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  #1  
Old 11-27-2010, 01:20 AM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Fayetteville,AR
Posts: 3,654
low cost sales ideas for right now

call the local newspaper and offer to give tips on Christmas light safety, ladder safety and roof safety for a christmas light installing article of someone will write it.

call the local TV news and ask them if they want to run any stories on Christmas lights or outdoor decorating. do this at least once every 3-4 days. think of one of your customers that would love to talk about you and why they hired someone.

call your local Christian radio station and ask them if they would like to run a promotion with folks sending in letters telling why thier family should get thier home decorated for free on the 14th of December. You can use the inventory left, remainder of c-9s or a few light links here and there, and you maybe get another article in the paper. you are really only out the labor to put them up and down and you are renting the product for free you had laying around anyway.

same deal, Dec 14th, different direction- contact the local VFW for trying to find a military family that has a husband deployed overseas and you can put up lights for wife and kids. again, get local help from newspaper or tv asking folks to write letters withtheier story , and let the VFW choose who gets it, so it does not appear you are biased one way or other, and further, the folks who do not get chosen don't blame YOU. again, rent product for free that you had laying around anyway, and you are only out your labor.

In the newspaper, give them a press release that is stating you are sponsoring a local outdoor Christmas Decorating contest and have folks submit entries with you being the judge, and let the prize be a huge 7 foot wreath, or HBL personalized light pole ( get a custom sign that says "Christmas light winner 2010 - thier name), or some large item, This would cost you a couple to a few hundred bucks, but again, gets you in the paper, gets all the Christmas crazies sending you pictures, letters, and you never know, they might buy stuff from you later. maybe even stretch out the publicity by announcing finalists in the paper or on the news and letting folks vote by phone or email to get the public involved. you have to get thier name and address to confirm they are a real voter and not just padding the vote, and those names become a data base of folks who care about lights or know someone who does.

florists and interior decorators, and decorator shops can be a source for folks looking to do outside decorating. they need your full color tent business cards with 3 photos of jobs with lights on them from HBL or preferably your own.
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Old 08-24-2011, 11:35 PM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Fayetteville,AR
Posts: 3,654
After I read about the drought stressed business of the guy in texas in the other thread, I thought I'd ressurect this thread and let other folks chime in as well of other free things you can do now to help get your name out there for Christmas lights. some other ideas that I usually charge $350 an hour for-

networking-

find your local BNI ( business Network International ) chapter if there is one and visit for free for 3 weeks, make friends quick and and offer to sub for other folks when they are out. we have subs at my meetings nearly every week. subbing for others is free.

Find the local chamber of commerce and see if they have a breakfast meet and greet and see if you can attend a few meetings before you commit to being a member of the chamber. bring cards and pass them out. our chamber meets on thursday mornings twice monthly.

call the local party goods store and/or party planners, event planners, caterers, and let them know you exist for Christmas parties and other events and offer to give them a finders fee ( we do 10% of what we earn at party) for referring you to a party . we often will put up minor to major mini lights and c-9 lights we have laying around for evening parties, weddings, etc. folks that have a big Christmas party with a caterer or party planner usually want Christmas lights.

those temporary pop up halloween stores are gonna start opening up here and there and I usually have my cards on the counter, or brochures or catalogs. and sometimes get a halloween party with red or orange lights and then we convert them to clear for Christmas lights. people that spend alot on halloween also spend a lot on Christmas .

internet:

set yourself up on craigslist, update it weekly, but these leads tend to be value shoppers. but it is free.

set yourself up on angies list and ask some of your best last year customers to give you a good review. be aware, anyone you have upset will then be able to vent and make you look bad.

list yourself on google maps in every city you can do jobs in. Use Christmas Lights and Holiday Lights in your description. you'll come up when folks google that and the town you list your address in .

setting up service magic is free, but it costs you for every lead that you get. but they usually hire somebody...

other stuff-

see if you have a local trade partners group. ours costs 100 bucks to join, but you get 100 bucks in trade credit dollars back. so you can spend that with any business that is in the trade group. ours lets you set how much of the transaction you are willing to trade. we are going to do 50% .

find the local magazine or newspaper person that does all the social charity events and find one event or several in the next 30-45 days that has a silent auction to raise money for something, and donate a wreath installed or christmas lights installed ( rent it for free and install and takedown for free, but they don't get to keep the wreath or lights ) in exchange for coming to the event and leaving busines cards beside the wreath or auction bid card. when you go, dress nice and be ready to meet and greet folks with cards in your pocket.

Just please, don't sit at home and wish you had done something. USE YOUR TIME NOW ! you won't have time in Novemeber.
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:48 AM
TexasFire221 TexasFire221 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 461
Thanks Dave. I definatly wont be sitting at home but the funds are an issue this year. I am a member of the chamber and they send out a monthly mailer that I can put my flyer in. It goes to all the chamber members. I of course will put out the yard signs, that always brings in the calls. I have quite a few door hangers that I will put out to neighbors of the homes we decorate this year which i will probably get up a little early this year just to try and bring in more business. I am pretty sure the direct mailer is out, just too expensive this season. I know the radio station owner here so I will try something with him but im my little small town the money just isnt here for for big projects. I will just have to do what I can with the funds I have.
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  #4  
Old 08-27-2011, 10:08 AM
TimNNJ TimNNJ is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Mid New Jersey
Posts: 317
Great advice Dave...I am a member of a big local chamber here and another networking group..I met a few Electricians that own companies and they don't want to bother with lights...They will send their leads my way and even their current business...I think if we plan early enough this year should be good..
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:31 AM
TexasFire221 TexasFire221 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 461
We wont have any lawns to put signs in. 14,000 acre fire going right now in the area. Has burnt down 400 homes and businesses. Im not sure I will have a christmas light season.
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