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britelights
11-24-2009, 09:52 AM
Commercial job...C-9s on their sales office, guard shack and Pavilion. Several places where the shingles are loose and the cord has come out and it's drooping. What's the best way to handle this? We had this happen one other time at a city gazebo...but was very small gazebo...convinced the City time to replace the roof (it was in horrible condition). Thanks for the help...love this Forum! And David -- love reading your posts --- we saw you at the HBL Convention.

wurkn with amish
11-24-2009, 07:31 PM
For loose shingles...
We will use adhesive
we will bend the tabs opposite directions (shingle tab ends)

David Gretzmier
11-25-2009, 12:24 AM
I use medium size binder clips ( the black ones ) to clip the wire on either every, or every other or every three sockets in addition to the all in one clips when confronted by shingles that seem to not hold down to the drip edge. it pulls the cord tight and it will not come down. those binder clips are super handy for cleaning up cords on the roof and for wreath cords as well. They cost about 10 to 15 cents each if you buy them at Office depot by the gross. we go through probably 500-1000 per year.

David Gretzmier
11-25-2009, 12:32 AM
not trying to take over this thread, but...

Thanks for the compliment and I think I remember you guys, there is no politically correct way to say this- were you the the couple that was female white and hispanic guy?

If so, I notice that you guys a week or so ago were on the HBL top buyers list. are you guys having a great season then? what marketing seems to be bringing you the most leads/closes in your area?

britelights
11-26-2009, 01:20 PM
Hey David-

Thanks for the idea on binder clips...very creative!!

And yes...we are that couple...lol. As far as our season --- it has turned out to be a great season. I was getting worried initially...which prompted me to turn to this Board actually...because alot of homeowners were looking for a whole house to be done for $500. And I can also tell you...after reading on this Forum and in particular your posts -- we started praying specifically for our business and this season. And wow...prayer works!!

Right now we are booked completely thru the end of next week and we have 1 small install scheduled for Mon, 12/07. As far as marketing...wow this has been a different season and a learning experience. I haven't had time to analyze my numbers as closely as you have yet -- but I will...right now we stand at approx. 21 new customers. Because postcards didn't work well for us last year, we decided to experiment and try some different things this year. I still did postcards on a much smaller scale (I use the 4x6 full-color postcards --- I don't use HBL's service -- I have them printed, buy my database and then make changes to that database, and I have a mailing house that mails them out). We also used the "Check a Pro" online service; took out an ad in a local area Coupon Mailer magazine; and signed up with Service Magic. I'm sure you can probably guess what happened with the online service and the ad in the magazine --- generated lots of calls for "we hang your lights" -- no sales. I started out very frustrated with Service Magic -- I then cut my zip codes down to about 5, and put $500 minimum in my profile. I finally got a couple good leads from them that generated about $7,000 in sales. We also do door hangers -- full color 2-sided.

What has worked well for us this year? Referrals, door hangers, postcards, and some networking. One of our customers does interior holiday decorating for a high-end florist in our area. I'd been trying to get my foot in the door with the owner of the florist shop for a couple years. Finally...she had customers approaching her for outside decorating because of their frustation and bad service from Perfect Light. That's turned out to be a great relationship, 2 excellent clients so far, and I look for more to come out of that next year. Door hangers and postcards have done pretty fair --- door hangers have brought in more customers -- but postcards have brought in more dollars. In fact, our postcards landed us a pro baseball player. My husband is a sports nut and he researched the pro players and some celebrities that live in our area. He makes sure "his" list gets added to our postcard database each year. It worked out well for him this year and he was thrilled!! I had also taken the advice of Chad from HBL and cold-called some HOA management companies. Landed a breakfast meeting with one and that has led to 4 subdivision entrances. They're small subdivisions but they also service some larger ones with nice budgets --- so we hope to gain the opportunity to bid on their larger ones next year.

And I've learned that I need to be patient, stick with my pricing, and wait for the good clients. They are out there. We had to weed thru alot this year -- but we are so thankful to be super busy now.

I'll now be researching your posts on some storage, organization, and crew management techniques...lol!! We knew we were pushing it to keep to 1 crew this year...and we'll be lucky if we survive the season :) -- but we'll be adding a 2nd crew that I'll head up for all of next week and then for next season we won't have a choice but to have a 2nd crew for the whole season.

Thanks for the inspiration David and have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

David Gretzmier
11-27-2009, 10:50 PM
ug. doorhangers. I am anti-doorhanger, but my competition has embraced the dark side, so I may have to. But if they work for you, then go for it.

again, not to pry, but what is your average sale on the new properties? selling mostly links or c-9's? wreaths, garland, mini's?

britelights
11-28-2009, 11:47 PM
We are all over the map this year with sales. We landed a nice commercial job for $18k that was all C-9s, garland, and wreaths. That's our highest so far. On commercial subdivisions -- the entrances have averaged about $500 - $900 1st year cost --- wreaths and garland. Did have one subdivision entrance spring for light links on all 4 monuments...beautiful...$3900 1st year. For residential -- we push light links really hard. When we started we had a strict no C-9 policy...then in the past couple years realized that we won't be able to grow this business like we want if we don't do C-9s. Still, we only do a few C-9 jobs...mostly light links on residential. Average sale on residential this year has been $2,800. In general, a residential customer will have light links, garland, and sometimes a wreath. We also push starbursts on stakes in the beds and starbursts in the trees instead of mini-lights. We HATE mini-lights -- lol. But of course...like everybody else...we do them when the customer insists. We do have some jobs in a very upscale area where mini-lights on trees is extremely popular. But you can also charge a nice price for it -- I've done several at $900 - $1,000 for two or three trees. Hard to turn that away.

David Gretzmier
11-28-2009, 11:58 PM
Although I love the big 10-20k plus jobs, especially the c-9 jobs the first year or next year, I hate losing them.

it sounds like you are doing awesome and the year has about a week more of good selling time.

go britelites!

Toy2
11-29-2009, 08:43 PM
Although I love the big 10-20k plus jobs, especially the c-9 jobs the first year or next year, I hate losing them.

it sounds like you are doing awesome and the year has about a week more of good selling time.

go britelites!What do you all use to seal your connections?

It never fails one house out of the 4 I do seems to blow after a little rain.....and I use the same tape as the others.....I'm wondering if I should use clear silicone on connections...:confused:

David Gretzmier
11-29-2009, 09:40 PM
I don't seal connections. I tried it for a few years, and it trapped water inside cords. the best bet is to just let them dry out and reset gfci's.

Jason Rose
11-29-2009, 11:22 PM
I don't seal connections. I tried it for a few years, and it trapped water inside cords. the best bet is to just let them dry out and reset gfci's.

Ditto. No tape. Make sure to keep connections out of gutters and valleys on the roofs. Open air below the plug is ideal, not sitting on the shingles. Water will run thru them, tape just holds in the water...

GFCIs are usually more problematic with lights on the ground. Never had an issue with roof lights and GFCIs.