect your pricing for your services. Here are the top factors affecting your pricing:
Location – pricing in London will definitely be higher than in any other cities in England.
Competitors – you can’t set a price that is higher than your competitors as you could lose customers easily.
Operating hours – if you will be operating during the weekends or on a bank holiday, you should consider setting a higher price than normal weekdays.
It may take a little while until you start turning a profit, but once you have your prices set right, you are well on your way.
Location of your business
Thinking of opening up a business office where you could manage everything? Then, finding an office location cost is very important. As mentioned before, costs in opening up a business in London or Edinburgh, for instance, would differ from other cities in the UK. Click here to view how much it would cost you to open up a business in the city you are looking forward to.
However the majority of Locksmiths are able to work easily from home!
Looking for a Locksmith Academy?
The Keytek® Locksmiths Training Academy is an industry leader in expertise and Locksmith training. Completing your Locksmith Qualification with Keytek® at our state of the art training academy ensures you will gain the highest Locksmith education possible by industry experts. This Locksmith course is the perfect start to your career in the Locksmith industry!
We have Locksmith courses to suit everyone, whether new to the industry or a seasoned professional looking to sharpen your skills. Take a look at all of our Locksmith courses we offer here!