Do you need a key cutting machine?

As a start-up locksmith, you’ll be surprised at how the costs of setting up a business mount up. Tools, van, uniform, training … the list goes on and on, and in order to offer a reliable, professional service and build up a great reputation, you’ll be needing them all. However, one item of equipment that may be optional is a key cutting machine.

You may be surprised that I’m suggesting that you set up a locksmith business without a key cutting machine. After all, it would seem to be an essential item that will be in regular use. However, even the cheapest machines can set you back over £500, and buying the cheapest machines is often false economy. You don’t want to be saving money at the outset, only to find that your bargain key cutter won’t cut keys straight. An alternative idea you might like to consider is to make do for a few months until you’ve saved up enough money to buy a decent, reliable model.

When my colleague set up his Nottingham locksmith business, he did exactly this. At the time I was sceptical, but after he explained to me how convenient and cheap local key cutting services were, he had me convinced. He even managed to secure a preferential rate with his local cobbler/key cutting outfit as he was using them so often, and managed to sell the keys on to his clients for a small profit. After about six months, he’d put aside enough money to buy a top of range machine that fit nicely in his van and is still going strong six years later.

So, when setting up your locksmith business, it could pay to question just how much you need the ‘essential’ kit, and try to think if there are any ways you could save money. A small saving at the beginning could help you with cash flow in the early days, and allow you to develop your business later on.

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