How to Start a Locksmith Business? – Here is All You Need to Know

For years, locks have been a low-tech solution to secure our homes and businesses. Locksmiths are experiencing rapid transformation as smart locks, and new security systems are in demand due to new house construction. 

27,722 locksmith businesses that employ more than 40,000 people across the United States. The smart lock market is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 12% between 2020 and 2026. This is driven by the rising demand for intelligent automatic locks and the ever-increasing home automation market.

Since smart locks are becoming increasingly popular and new security systems are being developed, it would be easier to get desired in the locksmith industry. This article will help you with a 6-step guide on how to start a locksmith business. So, without any delay let’s get started.

6 Steps on How to Start A Locksmith Business 

The Locksmiths business provides locksmith services to establishments for:

  • Installing, repairing, or servicing locks and lock systems, such as cylinders, deadbolts, and keys.
  • Install or repair safes using safe cracking tools.
  • Remove broken keys from locks without damaging them and creating duplicate keys.
  • Install security or computerized security systems with electronic control panels in offices, stores, and homes.

The following steps will help you start your own locksmith business on a positive note.

1. Research the market 

Research your market before starting a locksmith business

When you’re a locksmith service provider, your customers are your lifeblood. You need to know what they want and how to give it to them. You also need to know what other locksmiths are providing.

  • The Locksmith industry in the United States has grown steadily over the past five years, driven by increased commercial and residential construction market demand. 
  • From 2016 to 2021, revenue increased at an annualized rate of 3.5% to $2.8 billion.

Research and a business plan are the foundation of a successful locksmith business, and it deserves to be taken seriously.

  • With target market research, you can survey customers’ challenges over the last five years and predict what they may need in the next five years. 
  • Additionally, rising per capita disposable income has led to increased demand for security systems, which may also drive growth in demand for locksmith services. You can also find out how much disposable income they have, which will help you plan for the pricing strategies and future of your own business.

2. Get a locksmith license

When starting a locksmith business, you must ensure you have all the licenses and permits required by state, federal, and local governments. The business legal and licensing requirements vary by business location. For example, some states require a criminal background check for approving a business license.

Also, make sure to have a business bank account and business credit card before you start a locksmith business. The business bank account & credit card will have all the accounting and financial information. This helps to differentiate between your personal and business assets, which is crucial for the protection of personal assets.

  • The first step is to check with your state for local business licensing requirements. In some cases, a locksmith license is required. Once you know what provisions are in place, you can move on to other rights and permits that will help establish authority and business legitimacy in the eyes of the public.
  • Federal regulations, business licenses, and permits associated with starting your own business include doing business as (DBA), health licenses and access from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), trademarks, copyrights, patents, criminal background checks, and other intellectual properties, as well as industry-specific rights and permits. 

Along with the license you also need to decide on the business entity. Some common business structure types are sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation (c corp and s corp). So, it’s best to check with your state government website or contact the appropriate person.

3. Decide on your services

Decide on your locksmith services

It’s no secret that the locksmithing business has never been better. With an aging population and a growing need for security, this field has a lot of money to be made. The average locksmith earns $47,810 annually and can create even more with a specialty niche like residential or automotive locksmithing.

You don’t have to spend your money on business tools for every job that comes your way. The best way to avoid spending too much on locksmith equipment is to concentrate on one area and invest in quality basic locksmith tools.

There are some niches that small locksmith businesses can work in:

  • Residential locksmiths work with homes and residential properties. They are responsible for installing new locks (custom security locks), repairing old ones, and updating the security of home or apartment building owners.
  • Commercial locksmithing serves offices, small business properties, and industrial units. They install new locks and make repairs to existing ones. Some commercial locksmiths specialize in installing high-security locks like electronic locks for commercial buildings or spaces—for example, offices.
  • Automotive locksmiths or car locksmiths provide services for locked-in drivers or forgotten car keys. This car locksmith business niche is wildly profitable since you can charge premium prices for automobile lockout services after-hours work. You’ll need to invest in automotive lock picking tools for a car locksmith business.

4. Invest In vehicles and equipment

If you’re thinking about starting a locksmith business, the first thing you need to do is get a reliable company vehicle. Not only will this allow you to travel to jobs around your local area, but it also helps establish credibility. 

  • If clients see that you’re able to arrive on time, they’ll be more likely to trust you with their security needs.
  • Once you have a business vehicle, it’s time to get some equipment! You’ll need high-quality and durable equipment for your team members. It is essential because it can make all the difference between an excellent customer experience and one that leaves your client frustrated and unsatisfied. 
  • You’ll also need essential tools and equipment: plug spinners, lock pick sets (mechanical and computerized), key extractors, a locksmith hammer, router drills, a key cutter, key blanks, master key sets, lockout kits, and the list goes on!

5. Get your business insured

You’ve got your locksmith business running and operational. Now you need business insurance for a locksmith business to protect it from unexpected events with devastating impacts.

  • When you think about protecting your business, what comes to mind? 
  • Do you think about protecting yourself from lawsuits or property damage? 
  • Or maybe you’re worried about the theft of your inventory or equipment. 

These threats are real, but you can manage them with the right insurance coverage. A hefty lawsuit could close your doors and ruin your reputation if you don’t have proper insurance. Locksmith insurance covers the costs of damaged property or any personal liability claims. 

Business insurance is often overlooked, yet it can be vital to your success as an entrepreneur. Don’t be caught off guard by unexpected events that could impact your bottom line.

General liability insurance, for example, is an essential business insurance for every business owner to cover various liabilities. It protects your costs if your business causes material damage or harm to one of your client’s assets.

6. Market your business

Market your locksmith business

If you’re considering starting a locksmith business, you might wonder how to get early customers with common marketing techniques. Marketing for locksmithing is all you need, your online presence with positive customer reviews can help you to secure new customers.

Once you are off the mark, make sure people can find your online presence or through digital marketing. It makes it easy for your prospects to land upon you when they find local locksmiths. 

  • You must ensure your business is listed with the correct details when advertising with Google. Google will help potential customers find you when they search for local locksmiths in their area.
  • In addition, locksmith businesses can advertise by putting a sign on their van or truck. A successful locksmith company invests in good signage in front of its offices as well.
  • Consumers are bombarded with so many ads on social media accounts that they become immune to them. They don’t click on them anymore! Is there a way to differentiate your locksmith service business from the rest? The answer is simple: content or digital marketing! 
  • Locksmith business owners (including new business owners) should be blogging about how they operate and what basic services they offer. Blogs are great for establishing yourself as an expert and showing potential customers who will benefit from hiring you.

Lock Installation Trips Made Easier with Upper

Never let your business efficiency suffer due to route planning issues. Utilize Upper’s fully automated process to get rid of manual planning.

Challenges of Running a Locksmith Business

Route scheduling and optimization are two of the biggest challenges that locksmith businesses face. Scheduling is planning the time windows for each job and who will attend each callout. Routing your locksmiths is the best way to ensure they arrive at their scheduled appointments on time.

As soon as your locksmithing business is up and running, you should look for ways to make it more efficient to serve customers without hiring more employees or adding to business expenses.

It will benefit your business across the board if you master routing and scheduling. Your team will be more productive and efficient, and you’ll earn a reputation as a reliable and trustworthy contractor in your community.

1. Route optimization

Routing can be challenging because you need to know your day’s schedule to plan the most efficient routes for your team members, considering the travel time and transport costs.

Route optimization is essential to the success of your locksmith business. But when you have a team of five or more people, finding time to route them all can be challenging. You also don’t want to waste time planning routes for your team if one of them calls in sick or has a last-minute callout.

2. Route scheduling

Route scheduling is a challenge because you need enough flexibility in the schedule to accommodate urgent or last-minute callouts, but you don’t want to under-utilize your team.

Optimum scheduling and routing can help your locksmith team reach their destinations in the quickest possible time, which will save you money. However, manually planning schedules and mapping out routes is incredibly time-consuming, and it’s not uncommon for these tasks to be outsourced to an existing system like Upper.

How Upper Helps You Deal with Locksmith Business Challenges? 

Are you running a locksmith business and need to finish multiple services daily? We are here to help you make sure that you find a cost-effective option for your business.

We have introduced an automated route planning solution for you, Upper Route Planner. With Upper, you can reach customers faster and finish your jobs more efficiently. You can also manage or schedule your routes to offer your services. 

Here are some of the key features of Upper Route Planner: 

  • Instant route planning creates optimum multi-stop routes for you to send vehicles where they’re needed at the right time.
  • Automated route scheduling enables you to assign tasks based on the schedule. Upper makes it easy for business owners to create and manage multiple routes.
  • e-POD (e-Proof of Delivery) helps to get the proof of service after the locksmithing task is completed. You can collect digital signatures and capture photos as a proof. It will increase the accountability of the locksmith technician and keep everyone updated about it.
  • One-click dispatch helps the business owners quickly send out optimized routes to multiple technicians at a single time.

Benefits of choosing Upper Route Planner for Your Locksmith Business

No matter what services you offer, Upper has got your back covered as far as delivery service is concerned. Here is how Upper can lend you a helping hand in your new venture. 

1. Lower fuel costs

You will spend less time on the road and more time delivering when your route planner is efficient. Upper automatically finds the shortest routes as per your specific delivery constraints, such as driving preferences, time windows, and more, for you to deliver on time.

Spending less time on the road can save you a lot of money on fuel and maximize profits. It is known to help businesses save up to 40% on fuel costs.

2. Reduce manual dependencies and increase productivity 

With Upper, you can easily automate your driver’s route planning and scheduling to make the delivery service business more efficient. Upper Route Planner helps you cut down 95% of route planning time by creating the most optimal routes for multiple drivers.

With such efficient planning, your workers will be able to do more using the same or lesser resources, thereby increasing their productivity and fulfilling more orders daily. 

3. Increase productivity 

Upper Route Planner optimizes the routes and schedules for thus reducing travel time and increasing job completion. It provides real-time traffic and weather updates using advanced algorithms, resulting in increased productivity and customer satisfaction.

Get your 7-day free trial of Upper Route Planner today and start routing your locksmiths’ jobs.

Instantly Find Efficient Routes for Your Business

Starting a locksmith business? Awesome! Explore optimized routes on Upper Route Planner and reach your destination 3x faster. Switch to automated route planning now!

FAQs

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), locksmiths employed by companies can usually see $14-$33 hourly, but owning your mobile locksmith business can net you anywhere from $200-$1500 a day. Those who reinvest and stay current with up-to-date information and new technologies tend to have more longevity, return customers and a better payout over time.

If you’re ready to get started with a locksmithing business, you need these essential tools:

  • Key cutters
  • Router drills
  • Locksmith hammer
  • Electric Pick Guns
  • Key extractor
  • Mechanical picks
  • Computerized picks
  • Plug spinners
  • Tension wrenches

The locksmith business is one of the most promising industries in America, and one of the most lucrative and independent small business. Depending on the operating region, years in business, and demand, the minimum trip charge will be anywhere from $35 to $200 per hour. You can set a higher rate on weekends and evenings because those are times when more people need your locksmith services.

If you need to hire a locksmith, you must know what rates they charge per business visit and the current locksmith industry standards. Locksmiths are licensed professionals who work with different types of locks, from simple magnetic locks in houses to automatic door locks or keyless locks in cars.

  • Prices can vary depending on the type of lock you need to be replaced or repaired.
  • The average cost for simple house locks is $55 to $150, while a standard car lock will cost between $200 and $600.
  • You can expect higher prices in case of any emergency services, such as needing an extra key made or needing someone to come out right away.

Conclusion

At first, starting a locksmith business is quite challenging, but only for a limited period of time. You will have to invest in the right tools and locksmith training courses to meet industry standards. You can also complete an apprenticeship or certifications from organizations like the Associated Locksmiths of America. We hope this guide will help you to run your business successfully.

As the locksmith business is constantly evolving, you need to be on top of technology.  The right software can help you provide an efficient experience for your customers. Upper Route Planner is one such tool that will make sure your technicians fulfill all service requests with increased efficiency.

You can book a demo with us to know about the features of Upper.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel is the founder and CEO of Upper Route Planner. A subject matter expert in building simple solutions for day-to-day problems, Rakesh has been involved in technology for 30+ years. Looking to help delivery businesses eliminate on-field delivery challenges, Rakesh started Upper Route Planner with the ultimate goal of simplistic operations in mind.

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