I agree somewhat. the importance is the 5k plus. My average install this year is around that, but I don't have a bigger one ( 10-12k plus ) yet this year to bump up the average like in years past. It just saddens me that it takes a grand to make 5 or 6. I would be way happier with a 10% advertising cost than 20%. and this is money spent on top of an already good reputation, and other advertising in place by way of yellow pages, truck graphics and signs, and yard signs.
my call volume is down some, but I have gotten a referral boost from my BNI network group, that 500 bucks spent has resulted in over 7 grand in work in my first 3 months of membership from march thru june, 2.5 grand of it lighting. you might check out a successful BNI group in your city, one with at least 25 members and see if there is an opening for the outdoor lighting spot. there is usually a landscaper and he will have to give up that category. I am the landscaper in my group, so I have gotten all the lighting plus the grunt work.