Our first interview of 2016 and continuing our Interview with the Locksmith series, is with MLA approved company – IKS Locksmiths who are members based in North London.
Read on below from what Martin – the owner from IKS had to say.
1. So tell us a little bit of a back story about yourself, when did you become a Locksmith and how long have been a Locksmith?
My name is Martin and I’m 37. I am married with 2 children, an 8-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy. I am a mobile North London Locksmith based in High Barnet.
I have been a locksmith for just over 10 years now. My background is in office based sales jobs. I have always enjoyed meeting and interacting with people but there was something missing.
In retrospect, I realise that I wasn’t suited to an office job or a job selling a product I didn’t really believe in. I need to be doing a job that presents a challenge and has positive results on completion of a job. Being a locksmith certainly does both.
2. How did you originally get into Locksmithing and Why?
I saw an advert in the newspaper. I just liked the sound of it initially. I liked the idea of learning a trade and the idea that I could earn whilst helping others out. I also liked the possibility of becoming my own boss. My wife and family members were secretly sceptical about such a change in direction but were encouraging none the less.
I’m pretty determined when I come up with an idea anyway.
3. What advice do you have for people wanting to become a locksmith?
Try and get either employment or an apprenticeship with an established Locksmith. Don’t get disheartened if you are given tedious jobs as there will be days all you will be doing is cutting endless amounts of keys.
Or when a guy was locked out by his wife and he offered her up as part of the payment
The other advice I would give is to broaden your view on what locksmithing is. Gone are the days of it just covering doors and windows. These days Locksmithing covers doors, windows, safes, grilles and roller shutters. It is also a good avenue into electronics such as access control, CCTV and alarms.
4. How has being a member of MLA helped you as a locksmith?
There are many ways in which being an MLA member helps me.
- The qualification has given me an excellent grounding which helps me to tackle any situation I come across.
- The monthly meetings are invaluable when it comes to learning about new products tools and methods.
- I find it extremely beneficial to have my details listed on the MLA website and receive a good number of jobs from this.
- The forum is great for bouncing ideas off other locksmiths.
- As a self-employed locksmith, it is extremely helpful to be part of a group which offers such great support from those that run the organisation and the members.
- I should probably also mention the discounts that I have put to good use.
5. Are there any funny stories from your time in the industry that stick out?
There are quite a few! There was the time I had to release a bloke tied to the bed with handcuffs whilst his mates watched with great amusement.
Or when a guy was locked out by his wife and he offered her up as part of the payment if I were to agreed to open the door for him.
A pretty well-known model, popular in the 90s, locked out and a bit the worse for wear being VERY appreciative of my work was another amusing moment.
6. What are your plans for the future?
At present we are North London Locksmiths. In the long term, the aim is to cover London as a whole and expand from there. This said the most important aspect of IKS Locksmiths is to maintain high standards of workmanship and service. With this in mind expanding the areas we cover will not be something that we rush into.
READ MORE LOCKSMITH INTERVIEWS: for more Interviews with MLA approved Locksmiths, please see our every interview with a locksmith so far page