Starting a business is a big deal for everyone, no matter the industry or product. Starting a Locksmith business from scratch is a big undertaking, its more than doable to make it successful, but its best to start as prepared as possible.
We will go through some tips on how to start your locksmith business on the best possible foot.
Get The Best Training Possible
The best way to make sure your Locksmith business is successful is to receive the best training in the industry. Locksmithing is largely unregulated, so you don’t actually need any formal training, however you are unlikely to build a good reputation if you are unskilled.
Recently an official Locksmith Qualification has been approved, which is the highest level of training possible currently. Alternatively, you could train for your Locksmith Accreditation, this is not an official qualification, but is a recognised certification.
Once you have achieved one of these, you will be able to advertise to customers as a fully trained Locksmith. You will need to make sure that you undertake your training at an officially recognised training provider that is accredited by external bodies. For example, we here at the Keytek® Locksmith Academy have courses approved through the NCFE and Highfield.
Completing an official training course will help to set you up to have a successful Locksmithing company.
Choose Your Name
This might seem like a simple and obvious step in starting your own Locksmith business. However, don’t try and go with an overcomplicated clever name. You want any potential customers to know exactly what you do, there should be no doubt in their minds that you are a Locksmith.
Something like your name plus Locksmith can work, for example ‘John Hooper Locksmiths’ or if you don’t want to use your name it could be something like ‘Secure Locksmiths’. It’s worth doing a bit of research of other Locksmiths within your local area, to make sure that you are not naming your business the same or very similar to anyone else.
If you want a website with to promote your business, then you will need to check the name you have chosen is available as a website domain.
Take Care of the Legal Stuff
When setting up your own business, if you earn more than £1000 in the space of a year, then you will need to register yourself as a sole trader. To do this you will need to tell HMRC that you pay tax through Self-Assessment.
You will have paperwork to do every year, such as filing a tax return. It will be your responsibility to keep the record of your business earnings and expenses, as well as paying income tax on any profits.
For more info on registering as a sole trader visit the gov.uk website
Once you have completed your training, you need to think about how you are going to get your name out there. Are you going to create a website? Use social media? Are you capable of doing this yourself, or will you need to hire someone? Are you going to do any offline advertising such as in your local phonebook?
These are the things you are going to need to think about, if you don’t get your business name out there then people won’t know to call you.
Read our article on how to market your Locksmith business
To be a successful mobile Locksmith, you will need a van. To be able to offer a full range of services, you will need to be able to fit a large range of stock and tools in your transportation. A van is a perfect choice, there are very few cars that will provide the space you need to carry your equipment. It will also look more professional and make your business seem more legitimate if you turn up to jobs in a van, rather than a car.
Customers tend to only book service providers that seem trustworthy, so you need to take every possible opportunity to seem that way. It might be worth spending the money to get your van sign-written, which means having your business logo and details displayed on your van. This is another good say to seem like a professional business and it’s a good way to advertise your services.
Find out the best vehicles to have for a Locksmith business and our advice for buying a Locksmith van.
Have The Right Stock And Tools
To be successful in Locksmithing, you need to be able to fix a wide range of issues, this involves having the right parts for most jobs. Do some research on which brand is best and fits in your budget.
For a non-specialist Locksmith, we recommend the following common tools:
- an electric pick gun
- cylinder jigglers
- bumping kit.
This list is the absolute bare minimum of what a Locksmith will need. If you are confused about which stock and tools are the best, then try talking to some other Locksmith and read our advice on Locksmith stock and tools. You can also ask your training provider for any advice.
At the Keytek® Locksmith Academy, you will receive discounts on all stock and tools once you have completed a course with us. If you are wanted to do any auto Locksmithing then you will need to source specialised equipment, such as a key programming machine.
One of the best and most common ways that Locksmiths generate jobs is by subcontracting. This takes the pressure off finding regular jobs, as they will provide the work for you.
All your marketing needs will be taken care of, as most national companies have dedicated marketing team whose job it is to generate work. Even when subcontracting you will be able to set your own hours and choose where abouts you work and you can operate under you own company name.
By starting out as a subcontractor, you will be able to get some experience, to then apply in your own business and help generate work.
If you subcontract with someone like Keytek® Locksmiths, then you will have 24/7 access to a technical support team, who are on hand to provide support if you are ever stuck on a job. As a new Locksmith this is a great back up if you are unsure on how to finish a job successfully. Using sub-contracting as a starting off point is a great idea for new locksmiths.
Find out more about subcontracting with Keytek® Locksmiths.
So, when starting your locksmith business, there is a lot to consider. The aim is to make your business as successful as possible, so you need to be considerate of every step. For more support on starting your own locksmith business, visit our Locksmith Advice Hub.