Business Overview

Locksmithing involves picking, designing, installing, and maintaining locks — both mechanical and electronic. Your business would sell to, and service, clients who need these kinds of services. Clients may include other businesses, state and local governments, elementary and secondary schools, hospitals, and security companies. Most locksmithing businesses provide services either in-store or on-site.

Who is this business right for?

Locksmithing businesses are started by people who like working with their hands, have a background in mechanical engineering or are mechanically inclined, are creative and curious by nature, love puzzles, and who are night owls.

This business does not sleep. Customers may call at late or unusual hours for lockout services. A locksmith needs to be wide awake and able to think clearly when most people are asleep.

Locksmithing is a challenging business and not for individuals who give up easily. Technology changes at a rapid pace in this industry, so a constant desire to learn and discover new things is important.

Finally, locksmiths are charged with the public trust. Since a locksmithing business makes keys and locks for individuals, businesses, and governments, it holds the “keys to the kingdom.” A high standard of ethics is essential since they inherently put people in vulnerable positions when performing services like lockout, re-keying, and designing custom security locks and systems.

What happens during a typical day at a locksmith business?

Locksmiths make locks and keys, so a lot of the day-to-day activities revolve around that. However, a locksmith might also spend a lot of time changing or replacing locks in a building, updating old locks or replacing broken ones. A locksmithing business might be responsible for maintaining and updating security systems for corporations or governments. If you run a 24/7 emergency service, your typical day will likely include lockout services at odd or unusual hours.

What is the target market?

Locksmiths serve a wide variety of customers. However, the most profitable customers are typically corporations and governments in need of ongoing service and maintenance. With that said, a 24/7 emergency service can be profitable for some locksmithing businesses since premium prices can be charged for what is essentially “after hours” work.

How does a locksmith business make money?

Locksmith businesses make money by designing and installing lock systems. They also make money by designing keys and performing various services related to locksmithing. This might include letting someone into their car or home if they’ve locked themselves out accidentally. It could also include making duplicate keys or fixing locks or security systems.

What is the growth potential for a locksmith business?

A locksmithing business is usually a small one. Most locksmiths are part of a family-owned operation or work as an apprentice under the original owner.

However, there is nothing that prevents a locksmithing business from becoming a large chain or franchise. Most locksmithing businesses remain small because of the unique nature of the business. It doesn’t scale well unless you use business systems (like franchise agreements).