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Mike M
05-20-2007, 05:49 PM
I have been using my last name with lawn and landscape, and now I want to create a new professional name for my business. I'm trying to decide how to position and market myself, I can do the following:

Name of my business with focus on lighting and offer lawn care as a service, or put both lighting and lawns in the title. Or just lawn & landscape, and offer lights as a service.

Sounds like an easy decision, but it's not, and it's keeping me from getting new business cards made up, etc. I want to position myself as soon as possible as a lighting guy.

Has anyone else been through this?

Mike

Bill S
05-20-2007, 06:09 PM
could be as simple as Mr Mikes Landscaping then underneath in a smaller font... specializing in Landscape Lighting or Landscape Lighting Specialist

You all ready have your name going for you, why reinvent the wheel? I am assuming 2 things, you have some name recognition and that it is good name recognition.

Mike M
05-20-2007, 06:17 PM
I've been doing business as my name for about five years now.

I moved to a new area last August, and it might be a good opportunity to switch to a more professional sounding name with a logo. Especially becuase I've been doing this part time, and I want to be full-time one year from this date.

Maybe I should just stick with my name for now, and wait for my business to dictate my direction (that was my original plan). But I am very impressed with the names and logo's I see on this forum.

M. Murphy lawn & Landscape

NightScenes
05-20-2007, 06:20 PM
Mike, I was an electrician for a long time before I started the landscape lighting devision, which took over the company. When I decided to change the name to NightScapes, I included my old company name, PRG Ventures. The new name was NightScapes by PRG Ventures. PRG Ventures was very well known in my area and people knew right away who NightScapes was. Now I have dropped PRG Ventures from the name as I no longer need to be associated with my old company and NightScapes is now a much stronger company than PRG Ventures ever was.

Just something to think about,

SamIV
05-20-2007, 06:26 PM
I'm in the same boat. Trying to come up with a name change. My name is still too closely related to my old landscaping business which was sold over a year ago. I have some names in mind.

The name should be for lack of a better word, unique and related to lighting, but also easily recognizable. Before I letter another trailer, just want to get it right.

SamIV

Chris J
05-20-2007, 09:57 PM
I will just say that if you are considering changing the name it will be better to do it sooner than later. Name branding, business cards, brochures, phonebooks, postcards, etc.... this all has shelf life: People will sometimes hold on to information for months (even years) before responding and acting on a referral or piece of advertisment. The cost associated with changing your name can be staggering. Everything has to be changed. Are you incorporated? Lot's to do there also. If your going to do it, go ahead and do it.

David Gretzmier
05-20-2007, 10:35 PM
I am going through this as well. I have been Brite Ideas Nwa for several years now, mainly doing Christmas lights and slowly building landscape lighting.

Brite Ideas is a Christmas Light franchise out of omaha, I am less and less associated with them, so someone else could buy a franchise and call themselves Brite Ideas in my market tomorrow.

So I am up for a name change, or at least name my landscape division something like Paul did- Night Lights by Brite Ideas, or something like that.

Mike M
05-20-2007, 11:19 PM
Okay, in the end, I hope to be exclusively lighting. There will be a transition period where I will rely on quick-to-acquire, bread-and-butter reliable cash flow lawn accounts.

I guess, based on feedback, I should develop a long term name and logo, and maybe just add the line "full servivce lawn care" in my body text. I can even headline that on door hangers for new lawn accounts.

High Performance Lighting
05-20-2007, 11:25 PM
Niche specialization is highly recommended. Those that do enough volume to justify and whose primary business is other than landscape lighting should "split off" a landscape lighting division with it's own name and identity.

ChampionLS
05-21-2007, 12:06 AM
Coming up with the right name for your business is probably the most important decision you will make. It should reflect your branding and services. Ideally, you should choose a name thats:

1) Available to register in your County or Town.
2) Available to register a domain name for a website
3) Available to Trademark as a service (SM) Service Mark.

If your lucky enough to get all three with the same name, then thats really something to be happy about. The fourth would be getting a Email address and your domain name (not some stupid AOL or Hotmail).

Don't advertise for anything FREE. People take advantage of that.

Pro-Scapes
05-21-2007, 08:18 AM
Niche specialization is highly recommended. Those that do enough volume to justify and whose primary business is other than landscape lighting should "split off" a landscape lighting division with it's own name and identity.

This is EXACTLY what we did. We seperated it all. Notice my avatar above and my website below. While we still do landscape maint (hey it pays the bills) we wanted the lighting to more defined as a specialist.

Burt there is nothing wong with your name now just change it to Accent Landscape lighting or something. Simple and too the point and thats exactly what it does. It accents :)

Mike M
05-21-2007, 09:40 PM
Everyone makes good points.

I'll probably go with just a lighting name, and continue with maintenance for cash flow. Just today, I had a lighting prospect tell me she may want to get rid of her lawn service because they are unreliable. She's paying 1440 annual for lawncare. When I return for the lighting demo it would be nice to land both.

Doing both helps my exposure in these communities, and increases networking and opportunities for referrals.

Okay, so I go with a lighting-exclusive name and logo, next question, should I have lawn care bulleted on my card, or will that take away from the lighting focus? I'd hate to have two separate business cards. Maybe I'll just rely on word of mouth referrals for the lawn care part.

Thanks, guys!

Mike

David Gretzmier
05-21-2007, 11:20 PM
get a card with a front and back. front for your lawn care, back for lighting. full color and slick. make your card "keepable".

Pro-Scapes
05-22-2007, 09:23 AM
Everyone makes good points.

I'll probably go with just a lighting name, and continue with maintenance for cash flow. Just today, I had a lighting prospect tell me she may want to get rid of her lawn service because they are unreliable. She's paying 1440 annual for lawncare. When I return for the lighting demo it would be nice to land both.

Doing both helps my exposure in these communities, and increases networking and opportunities for referrals.

Okay, so I go with a lighting-exclusive name and logo, next question, should I have lawn care bulleted on my card, or will that take away from the lighting focus? I'd hate to have two separate business cards. Maybe I'll just rely on word of mouth referrals for the lawn care part.

Thanks, guys!

Mike


We have gotten where we will only take selected lawns for maint. We picked up one off a lighting install recently. While we dont make much on the 2k annual contract for maint this client is a huge upsell. A key selling point when you want a lawn contract off the lighting is let the client know you only take selected lawn clients. This will make them feel like its an honor and can net you a higher price especially if they are unhappy with thier current provider. I did bump his price a bit on lawn but we do that much better work and I tossed in his lightig maint. This client spent 15k with us in 06 and will probably match that again this year. Not to mention he has reffered us to 2 other projects which in my opinion gives him a few special concessions.

David Gretzmier
05-22-2007, 10:35 AM
I only do maintenance where I have the Irrigation/ lawn, beds, and can get or do the lighting install or maintenance and either do or can possibly get Christmas lights. Thus, I only have a few maintenance clients, but they are nice high end properties. around here, I start Christmas Lights in Mid to late september, so the maintenance trails off.

I too mention I only take certain maintenance accounts and explain why. the last one actually offered more money so I would do his, He had those small 120 volt rectangular flood things mounted to uplight his business, and I knew he would probably not do lighting. He'll do some Christmas though, so I accepted his offer.

He has those things mounted every 8 feet, that sucker is BRIGHT. the shrubs were actually burned back from the fixtures, I had to prune them because I was afraid of fire.

Chris J
05-22-2007, 03:50 PM
I don't do landscape at all, but I would think that it would be very easy to get my customers lawn business just by telling them that it takes a special type of company to maintain a lawn with landscape lighting. Most of the lawn guys around here destroy the lighting no matter who installs it, or where they install it.

Pro-Scapes
05-22-2007, 03:57 PM
I don't do landscape at all, but I would think that it would be very easy to get my customers lawn business just by telling them that it takes a special type of company to maintain a lawn with landscape lighting. Most of the lawn guys around here destroy the lighting no matter who installs it, or where they install it.

Chris this is a potential loss of profit for you. Why not hire a maint manager and start a 1 or 2 man crew then grow it. We always give our maint clients a little something more... maybe its a free hanging basket or change a light bulb while we are there and write a thank you note and mark it no charge. Another landscaper gave me an idea... when they reffer you to someone send them a gift card for dinner someplace or tickets to an event they might enjoy. I just sent a client to see CATS and they are thrilled. 34 bucks in tickets=excellent reccomendations. Dont be affraid to ask for refferals!

Chris J
05-22-2007, 04:12 PM
Billy,
I was just kidding. I hate to maintain my own lawn much less someone elses. Have you ever met someone who can make fake plastic plants die? Now you have! I'm not about to get into the lawn care business.

Pro-Scapes
05-22-2007, 05:28 PM
I hear ya... thats why i said hire a maint manager. Someone with the expeience and willingness to do it right. Set them up with the equipt and accts then pay them well. If you can make 10% out of it it would be some extra money in your pocket

David Gretzmier
05-22-2007, 07:08 PM
I'm thinking of only doing maintenance until the landscape lighting takes off, although I might keep it as a seperate division.

when you compare the dollars per hour in maintenance verses the dollars per hour in lighting install, lighting wins every time, even on the yearly bulb change out, lighting generates alot more per hour.

ultimately I want to keep a few employees busy from the Christmas light division all year round, So any way I can do that and make money is a good thing.
dave g

Mike M
05-22-2007, 08:03 PM
Okay, I'm convinced to keep my services printed up with separate logo's, etc. I think I'll make a special flyer or door hanger for lawns, and attach my lighting business card to it.

I like the referral ideas. One of my lawn customers owns a food/gift business. I'll go there and have him send a couple baskets out to the sales model homes in my area. My own developer referred me to a few full-service accounts, I owe them a thank you. Nice way for me to also mention my lighting business.

I think the real work is in face-to-face networking and referrals from happy customers.

I just want to make sure I get my business plan developed right before I spend any more money on advertizing and develop a logo.

Thanks guys!!

Mike

bumper
05-22-2007, 08:12 PM
Intersting discussion. Everything I've done thus far as been word of mouth. Good as that is, it can only carry for so long. I've a friend in the advertising biz and he has offered to design and coordinated a flyer. One side is lighting the other is irrigation. I like the snazzy truck wrap and at the same time I honestly think if using the truck as a tool for advertising best to go top end design instead of magnets etc....looks so much better.......I have a old school pinstriper working on a tailgate design as well.

Mike M
05-22-2007, 08:37 PM
Oh yeah, I deffinately agree about the logo and ads looking nice and professional, this is a visual product that needs strong visual marketing.

I think that's half the fun.