If you like the idea of running a van-based business, why not join a locksmith franchise? Here, we look at what it takes to enter the locksmith sector.
Locks keep us and our possessions safe, so when they break, stick or otherwise fail, customers, need a solution - fast. When you become a locksmith, you offer an incredibly valuable service and join a recession-proof industry, capable of surviving even the harshest economic downturns. Let’s run through a day in the life of a locksmith.
A day in the locksmith sector
Most UK locksmith franchises operate as van-based businesses. Franchisees can take all their equipment and parts on the road with them and make the most of marketing opportunities with a branded vehicle wrap. Here are some of the key responsibilities you’d have if you joined a locksmith franchise:
- Installing window and door locks
- Repairing and replacing locks
- Cutting keys
- Opening locked doors, windows and safes
- Boarding up windows and doors
- Providing quotes for work
- Logging completed jobs and doing admin tasks
Most locksmiths are available for work 24 hours a day, so if you offer this guarantee, you may be called up for an emergency appointment at any time. Also, you’ll probably spend a lot of your day on the road, travelling to your customers.
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Advantages of joining the locksmith sector
- Locksmiths will always be in demand. Regardless of the state of the economy, people will always want to ensure their property is safe and secure. You could work with everyone from domestic customers and letting agents to schools, care homes and even commercial businesses and retailers; there will always be someone needing locksmith services. Every year, the locksmith sector generates more than £910 million in the UK.
- You’ll have millions of potential customers. The UK is home to around 25 million houses and 5.4 million small and medium-sized businesses, all of which rely on a lock to keep them secure. Many will require the services of a locksmith at one point or another, so you’ll have a huge potential customer base.
- Every day is different. Locksmith businesses offer a wide variety of different services, so you won’t be stuck doing the same task day after day. Also, these projects often involve problem-solving and thinking outside the box, which will keep your brain active.
- Van-based businesses can cut costs. If you decide to join a mobile locksmith franchise, you’ll save the money you would’ve spent on rental costs and utilities.
- Van-based businesses can expand easily. Most franchisees are granted an exclusive territory with enough potential customers to sustain two or three vans. So, you can hire employees and expand your fleet when you’re ready.
- You can offer a trustworthy service. There aren’t many specific licensing regulations in the locksmith sector, so ‘rogue traders’ can offer a substandard service. As part of a locksmith franchise, you’ll be operating under an established brand with a positive reputation. A recognisable name can draw more customers.
Challenges of joining the locksmith sector - and how to overcome them
- You’ll probably need to be available day and night. Many locksmith franchises ask their franchisees to offer a 24-hour call-out service. This clause will provide extra business, but it also means you’ll need to be prepared to change your plans at a moment’s notice. Focusing on the sense of fulfilment you get after you let a customer back into their home or secure their property after a burglary will motivate you to keep providing great service.
- You’ll spend a lot of time on the road. Locksmiths sit behind the wheel for a large proportion of the day. There’s no getting away from it - you need to get to your customers’ properties to do your job. But you should try to relish the chance to get out and about and breathe fresh air while most people are stuck inside behind a desk.
- You’ll need patience. Picking locks isn’t a simple task. Every security system is different, and you may need to use your ingenuity to complete certain jobs. The trick is to avoid becoming frustrated if you can’t unlock a door first time. Use each opportunity to boost your expertise and exercise your brain.
A good locksmith is highly adaptable and doesn’t necessarily need expensive tools. - Chris Drake, Basingstoke Locksmiths
Become a franchisee in the locksmith sector
Lockforce is a fairly young business and belongs to the highly respected Forces Group of franchises. Now, it’s looking for budding entrepreneurs to take its business model across the country.
- Becoming a Lockforce franchisee: You don’t need any previous experience in the industry to be accepted onto the franchise programme. Once on board, you’ll be part of Locksmith’s 10-strong group of UK franchisees.
- How much you need to invest: You must be prepared to put just under £15,000 towards your new venture.
- What you get for your investment: Franchisees benefit from a fully equipped toolkit, stock and staff uniforms, as well as support in all areas, including marketing, contract management, business development and technical training.
LockRite has expanded by recruiting investors to set up their own branches across the UK. The business is proud to offer a ‘local’ service and aims to be with customers within half an hour of their call.
- Becoming a LockRite Locksmiths franchisee: You don’t need any prior experience to join this franchise, as long as you’re practical and self-motivated.
- How much you need to invest: LockRite Locksmiths requests a total investment of £29,750 plus VAT, and you can expect to generate a revenue of around £70,000 within two years.
- What you get for your investment: You’ll be trained in locksmith techniques and smart security and window boarding. On-demand upgrade and refresher training is also available throughout your franchise contract term, and you’ll have access to LockRite’s national client bank.
Open the door to your perfect investment opportunity
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©