Thank you very much for the insight/support. Yes to all of your questions regarding our current business model. We never get the cheap landscape/hardscape/planting/irrigation jobs either but you are completely right that I am much more confident in our design/build services than lighting at the current moment in time so I can sell those with a generally high success rate (albeit this year has been a little strange). We made the jump about a year ago to bring irrigation in-house and slowly that has become a pretty significant part of our business so I guess I shouldn't look at lighting any differently.
To address your bullet points:
1) Photography is an area I have down pretty well as it is a hobby of mine. I do on occasion hire a professional photographer friend of mine for special projects but we have some pretty nice shots of most of the projects we do. I posted a thread
a little while ago showing a multifamily residence we did that has some pretty neat lighting given the low budget. There are things I would have done differently but oh well.
2) Working on this part. I understand the circuit/loading stuff pretty well. Its just a matter now of finding what products for what purpose I like most.
3) Revamping the website as we speak to get this at the forefront.
4) I tell a lot of customers that they are welcome to bid out the project but I am letting them know in advance that we will not be the cheapest. It might sound goofy to some but it eliminates the tire kickers and I can quickly "read" if they are looking for cheap or quality. Hopefully with the next few lighting projects I have coming up we will be able to get a stronger portfolio going and confidence as well.
5) I have a degree in landscape architecture. It took me years to get customers to not balk at "you are charging me for design?!". I got cussed out once by a potential customer because I told him we charged but I sure as heck won't give away a large amount of my time for free!
Thanks again for the reply and I'll be in touch. For now it sounds like its time to just put my head down and wade through it.