All You Need To Know About Locksmits – Locksmithing in modern times has gone past a profession for fun and aspiring magicians, it is now a profession that cuts across all fields of life as locksmithing professionals now work for varied employers like hospitals, schools, and colleges as against in the past when locksmith’s major employers are homeowners with one lock problem or the other.
This statistics is according to a research carried out by the Bureau of Labor. Gone are the days when locksmiths closed their workshops early to be with their family at dinner time, nowadays, locksmiths are those superheroes that safe the day in the dead of the night when you have a lockout situation in your apartment or with your car. Locksmithing, as it stands, is a profession with a rich and interesting story that will get anyone interested in knowing the roots of the now lucrative profession agog.
Locksmit professionals in the 21st century don’t just rake in mouth-watering amount of money from helping with lock problems alone, those ones deeply rooted in how the profession came to be are making a huge chunk of money off it as they create a separate blog or website for relating the history of locksmithing while leveraging on that to also educate the public on topics like history of keys, padlocks, locksmithing tools etc. Killing two birds with one stone has never been this easy and profitable.
Around 4000 years ago when the level of civilization was still at the rock bottom, in that era, gigantic temples were being built, mathematics was a hot cake and the people of Babylon alongside ancient Egyptians had the initiative to start working as locksmiths. The result of their effort was one that could not be kicked under the carpet as they came up with devices made of wood, ones which required some level of stress to get it unlocked and have access to the goods they are being used to protect. These locks were popular around 704BC and one of such locks was recently excavated by a group of archaeologists Khorsabad, near Nineveh.
While these developments were ongoing in Egypt and Babylon, the Romans, on the other hand, had no need for these newly invented devices as security and stability was already covered by their goddess Securitas, while another god, Janus, reigned over the affairs of locks and gates, this was the way the Romans agreed upon to keep bad people away from entering their most sacred places where goods and other personal valuables were being kept.
Years down the line, the Romans subscribed to the idea of using metal and wooden locks like their Egyptian counterpart but the 18th century was the era the production of metal locks had a boom, this was made possible by the increased knowledge in metallurgy, one which saw to the creation of metal locks and keys that outdid the previous security designs. The advent of lock and keys in a way made locksmiths less special as when the production of those security devices reached their peak, locksmiths were robbed of some of their mystique forcing them to specialize more in order to stay relevant to the everyday people.
Locksmits changed tactics when the sales of metal locks were booming, they successfully made the drastic change by widening the scope of their provided services to include lock repairs and key replication. The newly added services saw to the expansion in locksmithing tools as new inputs such as plug spinners, blank keys, key gauges etc. got included in the locksmithing toolsets to see to effectiveness in the newly added services.
The locksmithing profession is not one that is rigid, it is one that allows for flexibility as professionals can choose to either have a residential, commercial or automotive focus. Due to security reasons and the danger being posed by impostors, locksmiths who wish to make a living through their lock picking and replacement skills are required to get certified by any locksmithing professional body that is within their vicinity. One of such groups is the Associated Locksmiths of America, founded in 1956.
The locksmits extension of services changed forever changed the criteria that are to be met to be a true locksmith. For instance, to not fall out of business and lose tons of previous and potential customers, many locksmithing workshops focus on every aspect of security like on-site security assessment for apartment and business owners. Some even take it up a notch by helping clients with the installation of intercom systems to help manage the security of their properties.
With the advancement of technology, the locksmithing business has been given a push and that has resulted in taking the profession to boundaries unimagined. A great example of this great combination is the advent of digital locks that is gradually taking the front seat and pushing physical keys to the back bench. With these new locks, an apartment owner only needs to memorize a short combination of numbers in order to have access to their vehicle or apartment. Locks have advanced to the point where all you’ll ever need to access your automobile or residence is a remote control. One would think these newly discovered digital boundaries will push locksmiths to the side, we were all wrong as the business has continued to evolve to match the technological advancements and bring food to the tables of those who have heavily invested in the business for personal gains.
Locksmits and Locks
Locks are now produced in great numbers, all thanks to molding blocks with the ability to make lots of locks in a matter of hours, these locks are taken to stores all over the place, and these stores put them on display for ordinary people like your friendly neighbor to have a taste of locksmithing. The locksmithing experience bit comes in handy as just about anyone in the country can get a lock from the store, take it home to have them installed all by themselves, a feat which has been made possible for many via the do-it-yourself guides that are scattered all over the internet. This approach has its own disadvantage as only locksmithing professionals can install locks in a way that it’ll provide optimal security and total peace of mind for the owners of the property the lock was installed on. Locksmiths should always ensure that they enlighten their clients about the kind of services their workshop offers as flexibility is one of the foolproof ways to stay winning in the locksmithing business.
For locksmithing enthusiasts who just completed their lock picking training in a workshop or in an accredited locksmithing center, looking to kick-start your career as a professional locksmith is the next course of action. There are two general options you can opt for here, you can either decide to get the needed capital to establish your own locksmithing business or work with an already established locksmithing business. Both options are viable but they are not without their strengths and weaknesses. Let’s take a look at some of the weaknesses for the aforementioned options.
Locksmits – Own your locksmithing business
This is what every new locksmith seem to aim for as it affords them the freedom to carve their own niche and be flexible with working hours alongside the leverage to grow the business to whatever size it is the locksmith wants through hard work and dedication. Starting and owning your own locksmithing business might look rosy from afar but it is prone to failure if you are one without a solid business plan to help grow the business over time and ensure its survival. When considering the viability of a locksmithing business, there is need to carry out a research on your niche, locksmithing services that are lacking in your community, number of already existing firms’ i.e. your competition and how you intend to beat them at their own game. The research should not be limited to the earlier highlighted areas alone, it should also include how you intend to pay for extensive marketing and channels to help put your brand out there for all to see and patronize such as a standard website, newspaper etc. Your consideration should also highlight how you intend to pay for all of your locksmithing necessities such as tools, heavy equipment, vans, and licensure.
Niches in the locksmithing business include specialization in vehicles, residential/offices, the opening of safes and dealing with keys. Other areas of specialization in locksmithing includes the number of hours you choose to keep your workshop open to receive clients with varying degree of lock problem i.e. offering round the clock locksmithing service that is available to serve 24/7/366. Some other locksmiths who specialize in residential and office locksmithing focus on security as a whole including the installation of alarms for homes and businesses. Locksmithing supplies are essentials for every of the highlighted areas of specialization but some supplies are niche specific, for example, an automotive locksmith will have the need for a handheld scope more than other locksmiths in other areas of specialization. The common locksmithing supplies that cut across all niches includes blank keys and rekeying kits. Rekeying tools consists of key gauges, space/depth keys, plug followers and lock lubricants. Other general locksmithing supplies include drill bits, lock bits, practice locks and key extractors.
Locksmits – Join an already established locksmith in their operations
Working for an already established locksmith affords you the privilege to know exactly what you are getting into before delving into in on your own. Going down this path ensures that there is less risk for the recently trained locksmith to undertake as he is not in any way funding the business with his own money, instead, he is working to build up his experience and a network of clients which seems like the most interesting aspect of this as you can decide to open up your own locksmithing business once you feel you’ve made just the right connections to kick-start your own business and not make it sink before it even starts as a business without patronage is one that is dead on arrival. Not every locksmithing skill can entitle you to own your own locksmithing business, for instance, if you are not that skilled in picking locks but you are skilled enough in carpentry works and customer relations, you might want to consider contributing to the existence of an already established locksmithing firm instead of starting up on own based on the skills you possess.
This is advised as the earlier mentioned skills i.e. customer relations and carpentry cannot sustain a full-fledged locksmithing business. Several new locksmiths prefer teaming up with other people such as hardware stores, door manufacturers and other organizations that might be in need of full-time locksmits, this is their own way of building up experience. Years down the lane, the now experienced locksmits can branch out to establish their very own business.
Locksmits – Licensure
Most states require locksmiths to be duly licensed, never forget that as a locksmith and in America, you can get all the required information pertaining getting your license on Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA)’s website. Not only that, you also get exposed to several doors of opportunities as the website also contains information needed to help further your career as a locksmit alongside locksmithing conventions where you can meet with veterans in the field and share ideas. No matter the community where you have chosen to work as a locksmith, joining Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) is an ideal decision as it is loaded with lots of goodies.
Locksmits – Build up on your skills
Regardless of whether you have decided to put up with another person in order to help them with moving things around and getting things done or you have decided to start your own locksmithing firm from the ground level up, there is the need for you to build up your locksmithing career profile by gaining expertise. This can be easily achieved by racking up accredited credentials like the certified master locksmith, road service locksmith, certified master safecracker, forensic locksmith and safe technician.