How to start an automotive locksmith business

One of the best small business ideas that requires very little upfront investment is starting a automotive locksmith business. There are over 30,000 automotive locksmiths in the United States, with 50% of them having their own businesses.

Most automotive locksmith companies report earnings of over $50,000 per year, after expenses – that’s the minimum. Self-employed automotive locksmiths in the USA with large populations such as Texas, Florida and California make more than the national average.

Of course, not everyone can start a automotive locksmith business. This requires intensive training, on-the-job experience and a license (in some states such as California and Texas.) You can get started with an initial investment of not more than $5,000.

While a automotive locksmith business is a small business idea, automotive locksmith companies, even those that are basically one-man firms, are strictly regulated by the government. This is to prevent criminal elements from entering the profession. Strict background checks are carried out to prevent that from happening.

If you want to start your own automotive locksmith business with an initial investment of just $5,000, here’s what you should do…

#1: Get Trained – You can’t work as a automotive locksmith or start a automotive locksmith business until and unless you have taken a few legitimate courses from a technical school or community college.  This should be followed by an apprenticeship under an experienced and certified automotive locksmith.

 #2: Get Licensed – Apply for a automotive locksmith license with your state board after having received academic and on-the-job training. You should obtain a automotive locksmith license in the following states: Nevada, New Jersey, Louisiana, Maryland, Alabama, Illinois, California, Connecticut, Nebraska, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Virginia.

#3: Get the Essential automotive locksmith Tools and Equipment – You will need essential automotive locksmith tools to start with, such as lock pick sets, key duplicator, lockout kits, code cutting machines, etc. None of these tools have to cost much; you can get all you need by shopping smartly on online sites such as eBay, for something less than $1,000.

#4: Choose a Physical Location for the Business – It is very important for automotive locksmiths to have a physical office. You cannot just exist online on a website and hire a virtual assistant to take your calls.  You should consider the competition from other automotive locksmiths and the population in the area before starting your business there. The lease agreement will cost you a bit depending on the location; try to keep it under a limit.

 #5: Launch a Website – You must have your own website as most people search for automotive locksmiths on Google these days. Just opening a physical location won’t get you clients. You don’t have to spend much on launching a website. Find a good, cheap domain; the web hosting should cost you under $20/month and hire a freelance designer to create a professional looking website for not more than $750.

#6: Advertising and Marketing – Marketing is absolutely important for your new business, you have to get the word out. But this does not have to cost much – make effective use of social media marketing, video marketing and email marketing to spread the word. Also make use of Google AdWords and Facebook Ads to market your business.

So this is how to get your automotive locksmith business off the ground with low start up investment.

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