There are many honorable trades in the world, from construction to plumbing to electricity. One trade that’s constantly in demand, yet many don’t consider, is locksmithing. Locksmithing is the art of making or repairing locks. Locksmiths often need to take a few classes, gain work experience, and become certified before starting their own businesses. Still, once you’re ready, here are some tips on how to run a successful locksmith business.

Be Honest, Consistent, and Punctual

Aside from doing the job well, there are certain things your customers expect from you: honesty, consistency, and punctuality. For started, be transparent about your prices and services. Stick with what you can do, and keep it reasonably priced. To gain word-of-mouth exposure, it helps to offer the best deal compared to other locksmiths in the area. You must also be punctual. Respect your clients and keep their appointment times to the minute unless you’re running behind. In that case, call to explain the situation. Even if you’re tardy, your customer will appreciate the open communication.

Offer 24-Hour and Emergency Services

Expanding your availability is a great way to stay ahead of competitors. Offer 24-hour and emergency services to your list of services. No one can predict when they’ll get locked out of their home or car, so it’s important to keep your timeslots open. This might even require you to have a team to divide shifts. The more locksmiths you employ at your company, the more appointments you can make. Then, you’ll see higher revenue and profits.

Have the Right Equipment

Of course, you should always carry the right lock picking equipment on hand or in your tool belt. As a professional, it’s crucial that you possess everything you need for the job. Carry all the necessary plug spinners, mechanical and computerized picks, key extractors, tension wrenches, electric pick guns, locksmith hammers, router drills, key cutters, decoders, bypass tools, automotive picking tools, safe cracking tools, drill jigs, and guides. If you’re selling home locks, keep them in stock. You never want to promise something to a customer, only to not have it. Not only will you lose the sale, but you’ll look unprofessional as well, which can garner negative reviews.

Expand Through Your Website and Social Media

The last tip on how to run a successful locksmith business is to use a website and social media. Don’t undervalue the power of the Internet today—it’s an efficient resource to reach greater markets and connect with customers. Your website should be up to date with a list of products and services, customer testimonials, location, operating hours, and contact information. With that in mind, you’ll see more business in no time.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.