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View Full Version : setting myself apart from the competition?


head_start
07-17-2010, 12:59 AM
I have been looking to set myself apart from the others in my area for a while. I was given the suggestion of trying to offer irrigation, or landscape lighting as a service. I decided against irrigation, because no one around here cares about it, and i think lighting is much better to look at.

Is there anywhere to start with this? Classes to take? Books to read? Advice to be given? I am just not sure where to start, i know not to start plugging lights in because i have hung lights in a garage befor, but i bet that is different than landscape lighting.

Any help would be appriciated, or if this is a bad idea, tell me.

Thank you for your time.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-18-2010, 09:08 PM
First off, Start searching and reading this forum. There is a wealth of information here. There are many books on the subject of outdoor lighting design and installation. I would recommend you start with reading Janet Moyer and Nate Mullen. Many manufacturers and some distributors offer decent 1 to 3 day training seminars. Check out the contractor training opportunities from CAST, Vista, Nightscaping and Unique. Consider joining the AOLP, an association just for outdoor lighting pros. You can learn a lot from the diverse group of people who are members there.

Most important. Be interested, engaged, enthusiastic and passionate about this line of work. That will set you apart from the guys who are slapping lights in the ground to make some extra dough.

StoneFaced
07-18-2010, 09:40 PM
Find your niche and be damn good at it. Strong designs w/ quality, well selected material. Pay attention to detail. Consider the details that most competitors neglect. One example is the mulch not laying over the edges of the sidewalk and drive, or getting washed over on the first heavy rain...very simple to edge the concrete before mulch goes down...makes a noticeable difference, yet most don't think to do it. You know your on the right tract when you get regular drive by's, that are just checking the progress of your work...that also will reduce or eliminate advertising costs. If irrigation is down played, you might not yet be in the best places to work, or may need to reconsider the benefits yourself...so you can sell better...you can always sub it out...I do, and still make a nice profit. You can only do so many things WELL yourself...Focus on those things and let someone else do the rest.

extlights
07-19-2010, 10:36 AM
What part of IL are you from?

head_start
07-19-2010, 11:42 AM
What part of IL are you from?

central eastern Illinois, over by indiana about half way down the map.

steveparrott
07-19-2010, 01:49 PM
Head Start,

I encourage your interest in Landsape Lighting. Many green industry guys start in landscape lighting just as a way to make more money, then discover it to be rewarding in other ways.

A good place to start would be the business articles on the CAST site. You'll need to register (http://www.cast-lighting.com/register/) then login (http://www.cast-lighting.com/login/). You'll find the business articles here (http://www.cast-lighting.com/learning/articles/8).

Another resource, specific to your subject, "Setting myself apart from the competition" is an excellent recorded webinar (http://www.cast-lighting.com/flash/byc-6-09/byc-6-13.html).

Of course, you should also consider attending a CAST landscape lighting seminar (http://www.cast-lighting.com/learning/seminars-and-courses/) - a great jump start and confidence builder. There are none on the schedule now, but if you contact your local distributor, they may arrange one for you.

elegance_alex
07-19-2010, 09:47 PM
Do your best. Perform with integrity. Learn all the time. Wear clean clothes. Clean up after yourself. Work with great people. Make new friends. Love what you do.

head_start
07-20-2010, 11:02 AM
what is a webinar? i am a little behind on this tech stuff for being a recent high school graduate. do i just check out the cast website?

steveparrott
07-20-2010, 12:37 PM
what is a webinar? i am a little behind on this tech stuff for being a recent high school graduate. do i just check out the cast website?

Click on the the word, 'webinar' in my message above. When the page opens, click on the arrow to start the webinar - it's a PowerPoint presentation with audio from the live session. You'll need to have your computer speakers turned up.

Prolightscaper
10-04-2010, 11:16 PM
I encourage you to read the "Purple Cow" by Seth Godin and start being remarkable. This book has changed my life.