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Locksmiths & the services they provide

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Services provided by Locksmiths:

  • Servicing residential or commercial lockouts (picking locks)
  • Rekeying locks
  • Setting up Master Key systems for businesses and industry
  • Creating, or originating, keys for locks where keys have been lost
  • Repairing locks
  • Opening locked vehicles
  • Changing safe combinations (quite easy to do, does not require extensive safe knowledge)
  • Duplicating keys
  • Installing hardware such as deadbolt locks and keyed entry locks

The term "smith" originates from the Anglo-Saxon and originally meant to "strike" something.  In past days as well as in our modern times, a "smith" is someone who primarily works with metal in one fashion or another.  Hence, locksmith, metal smith, blacksmith.  Over time, the meaning has been stretched and now refers to someone engaged in any specific skill.  We've all heard song writers referred to as "tunesmiths".

Locksmiths have been around just as long as have locks.  I'm sure that in ancient Egypt there were artisans who made their living fashioning the newest invention; the keyed lock.  They were locksmiths.

The profession is one of the most rewarding, and as it happens one of the easiest to get into.  If you are interested in mechanical things and you like to solve problems, this is something you should look into.  Also, it lends itself exceedingly well to Sole Ownership.  It is easy to make huge profits in this business IF you operate with low overhead (easy to do) and you work for yourself.  The more people you hire, the more difficult it is to stay in the black UNLESS you think big naturally and you set out to create an empire for yourself.

If you operate your business as a Sole Ownership (one-person owns and operates the business), you can keep the business small and stay busy, generating ridiculous profits.  This is because Locksmiths function in a service-oriented envirnoment.  Unless you plan to set up a store that sells hardware and locks, which will complicate matters, you can easily generate income that has built-in 80-90% profit margins.

The single most common service that is provided by the Professional Locksmith is the servicing of lockouts . . . be it residential, commercial, or vehicular in nature.  That means picking locks (in the first two instances) and opening vehicles, which is rarely accomplished by picking locks.  In any case, your fee is almost all profit right from the beginning.  You charge a service fee to travel to the location, and you charge either by the hour or by the specific operation.  Your cost is confined to the cost of gas, because you own your tools (which are written off as business expenses and which, once purchased, are not used up for the most part).  Most locksmiths charge by the hour if they are immersed in a large job, such as rekeying an apartment complex, and the norm is currently around $80 per hour.  For small jobs, such as picking open a locked door, it is more sensible to charge a service fee PLUS a set fee per lock cylinder to be picked.  On top of this, you are perfectly justified to charge extra if the lock turns out to be damaged or otherwise un-pickable.  The upshot of all this is that almost every task is free of overhead.  If you choose to work out of a vehicle, very common for Lockout Specialists, your overhead is confined to the cost of upkeep on your vehicle and the gas it takes to cover your area.  Of course advertising does add to the overall cost but this is calculated over a year's time.  You should look seriously into Yellow Pages advertising, even if only a listing.  Many people will call the listings rather than the big ads because they think they might get a lower price.

* Information above was gathered from

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80 Central Ave.
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System one
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GNC Lock and Keys
912 E 15th St
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Lickety-Split Locksmiths LLC
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