Locksmithing your new career
Welcome to your new career as a Locksmith! Well done, you gained your qualification and are well on the way to starting your new career!
There are some things you may not have thought about when starting your Locksmith business, so we will run through a few things you should know.
Do locksmiths need a DBS?
Short answer. Yes. If you are working for a reputable national company, such as Keytek®, then you will need a clean DBS. Even if you are working for yourself, you should have a clean record. In fact you would be hard-pressed to find a company that would train a person with a criminal record to be a Locksmith.
Do Locksmiths need Public Liability Insurance?
Public Liability Insurance is not a legal requirement, but its best practice to have it. Public Liability Insurance can cover any legal costs and compensation payments if you or your business is ever held responsible for damaging a customer’s property or causing them to have an injury, this also covers you for member of the public or other contractors accusing you of the same thing.
For example, if you were changing the locks in a customer’s home and one of your tools was on the floor and your customer stood on and seriously hurts themselves; your business could be sued. You insurance would then cover your legal costs and the cost of any compensation you had to pay out.
You can get liability insurance that covers you anywhere from 1 million to 10 million; this will give you peace of mind that you won’t go out of business if an accident were to occur.
What tools does a Locksmith need?
It’s essential as a Locksmith that you have all the tools you need in your van, the worst thing you could do is turn up at a job and not be able to complete it because you don’t have the right tools or stock. To read more in-depth about the tools you should have click here. But we will do a quick overview;
A pick gun– there is a variety of pick guns out there, both manual and electric. Its likely that most of the jobs you will attend will be lockouts, so a pick gun is one of the most important tools you can have.
MICA– this is a reusable sheet that is used to slide between the door and the frame. Again essential for attending lockout jobs.
Cordless drill and drill bits– if your customer is locked out, it’s very unlikely that you will have access to a plug socket, so a cordless drill is an absolute must. Just make sure you always carry back up batteries.
A bumping kit- using a bumping kit is one of the fastest ways to gain entry to a house, so you will definitely need this in your tool kit.
In terms of stock, it’s important that you carry the most commonly used locks and cylinders, so 9 times out of 10 you can complete the job in one visit. It is advisable to carry;
- Euro, oval and rim cylinders
- Backsets– british standard
- Mortice locks
- Replacements for uPVC locks and mechanisms
Keytek® offer many different tool kits for you to purchase. Having been in the Locksmithing industry for 23 years, Keytek® know exactly what tools you need to start your business off right. Take a look at our tool packages here.
Do Locksmiths need a van?
We strongly advise that any Locksmith starting out does have a van. With the amount of stock and tools that you will need to carry, the only vehicle that would fit it all in comfortably is a van. It also gives you the image of professionalism. Would you let a stranger who turned up in a car with no signage break into your home?
It’s important to make sure you get yourself out there, how else are people going to know to call you? It’s worth spending a little bit of money on getting a website. A few years ago we would have been advising you to put an advert in the yellow pages, but fewer and fewer people are using that to find tradespeople. Therefore it’s important that you have an online presence. to make your website a successful marketing platform, you will need to add relevant content and update that content regularly. This is so when people Google Locksmiths, you are more likely to be shown in the results.
We would suggest the very least you do is set up your own business Facebook page. It’s free and customers can contact you through it. Almost everyone is on Facebook, so it’s a must have for any new business.
If you are not confident online, you might be better subcontracting with a nation company, such as Keytek® or becoming a member of the NGCL. Keytek® has their own in house marketing experts, who take care of all the marketing for you. That way you can just concentrate on doing the job in hand, rather than messing around with online.