Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Locksmith Business in the United Kingdom
Every area in the United Kingdom needs a credible locksmith, especially in a place with a high crime rate. Also, if you are near a place with multiple developments, such as condominiums and offices, the demand for locksmith business is high.
If you think you have what it takes in starting a locksmith business, then you should undergo intensive training. If you are considering establishing this type of business, you need to have practical and mechanical skills.
Starting a locksmith business may seem challenging, but with the right skills and knowledge, you will succeed. Keep on reading to learn how to create and execute your locksmith business plan.
Aside from opening locked doors, locksmith experts can also plan, sell, and install locks. Some of them also include other security services. Their primary role is to provide quotations to clients and perform installation and maintenance tasks on security systems.
Locksmiths may also work with multiple security measures, from complex and advanced technologies to basic door locks. Moreover, they can also develop customized security systems. If you want to establish a business in the UK, here’s a step-by-step guide to kickstart your locksmith business. You can also read this guide to company registration in the UK to help you learn more about it.
Building Your Business from the Ground Up
1. Identify Your Target Market
In any line of business, you need to know who your target market is. Before starting a locksmith business, you can research the local area about the demand for locksmith experts. This way, you will learn the current demand and how you can provide solutions.
Furthermore, it would be best to determine who your competitors are within specific areas. This includes:
- Independent Locksmiths
- Locksmith Business Franchise
Knowing your target market allows you to create a focused marketing strategy. Plus, you will learn what the best way to get a customer and build relationships is.
2. Determine Where to Sell
Apart from knowing that there is a demand within the place, you need to decide where to position a retail outlet. Before establishing a business in a specific location, determine whether the place is a good location to operate a business. Consider the number of people visiting the place and how much is your budget. Look for a place that is affordable and visible to people.
3. Inclusions of Services and Products
As a business owner, you must ensure that customers will choose you because of the services and products that you offer. You may consider the following before deciding the final inclusion:
- range of services to offer
- range of products to sell
- what prices to charge
- opening and closing hours
- type of customer you want to attract
- if the vehicle is needed
For service and product ideas, here are some that you may consider:
- locks for premises and cars
- duplicate keys
- electronic access control systems
- burglar alarms
- security safes and fire safes
- CCTV systems and intercom systems
- security lighting
Additionally, you may introduce products to your customers along with the services you offer, such as:
- padlocks and car security items
- smoke alarms and door furniture
- key rings
- basic CCTV systems
4. Learn the Appropriate Pricing
Consider how you will set your prices because it represents the value of the service and product. Moreover, pricing is used as a competition tool. Take note that you need to compute the price, including the direct and indirect costs. It would also be helpful if you check your competitor’s pricing so that you won’t price yourself too high or too low.
5. Establish Sales and Advertising Strategy
Like other businesses, you need to think about how people will know you and your services. You can build a retail outlet and create a visible banner. You also need to make sure that your brand image is well-established. Also, don’t forget to give calling cards to your customers for repeat sales. Aside from that, you should also consider setting up your business online. It enables you to promote your service and products.
If you are looking for a corporate service provider in the UK to help you set up a business, 3E Accounting United is here to help!
Licenses and Requirements to Jumpstart Your Locksmith Business
The United Kingdom does not require locksmith business licensing requirements. Conversely, locksmith experts can engage in voluntary licensing schemes. However, if your services include key holding, you will need to get a license from the Security Industry Authority. Keyholding is keeping duplicate keys or alarm codes for your customers.
Also, if you keep computerized records of a client’s personal details and provide a CCTV system, you may need to register as a data user with the Information Commissioner’s Office.
There is an association that operates a licensing scheme to applicants, known as Master Locksmiths Association. Although this scheme is not mandatory, locksmith business owners can join and get approval to use their Approved Company logo. Also, there is the Institute of Certified Locksmiths that enables members to use their ICL logo once approved.
Benefits of MLA
If a locksmith works on a client’s property, you need to ensure that the authorization and data are stored properly. By being part of MLA, the customers can guarantee that you are trustworthy and reliable.
How Much Does It Cost to Start a Locksmith Business?
Unlike other careers, the locksmith business requires training. This is a one-off cost that every locksmith professionals must undergo. It provides credibility and reliability. Moreover, some training courses provide specialized programs.
After surpassing the training process, you must invest in tools and stocks, such as hinges, locks, and screwdrivers. Without these essential tools, you can never work as a locksmith. Ensure that you have enough finance to support your start-up business. You will also need a vehicle and insurance for your business.
Although there are no mandatory licenses to put up a locksmith business, you will need to register for VAT if your taxable sales are higher than the VAT threshold. The government will charge VAT at the standard rate of 20%.
- Register the locksmith business with HM Revenue and Customs for tax purposes.
- Store the records and receipts for an easier accounting process.
- Pay the difference between output tax and input tax to HMRC.
Businesses can pay their VAT through online banking or direct debit. HMRC provides enough time each quarter before the due date of your VAT.
Unlock Your Skills and Start Your Locksmith Business
The locksmith business is an important service in our society. They help homeowners and car owners secure their property. If your goal is to provide service and products that help people be secured and protected, then this line of business is for you.
However, the locksmith business requires training and passion. But like other companies, starting a locksmith business needs capital expenditure. Setting up the company seems daunting, but with the help of UK company incorporation, you won’t start from scratch.
The tips above are just the start of planning and executing this business. If you are confused about registering the business and obtaining a license from MLA, contact 3E Accounting. We will guide you to succeed in your business and avoid costly mistakes in the future. Furthermore, you can ensure that your business follows the legislation of the United Kingdom.