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View Full Version : taking it to the next level...


David Gretzmier
08-17-2008, 11:41 PM
After doing about triple the number of landscape lighting installs this year, around 1 per week average from march-august this year, we are winding down the last 2 this upcoming week. Christmas installs start in 4 weeks, and although I am happy with doing one landscape light job per week during "off season, next year I'd like to double that. I am curious what you guys reccomend, or what worked for going to the next level in your business. I've tried limited postcarding, with limited success, and will continue with yellow pages, truck graphics. my dream would be 3 "bread and butter" jobs per week next year to go with the existing 2 days of maintenance. any ideas ?

Lite4
08-18-2008, 11:12 AM
The way I would go about it is to elect a fiscal conservative to the congress and the white house, but since we have neither of those on the horizon I think I would be extremely happy to just even be able to get one per week in the economy we are about to get. Sorry dark cloud. Been tough here.

NightScenes
08-18-2008, 11:19 AM
I think 3 installs a week is a lot unless they are small. We're lucky to have two and sometimes it takes over a week to do one. I have had zero luck with yellow pages and now only have a listing. I have a weekly ad in a newspaper that is direct mailed to a very upscale area and I do inserts in that paper as well. We also put out press releases on a regular bases and that seems to generate interest. Our biggest producer is still referrals and I expect that to always be the case.

Litewerks Expert Lighting
08-18-2008, 02:14 PM
I too will be content with one good size or two smaller cookie cutter jobs. Although this is only my first full year in business i've been doing about three a month with door to door marketing and word of mouth being my main means to more work. Next year I will definitely be stepping up the marketing to take it to the next level. I plan on picking a few good expos to get involved in and definitely a full vinyl rap on the truck. I worked for a lighting company for 6 years that did 2 jobs almost every day sometimes six days a week. So knowing where to set the bar was tough. In any case i will try to be optimistic and hope that we all have a stellar next year.

worx
08-18-2008, 05:59 PM
I just got a call today from a potential customer that recieved our post card about 6 months ago. It's amazing how long they hold on to those things. I will certainly improve my efforts for the upcoming fall season with the mailers. I have also recieved 2 potential clients from demos in highend neighborhoods. The demos and postcard mailers seem to be a good way to build that customer base. After that hopefully word of mouth will come into play.

Chris J
08-18-2008, 06:46 PM
One good way to build a good foundation is to join your local builders association and start getting your name passed around that group. It will take a while to build the relationships, but once they start coming it will be a good resource for work. Especially with the custom builders.

JoeyD
08-18-2008, 07:31 PM
how about putting a package togeather and start approaching architects and designers in your area! They always need a good installer!!

Chris J
08-18-2008, 09:27 PM
What do you mean "package"? Can you give me some ideas of the types of packages you've heard others use?

TXNSLighting
08-19-2008, 12:52 AM
Keep doin what your doin. Maybe start visiting pool companies, Interior Designers, Architects, Landscapers. All of those. Thats what im about to start doing.

David Gretzmier
08-19-2008, 01:17 AM
All good suggestions. The type of jobs that I call bread and butter are the straightforward uplighting homes/trees with 12-25 uplights on the front, 1 day and pretty much done. Although that may seem like mindless work to the many light artists on here, I cannot help noticing the incredible lack of any lighting that 98% of the high end homes have here. I'd love to have jobs that would last a week, but the reality is most jobs this year seem to be 1 and 2 day jobs, with a couple of 3-days.

There are about 500k folks here in two counties. the top 1% would be 5000 people. so say 2000 homes. I wonder why it is so hard to think that for 6 months ( "my off season" ), doing 2-3 jobs per week, why I can't market and sell to 3 % of those folks every year.

on yellow pages- I got several jobs from yellow pages ads this year, and especially christmas jobs coming up. Yellow pages get me jobs.

I'll be postcarding landscape lights one more time this year( september) and then hit it again in January/February. September also will be the start of 3 months of Christmas light postcards.

Mike M
08-19-2008, 03:35 AM
Has anyone tried the new postcard service at logoworks? It seems like quantummail.com. I gave up on quantum after two separate mailings that had ugly blotches on the color photo. Too bad, it was a cool and convenient direct mail service.

Chris J
08-19-2008, 08:19 AM
There are about 500k folks here in two counties. the top 1% would be 5000 people. so say 2000 homes. I wonder why it is so hard to think that for 6 months ( "my off season" ), doing 2-3 jobs per week, why I can't market and sell to 3 % of those folks every year.


I think 3% is reaching a bit too high. I believe the number would be more like 0.1%, so I would probably seek the top 3-5% of the income earners and expand your coverage area if you can.

JoeyD
08-19-2008, 10:42 AM
What do you mean "package"? Can you give me some ideas of the types of packages you've heard others use?

Well the "Package" could be different for different people and areas. Something I would consider would be a folder/portfolio that has a few photos of projects you have done, some daytime installation photos to show off some of the "trick" installation stuff you are capable of. Maybe a special kickback for each job they get you on....etc....It could also contain some refferals for them to contact to ask about your work. You get the idea. It is essentially a package to sell the architect or designer on allowing you to either completely handle the lighting or at minimum install their designs.

David Gretzmier
08-19-2008, 10:29 PM
We'll be offering a pretty nice "package" to all Christmas Light bids this year. Full color folder with bid, referrals, card inside. nice before and after photo's of landscape lighting/christmas lights outside, and I may add the "trick" photo's as well.

expanding my market to the top 2%,3% may make sense, and marketing to 6000 homes sounds doable, but a single mailing of 6000 costs about 3600 bucks for full corlor printing and postage, most of that being postage. at a .1% response, that might lead to 6 jobs, or around 15-20 grand in work. at a cost of 600 bucks per job, postcarding can get expensive, but I'd be glad for the work. since I've had mailings with 200 cards in neighborhoods where I've done work result in a job, I tend to target mailings in neighborhoods we've already sold work in, and mention the address for folks to go look.

also, it seems easier to spend 100-200 bucks here and there, than 500 or 1000 for direct mail.

going "mass" mailing of 2000 keeps it in my budget of spending 1200 or so per month ( jumbo postcards ), and I tend to target income and home value together rather than one or the other.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
08-20-2008, 08:53 AM
Granted I know nothing about the market in Faryetteville Arkansas, but David, instead of thinking about 6 jobs that produce $15to$20 grand in work, why not think about 6 Jobs that are $15 to $20 Grand EACH!

It will probably require a shift in your marketing strategy as I don't know many clients in that echelon that would have their attention captured by the efforts of a direct mail campaign, but I'm sure you get the idea.

Reach for the top.... the market is out there waiting to be served.

Have a great day.

David Gretzmier
08-20-2008, 09:12 PM
James- I agree about reaching for the top, as I want to market to the top 1%. I'd rather get larger jobs. 6 jobs at 15 grand each sounds wonderful. I know those jobs are out there, I just need to find them.

TXNSLighting
08-20-2008, 09:39 PM
James- I agree about reaching for the top, as I want to market to the top 1%. I'd rather get larger jobs. 6 jobs at 15 grand each sounds wonderful. I know those jobs are out there, I just need to find them.

dont we all... im half way there with my last three! tho since its been raining since friday i havent got to finish them...