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View Full Version : How did you get started in the biz?


conroy
05-03-2007, 10:04 PM
Have been doing landscape/property maintenance for about 10 years. Took a CAST one day seminar and really enjoyed the info. Have done only four installations and given 8 bids for lighting. When do I feel I'm ready to try these projects on a more consistent basis. How did you start in this line of outdoor lighting business?

Chris J
05-04-2007, 07:57 AM
Conroy,
You have perfect opportunity to get started in a great business, but please do it the right way. Most contractors, like me, will get started with one particular manufacturer and remain focused on that particular brand. Cast is a good product, but I would suggest that you expose yourself to several different manufacturers decide for yourself what is good and bad about all of them. All of the top brands have "hands on seminars". I believe Kichler has one coming up soon. If you can, go to several of them and see different approaches.
It will also help you a great deal to become involved with organizations like the AOLP. At some point, you will probably need to be licensed. Organizations like the AOLP may prove to be invaluable in helping you gain the knowledge you need to succeed in the biz.
I got my start by accident. About eight years ago, I saw this as a side job to make a few extra bucks. Apparently, I advertised "the right way" and to the "right people" and the phone would not stop ringing. It has been that way ever since. Just remember that this line of work usually has a very targeted market: the high end homeowner with discretionary income. Don't waste a lot of time trying to sell an expensive lighting package to the average homeowner. Also, make sure you learn the technical stuff! Know how to combat voltage drop. Know the limitations of wire and transformers. Use proper connnectors. This is another reason to join the AOLP and become a certified technician.
There are several other things to consider, but I don't want to write a book just yet. If you wish, I'll be happy to discuss this with you personally. Just give me a buzz. Good luck