It’s usually a low-cost option, with many owners spending as little as $7,000 to open up their own site. Even better, with the help of your franchisor, you’ll have support in generating leads, setting up a marketing plan, and creating advertising campaigns, along with a whole network of other franchise owners to support you on your journey and share advice to avoid mistakes that cause others to lose money.
To boot, the security industry is evolving. Demand is increasing for high-tech touchless equipment, antimicrobial surfaces, and PPE compliance for healthcare providers, government facilities, and other essential businesses. Luckily for you, there are franchises on our list that are already up to speed and are making a killing financially. Learn below if buying a locksmith franchise is the right move for you, and find out how to join one of the top seven lucrative franchises and get to work as quickly as possible.
What is a locksmith franchise?
A locksmith franchise is a company (the franchisor) that licenses its business name, branding, service, operational procedures, marketing, advertising strategy, and business model to an individual (the franchisee) who opens a location while paying the franchisor ongoing royalties and associated costs. The difference between your local mom-and-pop shop and a locksmith franchise is that the latter focuses on growth. Franchisors license out their brand with the hope of expanding their market, bringing in more sales, and setting up as many new locations as possible. Independent locksmith shop owners usually operate out of one site with full decision-making control over their business.
So what makes buying a locksmith franchise so appealing? Although giving up control over your business seems like a nightmare to some, for others, it’s a massive weight off their shoulders. Think of it this way: instead of spending the next couple of years hustling mostly on your own, with a limited number of vehicles and insufficient work, constantly worrying if your small business makes it, you could follow a franchisor’s blueprint to success and quickly find an area where you can open up a new branch, get all your equipment, tools and trucks, hire the right managers and technicians, and receive training from seasoned professionals before you open. Giving up control may be hard, but the trade-off can really be worth it!
How do you know if franchising is the right choice for you?
If you’re unsure whether to bite the bullet and buy a locksmith franchise for sale, ask yourself if you fit the bill. Many aspects of franchising are non-negotiable, so make sure you:
- Are you comfortable operating the business according to the franchisor’s rules and their rules only: you have no desire to build your own brand from scratch.
- Are you excited about working in partnership with your franchisor, being constantly in touch with them, and you’re OK with them monitoring your results, your procedures, and your every move!
- Are you competent in all aspects of running a business or prepared to learn fast? You understand management, accounting, marketing, sales, customer service, hiring, training employees, inventory management, and vehicle maintenance.
- Have researched your chosen brand and fully support the franchisor’s values, beliefs, and company culture.
- You accept that the franchisor will make business decisions that are best for its brand but not always the best choice for your individual business.
- Have completed a comprehensive audit of your finances and are ready to invest money upfront into a business, along with paying ongoing royalty fees.
How to join a locksmith franchise
If you’ve accepted the majority of the conditions above, you may be well on your way to purchasing a locksmith franchise. Hold your horses! Before you start filling out applications, you must do your research to avoid wasting your time and money. Some companies automatically disqualify you from buying a locksmith franchise if you don’t have the right amount of experience running a business. Take a minute to consider what’s in store before you start googling “locksmith franchise for sale.”
- Research locksmith franchise opportunities
First, make a list of locksmith franchises that you would like to join. Create a spreadsheet and compare startup and ongoing costs, training and qualification requirements, competition, location, and support and resources provided by each franchise. It’s also important to know the annual revenue a location pulls in. This way, you can sort and organize your list of franchisors according to which is the most profitable, most easily attainable, and most favorable.
- Get your qualifications and finances in order
The biggest barriers when buying a franchise are experience and money. You may be required to have business ownership or management experience or locksmith training and licensing. In that case, you’ll need to hold off on opening up a location until you’re qualified. Most importantly, franchisors look at your credit score, net worth, cash on hand, and other sources of income to gauge your financial ability to become an owner.
- Do a self-audit
Now that you know what it takes, you need to get real with yourself for a sec. Are you truly cut out to run a locksmith business? If you have no education or professional experience managing a company, you may be biting off more than you can chew and could possibly end up losing a lot of money in a field you’re not passionate about. You’ve got to want this 100%.
- Get approved and review your franchise disclosure agreement
Now it’s time to speak to representatives, fill out your application, and wait to get approved. Once it’s a go, you’ll be given your franchise disclosure document (FDD). This document outlines an overview of the franchise brand, your responsibilities, costs, operational procedures, marketing plans, training, locksmith equipment, tools, vehicles, management best practices, and so much more. It’s definitely advisable to have a franchise lawyer look over the FDD and explain the legal terminology.
- Sign your franchise agreement
Now it’s time to take the plunge, sign your contracts, and break out the champagne. You’ll be working closely with brand representatives to get you started on learning the ins and outs of your new business, finding a location, stocking your inventory, and vehicles, and eventually hiring your team.
- Connect with your network
Look online and in person for franchisees who are willing to take you under their wing. Check niche websites, online forums, Facebook groups, Reddit, and YouTube for more resources on franchising and the brand you’re signing up for. Never feel timid about reaching out for help—it’ll make your journey a lot easier. There has never been more information out there—or people willing to help—than there are right now.
Top 5 locksmith franchise opportunities for sale
Can you name any of the top locksmith franchises? Does nothing come to mind? Well, we’ve done the research for you. Below are the top seven low-cost franchises you could be partnering up with. They’ll offer you a ton of resources and training before opening your location and won’t break the bank with their start-up costs.
Pop-A-Lock is one of the U.S.’s largest locksmith franchises, providing 24/7 service to residential and commercial customers. They’ll come to the rescue when you’re locked out of your car on the highway. If you ever have a break-in, call them up to repair your locks or install a new security system so you’ll be safe in the future.
The Pop-A-Lock franchise is also passionate about keeping kids safe. Every year the number of children locked in hot cars grows, in some cases leading to tragic and avoidable deaths. The company provides a free service to safely remove a child from a vehicle in an emergency. When you buy a Pop-A-Lock franchise, you’ll be given the lowdown on all the proprietary equipment, training, and marketing strategies you’ll need and use. Also, startup costs are usually pretty low.
Pop-A-Lock franchise cost: $50,000 franchise fee
2. The Flying Locksmiths
The Flying Locksmiths are “physical security specialists” who have been in operation since 1946. Their technicians don’t just rekey and install locks—they’ll also install door hardware, new frames, intercoms, and other high-tech access control equipment. The Flying Locksmiths Franchise may be 70 years old, but they are definitely up-to-date with the latest technology that businesses and homes need to stay protected.
They claim Pop-A-Lock is their only competitor nationally, so you would have very little competition and could easily gain a strong foothold in your area. Financial reports released show the average annual gross profit for a franchisee over the last 4 years was $441,225!
About 90% of your business will come from commercial clients, including Walmart, Bank of America, FedEx, Costco, and Coca-Cola. If you want to buy this low-cost locksmith franchise, you’ll need to have business management, marketing, corporate, or entrepreneurial experience and be open in an area with a population of at least 500,000.
The Flying Locksmiths franchise cost: $50,000 in liquid capital
3. Mr. Rekey Locksmith
Mr. Rekey Locksmith has been on the block for over 25 years and serves homeowners, rental companies, real estate agents, and commercial customers. The majority of their business comes from residential customers, who benefit from a special offer: technicians will rekey up to 6 keyholes, make 4 copies of new keys, and update existing deadbolts, all for under $100.
This locksmith franchise has a call center dedicated to handling all of your customer calls, technicians’ calls, orders, and accounting queries, leaving you with more time to devote to marketing your business, running your team, and just keeping an eye on everything, making sure it’s all going smoothly.
Find Mr. ReKey in 15 major cities across the United States, and if you’re a veteran, they’ll offer 20% off your franchise fee too!
Mr. Rekey Locksmith franchise cost: $34,000
4. Secrailway 24-Hour Locksmiths
Secrailway 24-Hour Locksmiths provides automotive, commercial, and residential services. When a customer calls in, they promise a technician will respond and reach your location within 15 minutes to handle any emergency, key placement, key duplication, car remote programming, or lock installation needs. They have around 15 locations across the U.S., and they are quickly expanding.
When you join the franchise, Secrailway will help you create online advertisements and information videos for YouTube to enhance your search engine optimization (SEO) and improve your rankings to generate more leads and more business.
5. Acme Locksmith
Acme Locksmith is a franchise based in Arizona. It currently has locations in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Gilbert, and Mesa and is looking to expand further across the country. Why should you choose this up-and-coming franchise? Acme Locksmith is a forward-thinking brand; instead of using outdated methods to service customers and run their business, they focus on the newest equipment, locksmith technology, and methods to maximize productivity, drive sales, and keep customers happy.
And it seems to be working! They have a five-star rating on Google and have won the Angie’s List Super Service Award eight years running.
Acme Locksmith offers two business models: a simple, mobile-only option where you can book jobs through an app and an advanced option where you can operate a storefront with mobile field support. Because the franchise is still small, you’ll have a close relationship with the owners, who have 25 years of marketing experience and will guide you through buying inventory, building a service shop, and improving customer service.
Acme franchise cost: $75,000
As you can see, some locksmith franchises are incredibly affordable, and many don’t even require you to have locksmith training or experience to begin. If you’re ready to jump in, here’s what your next steps should be, in a nutshell:
- Research, research, research: Go through our list and start choosing franchises you’re interested in learning more about. Research everything you can about them and then make a comparison chart to finally decide which one is the most profitable and which one you’re most qualified to buy.
- Beef up your qualifications: Get your ducks in a row; if you need more experience in a management position, perhaps you may want to spend the next six months gaining experience or taking a course. Also, seek financial advice to check your credit score and see how much money you truly have available to put down for a franchise purchase.
- Consult your network: Besides help from corporate, you can also make friends with other franchisees and ask them for advice on getting started, managing your time effectively, and avoiding financial mistakes.
Another way to avoid costly mistakes is to have the right system in place to handle online payments and invoicing. With a tool like WorkizPay, your technicians can accept payments in the field, track invoices, and send reminders to customers when funds are due. It’s the simplest way to manage incoming expenses and never feel left in the dark about how much you’re owed and when you’ll get paid. As soon as you purchase your franchise, sign up for a free trial here!