The global pandemic has given many the pause they needed to re-assess their careers. If you’re ready for a career change, starting a locksmith franchise could be the key to your future success. The demand is there, the sector is lucrative, and if you’re looking to make a sensible investment, you need look no further.
As a franchisee with a locksmith business, no two days are the same, and everyday's another chance to make a difference. With the flexibility to manage your own hours and the opportunity to work on the go, you’ll be able to shape your own experience and facilitate a successful career change. If you’re ready to make your move, read on and find out where to start...
Why start a locksmith franchise?
76% of burglaries take place via front door entry [Office for National Statistics], so it’s no surprise that home security and safe locking mechanisms are a high priority for owners and renters across the UK. As COVID restrictions lessen, everyone is taking advantage of the increased level of freedom, and sadly, that includes burglars. If you’re looking to start a locksmith franchise, you’ll find a lot of demand looking back at you, particularly in the current climate. Other advantages of running a locksmith franchise include:
- Investing in a locksmith business is an affordable option in the world of franchising
- You’ll connect with an established, successful franchise network and reap the benefits
- You’ll never be on your own, with plenty of ongoing access to franchisor training and support
How to make a career change with a locksmith franchise
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1. Assess your suitability for the role
Most franchisors will offer you an extensive programme of training and support in return for your investment, but as a franchisee with a locksmith franchise, there are certain transferable skills that will set you up for success and profit. If you’re interested in entering the sector, you’d benefit from the following skills:
- Attention to detail
- Physical dexterity
- Practical ability
It’s amazing the motivation and commitment that can appear when you find the type of job that suits you as an individual. The best way to find out if a job is suited to you is to do it. I would advise anyone considering becoming a locksmith to do some work experience.
—Martin Slane, IKS Locksmiths
2. Research locksmith franchising opportunities
When you start working with a locksmith franchise, you’ll be required to sign a franchise agreement - a legally binding document between yourself and your franchisor. This agreement will usually tie you to the franchise for a fixed term of years, and before you make this type of commitment, you’ll want to be sure that you’re putting your money, effort and time into exactly the right opportunity for you. That’s why you’ll need to research thoroughly. Ask your prospective franchisor the following key questions:
- How long have you been using the franchise business model?
- How do you combat business failure?
- What are your plans for the future?
- How much money have previous franchisees invested?
- Do you provide ongoing support?
- How much money do franchisees make?
- How do you go about resolving conflicts?
- What are the contract termination clauses?
- Do you organise franchise events?
- Is the franchise a member of the British Franchise Association?
Plenty of this information can be discovered on Point Franchise’s detailed profile pages for individual franchises. For example, Lockforce’s profile page includes:
- A rundown of the business’s history
- Criteria that the idea franchisee would fulfill
- The financial requirements for investment
- Details about the training and support on offer
- Case studies from current, successful franchisees
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3. Carefully consider your location choice
Many handyman and locksmith franchise opportunities are mobile or van-based, meaning that you can cover a wide area with relative ease. But whether you’re based out of a premises or moving from customer to customer, the area in which you work is something you’ll definitely need to consider.
Often, franchisors will offer you a set territory of operations, and make this exclusive to you. That way, other franchisees within the same network can’t encroach upon your local business. Find out what the franchise opportunities you’re looking into are offering in terms of location, and see if you can find the right fit. An exclusive territory available up in Leeds, for example, might not suit you if you’re down in Brighton and not willing to relocate.
4. Consider costs beyond initial fees, and ensure you can cover them
The average cost of starting a franchise in 2018 was £42,200 [British Franchise Association], and when you’re considering costs and balancing books, don’t forget to account for costs in every area, rather than just counting on the fact that you can cover an initial investment amount. Think about costs like:
- Vehicle maintenance
- Marketing and advertising
5. Analyse the locksmithing market and assess the competition
Competitive research will help you to make your career change smoothly and successfully. When you know the market and you understand the competition, it’s easy for your franchise business to fill in the gaps and meet unmet customer needs. Though this research and analysis might seem intimidating at first, it can be broken down into a few simple steps:
- Identify your direct competitors in the locksmith sector
- Gather information about their products/services, pricing, positioning and branding
- Analyse the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors’ businesses
- Identify your edge
As you hone your skill set of analyzing the competition and working through this process, you will simultaneously begin to acquire the ability to determine what constitutes high competition or low competition, a saturated market or an unsaturated market.
—Mason Thomas, Forbes
6. Get a DBS check
This step is particularly important if you’re going to be working in people’s homes, as it will give customers confidence that you’re professional, competent and trusted. It’s a simple process, and often, the franchisor will cover the costs of the check on your behalf.
A career as a locksmith business franchisee might be just your cup of tea
If you’re looking to run an interesting, lucrative franchise business, life as a locksmith might be ideal. But even if the sector doesn’t appeal, franchising could still be an extremely viable option, and you could start a new career in all kinds of industries, from tutoring to cleaning.
Lily Sweeney, Point Franchise ©