Having enjoyed my biggest earning week on record in the seven years that I have been trading as a locksmith you'd think I would be celebrating, however I feel you have to take each week as it comes in todays climate. There are more locksmiths sprouting up than ever, I really thought the whole training boom would have quietened down a bit with the recession behind us but new start ups are still investing enthusiastically in hope of taking a slice of the market.
Let's be honest, most new locksmiths are a flash in the pan and vanish as quickly as they appeared with only a small percentage ever actually making it beyond six months. It is one of the most difficult trades to establish yourself in with ferocious competition for limited work. Often the new locksmiths have invested heavily with redundancy monies and grants buying up new tools and training courses only to find a few months in that they are not cut out for the hard work involved in growing a locksmith business or simply need a proper regular income to make ends meet. My first few years were brutal and I wouldn't have made it work without my part time job and some close trade contacts.
Even now as an established locksmith you can't take your eye off the ball. The advertising game is constantly changing and let's face it, Google pretty much has every small local business by the balls. A lot employ the help of SEO services, do SEO themselves and others rely heavily on the expensive might of Yell/Hibu to help the customer find them. All this additional work on top of the day to day running of a small business and keeping on top of new products and locksmith tools.
Moving on swiftly to national locksmith firms, hell bent on conquering every corner of the country. They rely on the high turnout of new 'locksmiths' to carry out their dirty work since most established locksmiths will not entertain the idea of subbing for them. Some of these national locksmiths firms are even providing their own basic locksmith courses to groom the ill-informed trainees for their own use. Other national locksmiths firms are using foreign nationals with very limited experience. This is an ever increasing threat to genuine local locksmiths who are often target of dirty tactics and ridiculous undercutting on price in attempt to break them.
The future of locksmithing is never a certain one and should never be taken for grantid. The rewards can indeed be fantastic but are hard earned ones that take a serious amount of dedication, time and financial investment. I have seen so many great established locksmiths go bump, fall too far behind the times or just call it a day over the last few years being unable to adapt to the change to online advertsing methods and failing to compete with the plummeting work rates.
Good luck to you all, it's a battlefield out there.