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View Full Version : Winter Work; Holiday lights?


deereequipment
06-20-2007, 10:34 PM
I have heard alot of LCO's doing hanging holiday lights.

Could everyone tell me how they charge (by hr/flat rate/ect.)?
What they do and don't do?
Where you get supplies. (rolls of lights/ect.)

Thanks.

johnnywill08
06-21-2007, 11:49 AM
bump!!! it'd be nice to have some more winter income (although we usually do cleanups til like dec 10th)

deereequipment
06-21-2007, 09:21 PM
We do cleanups right up to Christmas, and if weather permits, some into January.

In Dec, we could slow down on cleanups, and reschedule them for January.

mebergstran
06-28-2007, 04:50 PM
I thought of doing this last Christmas and never got around to it. I'd love to hear more about how guys charge. Great question!

Albemarle Lawn
06-29-2007, 11:42 PM
We rent space and do light dentistry. We also offer estate planning, and dabble a bit in jet engine overhauls.

turf hokie
06-30-2007, 01:48 PM
We do cleanups right up to Christmas, and if weather permits, some into January.

In Dec, we could slow down on cleanups, and reschedule them for January.

We start installing well BEFORE cleanups even start and continue take downs until the end of January. So depending on how busy you are and how much labor etc you have to commit to it this may not be for you.

David Gretzmier
07-05-2007, 11:03 PM
I bought a Christmas franchise back in 2001 called Brite Ideas, Christmas Decor and Holiday Decor and others are out there. If you want to do well at Christmas Lights, you have got to have training, and a very reliable source of products.

The good jobs are those that want products that are unique, and that's one reason to buy a franchise- they have product no one else has. I now buy wholesale from Holiday Bright Lights, they sell to installers at retail, but also sell memberships to get the wholesale prices. they have the best products, And you don't have to buy a franchise up front to get access to product. wreaths, garland, displays, all are top notch.

All the above companies as well as Holiday Bright Lights will also train you how to do this and tell you how to price it for your area.

I'd reccomend you talk to Bruce Lee or Scott Heese at holiday bright lights, you can google it and find their website.

They can also sell you with marketing pieces, such as postcards and newspaper pieces, to help you sell jobs.

Please don't go out and buy walmart lights and charge people to hang them. you will be miserable with repairs and callbacks. there were 7 companies that did that in my area, and all are out of business now. there is no long term money in that. the idea that 300-400 bucks to hang the customers lights is also a loser- they will never buy the good stuff.

we started 7 years ago and have built a Christmas light business that serves 125-150 NICE properties, and we will do over 250k this year from Sept. 15- Feb. 15. 3 crews, lots of fun, but busy. we put up, take down and we store all of our customers lights. That is how you make it work and make money.

good luck.

Mike M
07-10-2007, 08:53 PM
Dave,

I'm spread a bit thin between my landscaping campaign and lv lighting business start up, but things get real slow for me by November.

What kind of ballpark cost of entry is there in holiday lighting to do it right, including marketing?

Thanks,

Mike

northernsvc's
07-10-2007, 11:09 PM
we started doing lighting for a few of our customers a couple ayears ago, start week before thanksgiving/ take down usually 2nd week in january.
we have a bucket truck so that really helps when your doing big trees. but mojority of work can be done with ladders and pruning poles with saw head removed.
i buy all materials from a local lighting dist. by the pallet we use 100 ct strings ( easier to wrap around trees)
spools whenever we are doing roofs or straight shots.

we also do greenery - christmas trees and wreaths

startup is pretty cheap - ladder is really all you need for the smaller truck rent a tow behind man lift for the bigger jobs.

suggestions:

make sure you have an electrician go over loads if your doing big jobs . sometimes we have a local company run a line from the main to power all the lights and then have them look over everything and give us the go ahead. good idea incase anything happens ( fire...) we usually stay away from c-9 lights for that reason they get so hot and draw so much power.
follow manufacturers suggestion for # light string in row - another cya thing incase something happens nobody can get you for negligence. also makes lights brighter when string has less draw on it.

CharlotteOutdoorImpact
07-16-2007, 03:24 AM
Are there any how to books out there??

How much do these places such as briteideas and Christmas decor charge?
I wonder if there are any of these type companys , or a lighting supplier offering training at a trade show... Hopefully near Charlotte NC..

If anyone has more info on this subject please give... I need this in the winter.

Thanks


Chad

jimmyzlc
08-15-2007, 06:28 PM
I just talked to Bruce today and he going to send me information. Looks like a trip to Omaha may be in the works in September. I like the idea they will run you through a day and a half training seminar. Look forward to reading the information they send.

CharlotteOutdoorImpact
08-15-2007, 07:08 PM
I just received my training package from Village Lighting Co. it look pretty good and there product looks top notch as well. DVD's and a manual. Marketing materials as well.. I would say at under 100.00 bucks its well worth it!! IMO:usflag:

David Gretzmier
08-30-2007, 02:05 AM
I've talked to a few folks who start with the village place and are looking for the next level. That is Holiday Bright Lights. when you show customers the sample product of thier noble garland, or thier light links, the customer knows you are playing on a different level. There used to be 7 companies here 6 years ago installing c-9s everywhere. 6 went out of business, 2 others are recent that install the product frome brite ideas or holiday Bright lights. If you check them out you'll agree that the better product is from HBL. I buy some items from other companies, but I am successful because of them.

CharlotteOutdoorImpact
08-30-2007, 02:22 AM
I would agree that you can get better lights here and there... I am really excited about there new super-mini. I like the fact you can install a colored bulb on the clear mini and do different things with them with out messing with the actual bulbs.. Holiday bright lights... is that the one you have to go to Omaha to get training... thats something my fiancee and myself were interested in... Its just a long way from Charlotte NC... I wish we could get hands on training closer... I will look at Holiday Bright Lights products again.
Do they sell wholesale to you without being a franchise?

Chad

jimmyzlc
08-30-2007, 11:17 PM
You can get wholesale prices by buying a membership which is $5,000. That gets you enough lights to outfit 2 houses if I remember right plus all kinds of marketing material. Go online check out the website request some info. and call and talk to Bruce. I talked to him for about 20-25 minutes. Super nice and very helpful.

CharlotteOutdoorImpact
09-01-2007, 01:30 AM
That may work down the road.. I am going to get my feet wet with Village Lighting... I don't want to spend money to be able to order thing at wholesale... that defeats the cost savings in the first place.
Village has no fee's

jimmyzlc
09-01-2007, 01:58 AM
You don't have to buy a membership to buy the products. You just pass the retail cost on to the customer. I am in the same boat just going to get my feet wet this year and see how it goes.

wurkn with amish
09-01-2007, 12:10 PM
Village lights are crap- before I bought my dist. from brite ideas, I used them. My suppliers (2 different companies) had to replace a bunch of my lights because they didn't work. Or you would be putting them in a tree and half a strand would not work.(on 30 strands). My opinion, they are a step above walmart lights! Oh yeah, their c-7's and 9's many problems w/ those smoking also. They can't give me a reason for any of it.

turf hokie
09-01-2007, 10:42 PM
Village lights are crap- before I bought my dist. from brite ideas, I used them. My suppliers (2 different companies) had to replace a bunch of my lights because they didn't work. Or you would be putting them in a tree and half a strand would not work.(on 30 strands). My opinion, they are a step above walmart lights! Oh yeah, their c-7's and 9's many problems w/ those smoking also. They can't give me a reason for any of it.

There is no doubt that you get what you pay for. That includes product, support, training. If you are just looking for wholesale prices for some mini lights then you are in for a long, long season.

David Gretzmier
09-05-2007, 02:08 AM
we had major problems with cords from Brite Ideas in 2001, and thier linkables in 2002 and 2003. In 2004 I gave up and went with Holiday Bright Lights. You can buy thier product wholesale and get training and catalogs without paying upfront. when you compare it to village you will see the difference.

You can buy a membership from Holiday Bright lights for even lower pricing and marketing help, and you get enough product with that package to make back the 5000 bucks. you can always buy a member ship later if you just want to get your feet wet.

As far as up front costs on other things, I get Little giant ladders on ebay for around 250 for the model 22, and you need 2 on every crew, plus a 32' extension ladder. at somepoint you'll need a 40' ext. ladder, we use it at least twice a week on one of our crews. two climbing harnesses and two strong ropes, drill, and other misc. tools as you go. don't buy the cheap ladders, they break after a season. buy little giant only for the step ladders.

the first two or three jobs are learning jobs, and you buy alot of things the first few jobs and feel as though you don't make that much. then the 4th or 6th job you don't buy any tools, by the 12th you are going pretty fast. the real money is made in following years as you have guys that are trained and you do rehangs.

It is crazy business, but I love it.