If you step back in time a few decades, locksmithing was a much simpler business. It was very easy for someone to leave his or her car key in the ignition and cause a lockout by pushing the lock button down and closing the car door. Likewise, house locks could cause lockouts in the same way. An important portion of each day during my career as a locksmith years ago was spent on lockouts. At one time I depended on them.
If we now look forward into the next decade, my opinion is that the type of service procedures we will be doing are going to be completely different. The car I now drive will not let me lock the door if the key is inside, and my car is not an expensive model. Almost every lock manufacturer today offers electronic or mechanical pushbutton locks for commercial and residential usage. Security products are being made more and more foolproof to the point where mechanical keys are less necessary and lockouts will occur less frequently.
There is presently a concentrated effort by people in our industry to solicit funds and attack the scammers on every possible front. This is a laudable effort. I have spoken with some of the people connected with this anti-scammer movement. Some of the ones who I have spoken with have had their locksmith business severely curtailed by the scammers. Scammers are known to depend on lockouts for most of their business. This implies that at least some of the people involved with this anti-scammer program also depend heavily on lockout business.
McDonalds would have a hard time existing if they needed a new customer for every hamburger sold. They depend on loyal customers who return again and again. This is how a good business is built and lockouts are not one of the better ways to build a return base of customers. Removal of the scammers from phone books and the internet will not automatically guarantee locksmith business prosperity for all reputable locksmiths.
Successful locksmiths of the future will be those who change from dependence on mistakes made by the public such as lockouts, towards selling and installing new replacement security products for those products which have been made obsolete by time. Developing recurring revenue customers and training yourself about every new electronic security product are the two best ways towards future prosperity.