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View Full Version : What are you doing right now to prepare?


DeepGreenLawn
09-10-2008, 11:02 PM
I met with the guys, guy and gal actually, at Christmas Lights Etc today on the other side of town. Just went and looked at their show room and stuff to get a hands on look at the actual products and lights. They didn't have anyone there that could help with any sort of "training," actually, it was me and what appeared to be two sales reps that were looking at everything. I was impressed with the lights... looked at c7s, figured that c9s were the same but bigger.
Compared the soft white, and warm wight lights together and I am pretty sure I liked the warm light better. Compared to the incandesant light that she pulled out I don't know how someone would pick that over the others. It was plain ugly. But I may be looking at this stuff wrong... I don't know... I do know that the LEDs looked much better to me personally. Got to get a up close look at the clips, they made a lot more since once I had it in my hand and was able to get a real good idea of how they work.
It was a good and interesting trip. I got one of their old catalogs, said they were sending the new ones to the printer this week and should have it in the next week or so.
I am REALLY nervous right now. I don't know if I want to do this this year or not... the problem is that the ad needs to be completed for the magazine by this Fri. I have the girls at the ad dept working on putting one together. Playing off my chem name and using Deep Green Lights. The logo will be similar, kind of have to see it to get an idea, once we get the new logo down I will try to post one of each. It has been fun preparing, I just don't know if I want to get all this going or not. It is a big step and appears to be a lot of work.
I took my right hand man, that is actually still in the air, with me so he could see them as well. He too has never done this and was kind of a lost sheep once we got in there. Just stood back and watched. I have been sending him info from here and other sites to help him get aquainted with the process. I am going to work on a sales sheet, bid sheet, to help him walk through the sales process.
I meet with my "electrical advisor" hopefully Fri morning. Still have to set up a time. Will be having a phone meeting with him tomorrow. He is the one who brought the whole idea to me and said he will help me get it started.
I guess it is basically a go... just nervous. But I guess you get those cold feet anytime you start a new business. The lawn care has done well and I am hoping that the christmas lights will do well as well. I just hope the market isn't hurting too bad with the economy too.
I guess there is only one way to find out...

What are you guys doing right now to get ready? Ordering lights? Checking bulbs? Installing? Have you started selling yet? When do the sales really start to hit?

I will start more threads to keep these seperate.

Thanks,

hotrod1965
09-10-2008, 11:17 PM
I'm always selling! But we really started selling last week to businesses.

I'm getting all the little things inline, like cords, plugs, people, and figuring out how much it will all cost so I can adjust pricing if needed.

DeepGreenLawn
09-10-2008, 11:39 PM
when you go to businesses, how do you find the correct people to talk to such as in the case of a shopping center? We have had quite a few new shopping centers going in this year and many more to come.

David Gretzmier
09-11-2008, 01:45 AM
We start hanging lights 4 days a week next week. You need ladders,tools and trucks in place, you need catalogs, proposal forms, measuring wheel, uniforms, samples to show customers.

you need to buy some lights and do your own house NOW. you do not want to wait and experiment on a customer. get some clips, cord, bulbs, and do your own house. That will get you over being nervous. light it up, take pictures, and take it down. reinstall it. that will teach you how to store and label, and reinstall your product. get a clamp meter and line splitter and learn how to use it on your lights on your house. How many amps are you pulling, etc. Do your own house before you ever bid a house. you will learn tons, and feel way more confident about talking to homeowners. hang a wreath on brick and plug it in. put mini-lights on bushes. put up garland. NOW is the time to do this. don't wait til November.

After answering 60 of your questions, you better do this business. I have too much time invested in you.

DeepGreenLawn
09-11-2008, 06:38 AM
After answering 60 of your questions, you better do this business. I have too much time invested in you.

LOL, that is what everyone said about the lawn care when I got it up and running...

I am going to... my biggest concern was that window where both businesses would be running at the same time...

hotrod1965
09-11-2008, 10:25 AM
This is great advice. I have my house and an employees house that will be up fairly shortly for training. This is how you should be training your installers/yourself. You don't want to look clueless at a job site.


We start hanging lights 4 days a week next week. You need ladders,tools and trucks in place, you need catalogs, proposal forms, measuring wheel, uniforms, samples to show customers.

you need to buy some lights and do your own house NOW. you do not want to wait and experiment on a customer. get some clips, cord, bulbs, and do your own house. That will get you over being nervous. light it up, take pictures, and take it down. reinstall it. that will teach you how to store and label, and reinstall your product. get a clamp meter and line splitter and learn how to use it on your lights on your house. How many amps are you pulling, etc. Do your own house before you ever bid a house. you will learn tons, and feel way more confident about talking to homeowners. hang a wreath on brick and plug it in. put mini-lights on bushes. put up garland. NOW is the time to do this. don't wait til November.

After answering 60 of your questions, you better do this business. I have too much time invested in you.

DeepGreenLawn
09-11-2008, 10:30 AM
I have about 4 lined up for training purposes. I could do more than that... I will wait to see if it will be needed. 3 of them are family and one is a friend. I figured we could do these at cost? And then be well prepared to go from there.

hotrod1965
09-11-2008, 12:07 PM
I'm not sure I would do a whole lot of work at cost.

DeepGreenLawn
09-11-2008, 12:34 PM
No... these are just a few houses that I can get under my belt. I figure it will pay off in the long run with paying customers.

Being our first year... how many houses do you think it would take to get the process down?

hotrod1965
09-11-2008, 01:22 PM
the problem is, there are no two jobs that will be the same. I bet you can get organized after two houses or so.

David Gretzmier
09-11-2008, 01:31 PM
I agree with hotrod, each house is different, but you need to get familiar with ladders, what tools and supplies you need for each job, and get used to walking on different roofs. after your 3rd or 4th house, you will feel pretty confident. You need to do an array of things, like I mentioned above. make them look beautiful for photo's. use a tripod and good digital camera and take pictures without a flash just after the sun goes down, not full dark or full light.use these photo's for your portfolio to help you sell and show folks you have done this before.

DeepGreenLawn
09-11-2008, 01:34 PM
I know that... I am just wanting to get the basics down... understand how the clips work, the best way to hide wires, straight lines, etc etc.

turf hokie
09-11-2008, 07:40 PM
Dont do that many houses for free. Put up your house, then take a breather, and take the house down. Sounds crazy but you will almost as much about how to install things by taking them down as you will putting it up. Then take another breather, and reinstall it using the things that you learned from the take down.

I learned alot about setting power in trees, crossing over lights when branch wrapping etc. by taking down what I had installed. You will also learn if you need more or less lights after you see it at night.

We have a rule around here, if you put it up, you take it down. I have had a few instances where the installer did not take the job down(especially branch wraps) and man was the take down guy cursing b/c he could not get the lights out b/c of crossed wires etc.

But you definately want to get started pretty soon. If you want some serious attention. Put the lights up now and light them. And everyone will think you are crazy----until they see your lawn sign and call for the same service.