Your Own Lottery

April 10, 2012

What if I offered you a get-rich idea that was a much more sure thing than winning the lottery?   And what if I offered you a system for your business so your average job would be in the $200 and up range?  Maybe you might want to hear more.

As a young locksmith in the mid 1970s, I tried to look as far into the future as possible to see where the security industry was headed.  My decision at that time was to hitch my future to computers.  This was at a time there were no ready-made computers and people soldered components together to make IMSAI computers from a kit. There was no keyboard and  dozens of on-off switches were used for programming.        

A few days ago I walked the aisles of the International Security Conference (ISC) in Las Vegas. Just as sure as an IMSAI computer signalled the future in 1975, every booth at this expansive show had products which will shape the future of locksmithing.

In order to be part of this new future, we must overcome our 'repair' mentality. A perfect example happened at an ISC booth which had a door sensor display. The sensor was actuated as someone walked through the opening and was supposed to sound an alarm if someone closely followed behind the first person (anti- pass through). Unfortunately the system failed as it was being demonstrated for me.  

With electronic components such as this there is little chance of repair. In real life a locksmith would simply replace the unit and charge accordingly.  Today the public rarely expects to have an appliance repaired or new heels put on shoes. It is a discard and replace society and as more electronic security products are installed in new construction, locksmiths will be required to replace instead of repair. As noted above, bills for service calls will often involve new expensive hardware and your business gross and profit can expand exponentially.

Locks and keys will never completely go away, but new electronic security products will become a much larger part of our business in the very near future. During the ISC convention I recognized only four locksmiths out of the 20,000 people in attendance. They were Bill Neff and Larry Schwalb from the Philadelphia area and Jim Kubin and his son Graem from Illinois.  Perhaps there were more of you that I did not recognize, but in any case the amount of locksmiths was negligible. Any locksmith not in attendance missed a very good, informative  convention.  

For some reason, typical locksmith conventions of today often provide only  a partial view of what is happening to our industry.  This lulls every person attending these locksmith conventions into believing that they are seeing every new security product of importance. How wrong they are.