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Mike M
08-01-2008, 08:53 PM
So.

It's awefully hot and slow here. I just had a second prospect say wait until September.

irrig8r
08-01-2008, 09:00 PM
That's why I stay diversified... but lighting revenue was up for me in June, July and probably will be for August. And my main lighting season is usually October thru March.

Chris J
08-01-2008, 09:58 PM
Gregg, you actually get lighting business in January? I've always experienced a slow down right after Christmas and I've always attributed it too everybody taking a rest from spending after the holidays. However, it's always been a blessing for me as I'm so busy between Sept-Dec that I'm worn out. There have been a couple years in the past eight that I've actually done more work in the last quarter than the rest of the year combined!

irrig8r
08-02-2008, 01:35 AM
Well, everything slows down in January, but where I used to stay busy doing a lot of dormant pruning, the last two years I've had trouble fitting all the pruning in because of lighting. I have a couple of larger ongoing jobs where I have been doing piecemeal replacement/ renovation of their 20+ y.o. lighting one area at a time.

Last winter it was driveway, parking and entry areas. This summer it's the upper backyard. Next winter will probably be the paths up the hill leading to a vista area and flagpole.

I love customers that just say "do it when you have the time" and then leave me an advance and go off on vacation somewhere. They know it gives me a sense of artistic freedom and get the best work from me that way.

klkanders
08-02-2008, 08:02 AM
I love customers that just say "do it when you have the time" and then leave me an advance and go off on vacation somewhere. They know it gives me a sense of artistic freedom and get the best work from me that way.

I think we all love those kind of customers. Why can't they all be that way? I agree a healthy deposit does help bring out more of my creative and artistic abilities. :)

Mark B
08-02-2008, 08:37 AM
Things have slowed here for as well. I have been doing some underground communication over the past few weeks, or a local university. The irrigation work has been slow as well.

NightScenes
08-02-2008, 10:07 AM
This has been a very slow July here. We started off the year very weill with our Jan, Feb and May doing quite well but the rest of the year has been down.

shepoutside
08-02-2008, 10:43 AM
Best year for us, north of the border. The rainiest year to date, never seen anything grow like it has this year, just crazy. By now, it's usually starting to brown off. Everyone is so into there yards this year, they want it all, including lights.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
08-02-2008, 05:17 PM
A banner year here. Never seen anything like it. The jobs are lined up and we are fully booked for new installations into late October. I hired more help to handle the load and just today sold two new large installations to add to the list.

Just finished my largest ever outdoor lighting system! 321 Fixtures on 9 zones, full UPB, and nothing but the finest spec grade product. The client is thrilled! 125 guests there this weekend so I am expecting a few refferrals out of it too.

Time to take a few days off to recuperate. :)

Mike M
08-02-2008, 07:55 PM
So far there is an even split, which suggests an overall flat market. I think this is the slowest month we've documented yet. Especially if we eliminate the foreigners (eh?).

Chris J
08-02-2008, 10:09 PM
You also have to take into consideration the votes who are less than honest. It wouldn't be the first time someone over-exagerated their current state of success to stroke their own ego.

Mark B
08-03-2008, 05:04 AM
Now Chris do you think peeps on this site would do such a thing??? I don't think they would. I think everyone is honest.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
08-03-2008, 09:09 AM
Chris why is it that often times you berate or put down those who are enjoying success? Is it a jealousy thing on your behalf, or do you think that nobody could possibly be doing better then you are?

Instead of flinging around accusations of exaggeration and deceit, why not simply accept it and congratulate those who are doing well? Positivism brings Positivism and Negativity breeds more Negativity.... lessons I learned a long time ago.

Tomwilllight
08-03-2008, 10:47 AM
As of this moment, 64.29% of the responders report stagnate or reduced income. That, my friends is a business slow down; I'm not going to use the R word. Factor in that the 2 Canadian responders appear to have reported growth, the numbers will be even considerably worse for the state-side group.

What is missing in the above survey is location - there are other reports that the suggest downturn is not evenly distributed through the USA.

Of course our sample is much too small to mean anything... but it is interesting to me.

How do you plan to deal with changes in the business climate, if they impact you?

Tom

Mike M
08-03-2008, 11:26 AM
The poll is just a snap shot of trends. An accurate "one time only" sample would need at least 35 people. The good thing is that we poll mostly the same people monthly, over time, so changes or patterns in the poll should be somewhat reliable.

I'm using the poll my own way, which is to realize I could be wasting a lot of money on ads right now, and maybe wait for the fall months and hit it strong then, as Chris indicates.

I'm also curious about the influence of our economy on the so-called "growth market" of lighting. Also, which regions are effected most, and which business models.

My guess is those who spend their efforts on the upscale and he highest quality jobs should be impacted the least.

The cheaper aluminum powder-coat concept, and the DYI malibu stuff, seems aimed at the middle and upper middle class market and to ride a growth market. I'm not just guessing. I read stuff by Vista, who predicted lighting would follow the same trend that irrigation did. Cost-efficient systems have made irrigation not just for the rich. Only problem I see is that Vista (and Kichler, and Intermatic, etc.) didn't count on the impact of gas, war, the real estate bubble, etc., on the working class and upper middle class population.

I am using mailing list technology and printing services that cater to small runs of high quality post cards. I don't want to spend a cent targeting homes below 650k.

I think Gregg has a good idea staying diversified. I would like to explore some more high-end install or service work. It's a waste that my lawn customers are not in my lighting demographic. What a waste of referral sources. Has anyone else thought of adding other creative design/build services to their business, to take advantage of the referral network they have? If this fall is slow, I'll be doing my homework (putting greens, water features, etc.??).

irrig8r
08-03-2008, 11:35 AM
There is a lot of overlap with my lighting and irrigation customers. And both groups generate a lot of referrals too. I try/ tend to schedule more of my lighting work in the fall and late winter/ early spring before and after irrigation season...

But this year it's just been different... with the result that my lighting revenues are up and are more than my irrigation revenues these last two months. Some of it is pent up lighting demand... jobs I planned last February that I'm doing now for instance...

I seem to be alternating about every other week doing irrigation and lighting.

And BTW, I don't exclude many customers on the basis that I might be too expensive (let them tell me that)... I try instead to divide those clients' jobs into phases.. front yard this year, backyard next, or whatever...usually works into my scheduling and cash flow better anyway..

Chris J
08-03-2008, 02:03 PM
Chris why is it that often times you berate or put down those who are enjoying success? Is it a jealousy thing on your behalf, or do you think that nobody could possibly be doing better then you are?

Instead of flinging around accusations of exaggeration and deceit, why not simply accept it and congratulate those who are doing well? Positivism brings Positivism and Negativity breeds more Negativity.... lessons I learned a long time ago.

My comment was not directed at any particular person/s. I was simply saying that it is human nature for some to exaggerate in an effort to create an illusion that they are bigger/better than they really are. I did not berate or put down anyone, and I'm certainly not jealous. I'm also certain that there are people out there who are very modest and don't like to talk about their great success even though their numbers would make yours and mine look like chump change. Again, I wasn't calling anyone out. Sorry if my statement hit a little close to home.

irrig8r
08-03-2008, 09:59 PM
Chris,

I don't think it really is human nature to exaggerate the way you say... except for maybe those who are feeling inadequate or insecure. I've met James, and as far as I can tell he doesn't really fit into either category.

Chris J
08-03-2008, 10:47 PM
Chris,

I don't think it really is human nature to exaggerate the way you say... except for maybe those who are feeling inadequate or insecure. I've met James, and as far as I can tell he doesn't really fit into either category.

I met a very wealthy man a long time ago. As we sat on his beach front porch, we talked at length about image. He made a comment to me during that conversation that will stick with me forever. "When a man feels like he has to tell you he's succesful, he's probably not. If he tells you he's worth X you can rest assured he's worth no more than half of that."
This gentleman was the owner of dozens of multi million dollar biz's, and I'm confident the information is true. I've also been around the block a couple of times, and I do know that people tell lies. Think what you wish.

David Gretzmier
08-03-2008, 11:47 PM
Unfortunately I tend to agree with Chris on this one. The millionaires I have met, and actually a few in the 100 million plus category, are quite humble and seem to ask more questions of me than talking about thier success. The wannabe's tend to brag. But, to be fair, the wannabe's also buy landscape lighting, and the wealthier folk tend to want to hang onto thier money, as that is how they got wealthy. I have not met any lawn care millionaires, but I've met hundreds that brag about what they do and how big they are.

2 examples- I remember meeting a gentleman who had over 400 customers in Christmas lights. He definetely looked down on me and said I needed to get on the ball and grow my business. he went out of business the next year.

I spoke at an event last week in Omaha,Nebraska on Christmas lights and a gentlemen who has more customers than myself bragged he raised prices 10%per year every year. I asked him if he gave his employees 10% raises every year. he said of course not, it's closer to 3-4%. Even though he may be telling the truth, just because someone who appears to be successful does not mean they make good decisions.

Chris J
08-04-2008, 03:36 PM
Unfortunately I tend to agree with Chris on this one.

That sounds like a slap in the face. :confused:

David Gretzmier
08-04-2008, 03:45 PM
I meant, unfortunately, most people do tend to brag and exaggerate thier business and thier lifestyle. NOT, unfortunately, I have to agree with bad, mean ole chris j. no slap intended. *trucewhiteflag*

klkanders
08-04-2008, 07:33 PM
I tend to agree with everyone.......I think......maybe.

Keith

Chris J
08-04-2008, 08:07 PM
I meant, unfortunately, most people do tend to brag and exaggerate thier business and thier lifestyle. NOT, unfortunately, I have to agree with bad, mean ole chris j. no slap intended. *trucewhiteflag*

:laugh: Thanks David. I thought I might have been put on your bad list.