Lost keys are a fact of life. In The United States alone, tens of thousands of keys are lost on a daily basis. No matter how careful and cautious a person is, stress and fatigue get the best of all of us at one time or another. We’ve all lost the keys to our cars, homes, and/or places of business, and we’ve all needed the services of a locksmith on at least one occasion.
Thus, as long as people continue to lose their keys -and make no mistake about it, people will continue to lose their keys- there will be a continuing demand for locksmiths. According to Gabriel, an Albuquerque locksmith who has been in business for 8 years, a locksmith business can be a reliable source of income, and a modest, but well organized mom and pop operation can easily generate upwards of 60,000 dollars per year. This type of small-scale, start up locksmith business typically consists of a van that acts as a mobile workshop. These can definitely be one man operations, or they can be family businesses ran together.
Be Prepared to Be On Call
Since people can get locked out at any time of day or night, it really pays to be on call 24/7. If you don’t want to do it yourself, at least hire someone else to be on stand by during the night. Gabriel tells us that his business is so successful because people want to hire a 24 hour locksmith albuquerque instead of someone who won’t be available outside of business hours.
Learn The Trade
The legal obligations that are required of a locksmith regarding proper training and certification varies from state to state. In fact, in many regions there is no such legal obligation. Still, there is a lot that goes into being a successful locksmith. It’s a science, and there is a lot to learn if you’re a complete novice. A locksmith’s success depends on having a good reputation which spreads by word of mouth. The last thing you want is to show up at a job and not be able to open the lock or solve the problem. An unsatisfied customer will spread the word, and this is the kiss of death.
Once you’re able to afford it, you should consider expanding your operations to other nearby areas so that you can serve more people in your community. For example, Gabriel started doing lock repair in Rio Rancho after his original business became successful.
A skilled locksmith has to know the following:
- Lock Rekeying
- Lock Picking
- Key Cutting and Key Duplication
- Locksmith Business and Accounting Fundamentals
- Commercial Master Keying
- Safe Combination Changing
If you’re starting out from scratch, be prepared to study hard and practice. There are many popular online courses which cover all of the above topics in depth, and include many useful tips and hints. They also contain a complete list of all of the inventory, tools, and other supplies that a locksmith needs. From pick sets and pick guns, to key blanks and cam locks, you can expect to invest 3,000 dollars in equipment and supplies, even when you’re just starting out.
As far as certification goes, the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) offer exams which you can take in order to receive the most widely recognized designations, such as Certified Automotive Locksmith, Master Safe Tech, and Registered Locksmith. Again, however, make sure to find out what the exact requirements are (if any) regarding locksmith certification in the target area for your locksmith business.
At the end of the day, being a professional locksmith is rewarding work. You are compensated fairly, and the locksmith business is one of only a handful of businesses that is recession proof. In fact, when the economy is bad, and the number of break-ins rise, people turn to skilled lock specialists to improve their security. You also provide a valuable service to the public, and it’s always great to see the look of sheer relief and satisfaction on a customer’s face after you’ve helped them out of a serious jam, or helped improve their security. If you are looking to be your own boss, starting a locksmith business could very well be the way to go.