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Matther777
11-29-2012, 11:45 AM
Hello again fellow gophers. I am getting closer on my business starting off.
A great friend of mine is letting me hang Christmas lights for him and later in the spring he has lots of landscaping projects. This is good to know I will have some projects to look forward to. Now back on the topic of lights. If this goes well and I can get good at hanging these for other people I may want to start adding this as a service in the winter rather than snow removal. I say this since it hasn't really snowed at all this year. Do any of you offer hanging Christmas lights to your service and how do you charge? I find this may be great in the future.

Once again have a great day!

Steve
11-29-2012, 04:35 PM
The friend you are working with, will he tell you how much he is billing the client to perform the job?

TurfWerks
12-04-2012, 02:36 PM
This is a question I am also interested in myself. I have helped do a few lights in the past, and What I have learned is prices vary on different situations..

For example..

If you install, take down, and store the lights its more than a basic install and removal.

Also if you provide the lights there is that added costs..

Pricing by the job is probably best for the customer than pricing by the hour.. BC the customer can get a realistic price instead of guessing how long it takes times your hourly rate. You just have to have a good feel for how long it takes to do the work.

This is just my thoughts, anyone else with more exp wanna give an opinion?

Matther777
12-05-2012, 03:08 PM
Well since this is a guy helping me get started and a fellow friend we settled on an hourly rate. In the future I can see that pricing the whole job would be a lot easier. I am having an issue finding a cherry picker to rent. Does anyone know how to do that?

Steve
12-06-2012, 02:11 PM
I would think most rental centers have them. Would these be jobs you could use a ladder for or no?

Matther777
12-07-2012, 11:43 AM
I have been looking around and all I can find are the scissor lifts. Which would require a big trailer to haul around. This project wouldn't be able to handle a ladder since we are trying to hang lights on a 50+ foot tree. This was just the customers idea he said "yea see what you can find" but I have been striking out. This wasn't like he needed the tree done it was more of a if you can it done great, if not no worries.

Steve
12-07-2012, 01:30 PM
Is it possible that one of the local rental centers could drop off a cherry picker for you to use?

http://www.renthire.com/RHI/hirecompany_display/7CD9E5060124FF9E917C2A1A01240777.jpg

SECTLANDSCAPING
12-07-2012, 01:47 PM
Get some climbing gear. My arborist would be up that tree in 2 mins flat.

luvs2ski
01-29-2013, 03:40 PM
My wife and I are doing Christmas Lights as well as decorations for any holiday through out the year. Since we are just starting our business we will put up and take down the customers decorations. Later on as our business grows we will be looking into providing decorations and storage. We charge $20 dollars per hour.

Steve
01-30-2013, 10:48 AM
What has been your thoughts on providing this service so far? Anything you like or dislike about it? Or maybe even anything you would do differently so far with it?

luvs2ski
02-02-2013, 09:24 AM
We love providing this service. Our customers enjoy not having to worry about having them put up to early or taken down to late, especially when they don't have the time to do it them selves but still want to decorate. I would like to expand to providing lights and decorations and storing them off site.

Matther777
02-02-2013, 05:09 PM
As I am new to this I can see it being very profitable. I only did a few houses but in the future I could see myself having a bigger scale size operation.

Steve
02-04-2013, 11:18 AM
As I am new to this I can see it being very profitable.

How do you feel the profitability and the time spent per location compare with that of your mowing clients?

fllawnchic
08-29-2013, 08:37 PM
How do you feel the profitability and the time spent per location compare with that of your mowing clients?

I just found this post and thought I'd share a little. Profitability? Let's just say that there are families living on their income from the holiday season! Holiday and event lighting and decor is by far less labor intensive (physically) and is a mental uplift, esp. for those of you living in northern areas. It's pretty hard for a customer to not love the spirit of twinkling lights and green and red decor and so much more..... They literally eat it up, esp. if they can't do it themselves, have the cash not to or just simply love the holiday season!
One word of warning though, is that the "holiday season" for decorators does not end on Christmas day and does not begin at Thanksgiving. It's a very long, draining, sometimes 23 hour a day work season during its height - but, if you figure from about Feb. 15th - July 1st you can catch up - well, it's worth every bit of the sleepless nights! Beware that your own family Thanksgiving and Christmas may consist of checking lights with your crew, fixing any problems to ensure a brilliant display, etc.! However, it is a hell of a lot of fun, comeraderie and the spirit makes it all worthwhile (ok, so the money is good too!!) Even in this bad economy, there are still those who can spend the money for someone else to make it happen. The key is...advertise early, order materials early and decorate early to avoid the crunch. If scheduled right, it's very profitable, lots of fun and much better than weed-eating!

Steve
08-30-2013, 11:55 AM
Do you have any photos of any of the projects you have worked on? Were there any project you were really proud of or projects that were disasters which taught you lessons on what not to do?

Ian Lovejoy
12-26-2013, 09:12 AM
I would suggest driving around to see light displays the next two weeks, make note of the display and address. This will give you a great idea on what to charge, how the customer wants to decorate, and more importantly a address and contact information for marketing in 2014.... Just saying to keep eyes and mind open, tomorrow will come with you or without you my friends

Steve
12-26-2013, 08:28 PM
That is a great idea. With that scouting out of homes who decorate their houses, should they be marketed to differently next year? Should they be marketed to more so than their neighbors that don't decorate?

Ian Lovejoy
12-27-2013, 07:16 PM
Steve, I am not in this business, nor do I want to be at this time but if I were...I would drive around and note and take pictures of the lighting displays that were impressive. I would review these images and estimate my time and material cost to duplicate the display(s). I would then go back after the lights were removed and take the same picture. I would put together a before and after flyer and a quote of several of these homes. Even though I did not install the display, I can imply that I did with the flyer. Just a thought.

Steve
01-01-2014, 05:59 PM
I think that is a brilliant idea that should be experimented with.

Ian Lovejoy
01-02-2014, 01:59 PM
Brilliant ideas are only ideas until they are acted upon, my friend. I love the blog.

Ducke
01-05-2014, 06:20 PM
Steve I started a second company this year "Ducke's Seasonal Decor"
I put the whole thing together in less then a week when the Christmas Decor franchise closed its doors in the middle of Nov I signed up 9 customers one of which has 6 Tim Horton coffee shops.(like Dunkin Donuts)
I reacted quickly and got the jewel (the coffee shops ) which should open the door to more of the same. (PS: I also got asked to quote his lawn care for the coffee shops) I am going to go after the commercial Christmas Lighting as the home market here is over worked and low balled so much. I have licensed the company certified my fall protection and bought the proper gear, I upped my insurance to cover ladders and fall protection and lined up a wholesale supplier for the lighting and decor accessories.
I hope to increase my customer base by 10 more to give me 20 for next year and may even expand on Halloween, valentines birthdays, wedding etc.

Steve
01-06-2014, 01:29 PM
I signed up 9 customers one of which has 6 Tim Horton coffee shops.

That is great news! I would figure with foot traffic those stores get, you could get a lot more customers if you can market to them. Is there anyway you can promote that you created the outdoor lighting display? Can you put up a sign or have a business card display available?

Ducke
01-06-2014, 05:14 PM
I am going to go with the window sign and card display at the stores next season. I only just got my business cards today lol it all just flew together this year. I got a call on Friday morning and made a call on Friday afternoon and was putting lights up on Wednesday so I really didn't,have time for the set up. But I got my business license on the wall now and company tax # so I am now set for the 2014 season.

Steve
01-07-2014, 01:34 PM
That will be fantastic! I do wonder how marketing like that with your sign and cards would even help get you more lawn care customers for the spring. It might work wonders!

Ducke
01-08-2014, 05:43 PM
well it all ready has . The guy with the coffee shops has already asked me to quote him for his shop mantenance and one other home owner has asked me to quote their lawn

Steve
01-09-2014, 01:30 PM
It is amazing what a little networking can do for you! Nice job!