How to Start a Locksmith Business. A burglary occurs every 30 seconds in the United States. This creates significant demand for effective security measures, which begin with a locksmith. Considering locksmiths are also kept busy helping people who have locked themselves out of houses and automobiles, there is always plenty of work for them. A locksmith business generally has low startup costs, which can make it a good small business venture.
Contact the Small Business Administration in your area. The Small Business Administration cannot only provide you with information on how to start your small business, they can help you get the necessary funding. Because a locksmith business can be started for as low as $5,000 or $10,000, a small loan may be all you need.
Become proficient in the locksmith trade. If you are not yet a master at locksmithing, attend a technical college to learn the finer details of the trade. Some areas to focus on are: master-keying, recombination locks, lock installation, household lockouts, automobile lockouts, security systems and vaults.
Decide whether you need an office or whether you'll start your locksmith business out of your house. An office can help you get more business. However, most locksmith businesses start out as home-based businesses because this significantly reduces overhead. The vast majority of your business will be performed on-site, limiting your need for an office.
Purchase a van. You must have a van to carry all your equipment everywhere you go. Start with one van and upgrade to multiple vans and multiple locksmiths as your business grows. You can also move up to an office in a commercial district.
Market your new business. Stress the peace of mind secure locks can provide. Also, because most of your business will come from the phone book, ensure you have ads in all the local phone books. A number listing is essential, but to beat the competition you'll need a box ad.
Send out direct mailings. As a new business, it's important to notify people there is a new locksmith option in the area. New homeowners often get their locks changed and established home owners are often concerned about security, so be sure to send mailings to all homes in the area. Also send mailings to area businesses touting the security features you offer.
Set up meetings with the management of apartment complexes in your area once your business is established. Apartment complexes have frequent needs for locksmith work. Produce a brochure and pitch the services and prices you offer.
Learn all you can about basic electronics. The locksmith business is no longer simply about locks and keys. You will deal with electrical security systems as well.