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Low energy door operators are a typical retrofit sale, and are growing in popularity for clients interested in the convenience and safety of their premises. High energy door and gate operators are also an important market, and basically require the skill set of an experienced locksmith. Control wiring is low voltage, and primary power is via line cords or a quick visit from an electrician.
With a little training, installing structured cabling in homes and businesses can add substantially to your bottom line. You'll find that most guys in networking are former telephone installers and electricians who needed to migrate in order to pay their mortgages. Why not you?
Technologies are combining, the work force is cross training, and businesses are diversifying in order to differentiate themselves from their competition. A lot is said about people crossing borders to pick our produce, but there are lots of mechanics crossing the street and picking our locks.
It is a fact that electronics have radically changed the automotive side of locksmithing, The automotive industry began this transition with their transponders, and other gimmicks to capture aftermarket business for their dealers. Many commercial customers want electronic locks because of the audit trail capabilities and the ability to control access by changing the code or disabling a credential, with no need to rekey or track down keys of terminated employees. Now the keyless trend is coming to the residential market, as electronic locksets and biometric locksets are being marketed to homeowners. Whether these changes represent a change for the better remains to be seen.
MARKETING YOUR EXPERTISE
Direct marketers are into everything, including mechanical locks and anything electronic. In many cases, their prices are lower than yours. But the locksmith has a few things in his favor. One is the locksmith is local and trusted. Another is the locksmith's image is that of a skilled craftsman. Finally the locksmith can offer the highest degree of warranty to the end-user.
AND BAD REASONS SOME DON'T
Laziness : It's a fact that learning is not always a fun activity. It can be hard work. There are stretches in the learning curve when you may be totally confused and frustrated, with little hope of redemption. Additionally, all too often, it will be younger guys who are familiar with the newer technologies, and they tend to be impatient and overbearing (some call it payback) with a senior locksmith who is on shaky ground
Recalcitrance : Many locksmiths who are used to being the ‘master' find it difficult to start over as a rank amateur in some new discipline. They're on cruise control, and will be retiring soon anyway. They find it hard to accept that their technology and product knowledge is no longer adequate in our high tech culture.
Fear Of The New : Actually all these reasons tie into emotional issues, and fear counts as a major contender. Many of us have acquired our skills through on-the-job training. Although it's a great way to learn some things, it isn't so great for others, especially technologies that are not particularly intuitive, mechanically oriented, and potentially dangerous. (Virtually all electronic equipment is low voltage, and you're generally not in any peril if you stay reasonably alert to what you are doing)
Industry professionals have all recognized the shift and are reaching out to the traditional locksmithing industry, The Locksmith Ledger is also committed to the transformation of locksmithing from a niche craft to a multi disciplined total security solution.
Wireless systems are ideal for any retrofit or new construction application where wiring is difficult or impractical, or where the cost of traditional wired online access control is prohibitive.
Since many of these products are available over the Internet as do-it-yourself projects, the locksmith’s challenge is to convince your customers that you specialize, customize and assemble the exact...