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 needed to work as a locksmith, opening a business is a whole different process that would require some investment. This blog will take you to a cost breakdown when starting a new locksmith business.
Accreditation or Qualification
Whether you work for yourself or for a Locksmith company, it’s critical that you consider a Locksmith Accreditation or Locksmith Qualification, which can cost you between £2000 and £2600. The Locksmith industry depends wholly on trustworthiness, which is why training to join the industry is so important.
Prior to 2019, the only option within the Locksmith industry was either a non-accredited course (a course with no official certificate) or an official accreditation through a training academy that was approved by a body 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.
Stock and Tools
The equipment that you will work with is crucial to your effectiveness as a Locksmith. You’ll need a wide range of tools to enable you to operate and complete jobs successfully and you’ll also need to carry a wide range of stock on board (locks and other parts) to ensure that most of your customers are sorted on the first visit. Although you may need to order specific products for some customers if the part is more unusual, bear in mind that 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.
Having a van to store your tools in and attend jobs in, is an essential part of starting a Locksmith business. Without a van or a larger vehicle, it will be nearly impossible to start your Locksmith business because you’ll most likely be unable to carry to site what you need to carry out various Locksmith jobs.
A Locksmith van indicates professionalism and allows you to start building a brand identity towards your customers. The cost of a van varies greatly depending on its size, model, make, and age. A reliable used van can start at around £2,000, while newer, higher-end models can cost up to £30,000.
Wondering what’s the best vehicles to have for a Locksmith business?
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 on a 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 quality of the brochure and paper thickness. Another factor to consider if you intend to use leaflets to raise awareness for your company is permission to distribute them, which is required by 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: if someone is stuck outside their home, what would 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 a few pence to £1 for pay per click, whereas if there 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 Start-ups, there are two main ways to start your own website. A website builder is the first option that can help you build a professional-looking website. It 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 to design a website, you can go to a website designer, which could be a bit costly, and will typically charge you anything from £4,000 up to hundreds of thousands. However, these websites are usually purpose-built and will easily outperform a template-built website.
The second way of building your own website, which is preferable, is by using a content management system like WordPress. This will certainly cost you less than a web designer, but you will need some website experience and skills to do this.
If the idea of marketing and advertising seems daunting to 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® is 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 three factors affecting your pricing:
Location: Prices in London will undoubtedly be higher than in any other English city.
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.
Location of your business
Thinking of opening up a business office where you could manage everything? Then, finding an office location that costs a lot is very important. As mentioned before, the costs of 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 cutting-edge training academy guarantees you the highest level of Locksmith education from industry experts. This Locksmith course is the perfect start to your career in the Locksmith industry!