A bonded locksmith is guaranteed by a bonding company that reimburses a client for losses that are caused by faulty work by the locksmith. This assures the client of a high standard of service quality. To become a bonded locksmith, an individual must obtain accreditation from a government agency by fulfilling certain requirements.
Here are the steps to becoming a bonded locksmith:
- Train to become a locksmith. Find a legitimate locksmithing class online or via the yellow pages. Check the courses if they cover the comprehensive skills, such as key duplication and lock repair. You can also serve as an apprentice with an experienced locksmith for several years as an alternative form of education. In any case, find a sideline to support you while undergoing training.
- Inquire with the local licensing requirements. They may include a processing fee, thumbprint and photograph, educational diploma and a test. Submit all the requirements and check if you qualify for a license. There is a possibility that the city you operate in does not regulate locksmith activities, and you may be considered just a regular business with the usual requirements, which just makes the bonding company all the more important to establish the quality of your work.
- Search for a bonding company. You can look for them through the appropriate government agency, in magazine ads or online. Fill up the application form and submit the requirements. Accede to a background check. Examine their bond statement and check what qualifies for reimbursement.
- Get employed with a legitimate locksmithing company. Build up enough experience to start your own locksmith business. Make friends with different clients, perfect your customer relation skills and impress them with the quality of your work. Have a more experienced colleague look over your work and take the time to correct your consistent flaws. Take note of the necessary procedures a locksmith company needs to function within the city.
- Become a freelance locksmith. Once you saved enough capital and acquired enough experience, you can open up shop with an under-serviced section of the city and promote your business with signs, flyers and business cards. Display your bonded status prominently and show your list of credentials clients they ask for it. Dress professionally and groom yourself: remember, you are in the business of providing security and clients may refuse your service if they do not feel secure with your appearance. Encourage business based on recommendations and testimonials.
- Avoid misrepresenting yourself as a bonded locksmith if you are not. Local agencies, bonding companies and rival locksmiths fiercely protect their bonded status and immediately report anyone who falsely promotes himself in the same league. You can possibly be blacklisted and even charged with fraud if you attempt to do so.
Remain professional throughout your career; it takes only one bad mistake to ruin your reputation. An unsatisfied client can report your bad conduct or workmanship online and mark you forever, bonded or not. Also note that the locksmithing business is carefully watched by law enforcement agencies.