Locksmith

Startup Costs: $10,000 - $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? Yes
Online Operation? Yes

THE BRIEF:

Want to know how important a locksmith can be? Just ask Jason Feifer, Entrepreneur's editor-in-chief, who wrote about how he was recently locked out of his office (you can read the story — and the important business takeaways — in the March 2020 issue of the magazine or in a shortened form here).

Working as a locksmith on a mobile basis, from home, or from a retail storefront, you can offer customers a wide range of locksmithing services ranging from key cutting, installing new passage sets, emergency entries, sales of locks, safes, and related equipment and installation. 

ASK THE PROS:

How much money can you make?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the mean annual wage and mean annual salary for a blacksmith, as of May 2018, were $21.03 and $43,740, respectively. However, as with most jobs, that contains a huge range — a blacksmith earning in the tenth percentile for his profession might make as little as $24,270 a year, while someone in the 90th percentile would earn $65,870.

What kind of experience do you need to have?

In both the United States and Canada, locksmiths are required to be licensed and bonded, but all states and provinces have their own training and licensing requirements. Here's what that process would look like when applying in New York City.

How can you differentiate yourself from your competitors?

Hiring a locksmith requires trust on multiple levels: Your customers need to be able to trust you not only to keep their things safe (or retrieve those hidden objects), but also to treat the people involved fairly and not rip them off. "Too many businesses treat customers as transactions," Feifer writes. "They just want to win the business, even if the customer is unhappy as a result." If you can earn your customers' trust, you can create a competitive advantage.

Locksmith Ideas

Notary Public

Be the go-to person when others need forms notarized.

Management Consulting and Training

Help other entrepreneurs train top-notch management.

Red Carpet Service

Make a business out of giving parties the Hollywood treatment. Red carpets, valet service and emcees are just some ideas for this event planning service.

More from Business Ideas

Side Hustle

He Started a Luxury Side Hustle at Age 13 — Now the Business Earns More Than $10 Million a Year: 'People Want to Help You When You're Young'

Michael Morgan, now the owner of Iconic Watch Company, always had a passion for "old things" — and he turned it into a lucrative venture.

Side Hustle

3 Secrets to Starting a Small Business Side Hustle That Gives Your Day Job a Run for Its Money, According to People Who Did Just That — and Made Millions

Almost anyone can start a side hustle — but only those ready to level up can use it to out-earn their 9-5s.

Side Hustle

When This Entrepreneur Couldn't Decide What to Name His Business, He Started a $2,000-a-Month Side Hustle to Help — Now It Earns Over $10 Million a Year

Darpan Munjal, founder and CEO of AI-powered startup ecosystem Atom, offered $50 to anyone who could help with the creativity block.