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Old 01-11-2016, 01:55 PM
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starry night starry night is online now
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Landscape lighting: geographical markets.

Just for the sake of conversation:

In general, large markets have more competition; small markets have less competition. How satisfied are you with your location in this regard? If you had the ability to move to another location for business purposes, would you?
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:08 PM
Chris J Chris J is offline
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Tough question! I'd like to stay in my large market and get rid of the hundreds of so called "competitors" who use this business as an add-on to another primary business. Those that do decent work can stay, but the water supply for the rest of them should be poisoned.
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:29 PM
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Classic Lighting Classic Lighting is offline
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There are pros and cons to each side. I'm in a small to mid-sized market with 3-5 serious competitors. With that fact aside, my biggest obstacle is describing what we have to offer. The common homeowner has never seen quality outdoor lighting.
In my opinion, I'm happy in my current market because of referrals and reputation. Could I make it in a larger market? Absolutely but I'd start without a client base. Could I make it in a smaller market? Probably.
I often look at McKay and marvel at what they have done in the mid-sized market of Omaha.
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Old 01-11-2016, 07:08 PM
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Mondragon Lawn Serv Mondragon Lawn Serv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starry night View Post
Just for the sake of conversation:

In general, large markets have more competition; small markets have less competition. How satisfied are you with your location in this regard? If you had the ability to move to another location for business purposes, would you?
Don't know how big my market is compare to everyone else's on here but I do live in the 4th largest city in the country. Every corner has some other company working. I like the city as I can select the customer I please there's something for everyone around here. Good topic btw Phil!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post
Tough question! I'd like to stay in my large market and get rid of the hundreds of so called "competitors" who use this business as an add-on to another primary business. Those that do decent work can stay, but the water supply for the rest of them should be poisoned.
I think you woke up a little cranky Chris, but i can't really disagree with you. I started lighting as an add on and it has done really well for me and have done more and more as time goes. The bigger competitors who dedicate themselves to lighting around me are really low on pricing so it's a challenge at times with new customers. It's still a learning curve for myself in this market and have appreciated the help from everyone on here.
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Old 01-12-2016, 10:54 AM
steveparrott steveparrott is online now
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Excellent topic Phil! Over the years I've seen landscape lighting sales best in warmer clients (no surprise there) then it follows population centers and focuses on regions of higher income. That's what we'd all guess.

But, what's most interesting to me is that some of the most passionate and prolific designers succeed in unexpected places - Omaha, Kansas, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Louisiana, and the list of smaller population states goes on.

It seems to me, that for these designers, their passion fuels their businesses - and despite their smaller markets, they find success because they are magnets to people who appreciate what they can do and are willing to pay for it.

I'm not saying it's easy to succeed in a smaller market. You certainly need to operate a highly efficient and smart business. And maybe you need to plow snow or put up christmas lights in the winter. Still, there's a lot to be said for carving a niche in your small town and building a good life among family and friends.
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Old 01-18-2016, 03:59 AM
Chris J Chris J is offline
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Originally Posted by Mondragon Lawn Serv View Post
Don't know how big my market is compare to everyone else's on here but I do live in the 4th largest city in the country. Every corner has some other company working. I like the city as I can select the customer I please there's something for everyone around here. Good topic btw Phil!!!



I think you woke up a little cranky Chris, but i can't really disagree with you. I started lighting as an add on and it has done really well for me and have done more and more as time goes. The bigger competitors who dedicate themselves to lighting around me are really low on pricing so it's a challenge at times with new customers. It's still a learning curve for myself in this market and have appreciated the help from everyone on here.
I wasn't cranky when I wrote that. Actually, it was written with a hint of humor. To be completely honest, I would actually welcome more competitors to my market, as long as it's a higher level of competition.
Presently, there are dozens of people around here that dabble in lighting, but few of them care enough about it to dig a little deeper and learn about design as well as the technical aspect of it (trouble shooting). In reality, I consider myself to actually have 2 or 3 real competitors. One of them is a franchise doing lighting only, one of them is an irrigation contractor and the other is a landscape maintenance company. I say competitor because these three actually install some pretty nice lighting systems, and they all charge accordingly (no cut-throat prices which undermine the trade). However, only one of them are doing more sales volume than me, and that would be the franchise operator (and even that is an assumption, but it's an educated guess). I would rather have 10 great competitors in my market so that consumers could receive proposals that are more comparatively accurate. As it stands now, if someone in this area gets a quote from the first 5 companies they can find, the prices are going to be all over the place..... however, the quotes from the 3 who actually know what they are doing are going to be similar. The problem with this scenario is that the end user (buyer) doesn't have a clue. He/she only sees the bottom line price, and sometimes they base their decision on that alone.... which is a real shame because the best value is rarely the lower price. If I had more "real competitors" the client would have to make their decision based upon knowledge, experience and references.... and, of course, the best presentation.
In the end, however, the potential client is going to buy from the one they like the most and feel the most comfortable with. Jacksonville, FL is the biggest city in the country based on land mass. My territory extends 65 miles to the North of me, 60 miles to the South and 40 miles to the East. There's enough room here for everyone to make money.
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Old 01-18-2016, 12:53 PM
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The Lighting Geek The Lighting Geek is offline
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I am in a what I would call a mid size market in Sacramento and also work in San francisco bay area (large market) which is roughly 75 miles away. I have made us very mobile and now we could travel anywhere and do work should the need arise.

I like where we are, but California is not a business friendly state, and costs are going up all the time.
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Old 01-21-2016, 01:50 AM
Chris J Chris J is offline
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Being in North Florida, it's always tempting to reach further to the Southern part of the state. It's no secret that the level of wealth increases dramatically the deeper one goes toward South Florida. Even though I have been pulled out of my territory numerous times, it has always been because of a special request, need, circumstance or a local client that also owns other properties outside of my region. However, the majority of my clients tend to stay with me and a large portion of my revenue comes from annual service contracts. I have to be very careful about that because too much travel time for service related calls can really hinder any business and their profits..... Any time I agree to a job outside of 100 miles away, I make sure it is understood that another company will have to provide the ongoing service and maintenance....... and I'm always happy to recommend a qualified company that is not in my territory.
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Old 01-21-2016, 07:58 PM
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Mondragon Lawn Serv Mondragon Lawn Serv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post
I wasn't cranky when I wrote that. Actually, it was written with a hint of humor. To be completely honest, I would actually welcome more competitors to my market, as long as it's a higher level of competition.
Presently, there are dozens of people around here that dabble in lighting, but few of them care enough about it to dig a little deeper and learn about design as well as the technical aspect of it (trouble shooting). In reality, I consider myself to actually have 2 or 3 real competitors. One of them is a franchise doing lighting only, one of them is an irrigation contractor and the other is a landscape maintenance company. I say competitor because these three actually install some pretty nice lighting systems, and they all charge accordingly (no cut-throat prices which undermine the trade). However, only one of them are doing more sales volume than me, and that would be the franchise operator (and even that is an assumption, but it's an educated guess). I would rather have 10 great competitors in my market so that consumers could receive proposals that are more comparatively accurate. As it stands now, if someone in this area gets a quote from the first 5 companies they can find, the prices are going to be all over the place..... however, the quotes from the 3 who actually know what they are doing are going to be similar. The problem with this scenario is that the end user (buyer) doesn't have a clue. He/she only sees the bottom line price, and sometimes they base their decision on that alone.... which is a real shame because the best value is rarely the lower price. If I had more "real competitors" the client would have to make their decision based upon knowledge, experience and references.... and, of course, the best presentation.
In the end, however, the potential client is going to buy from the one they like the most and feel the most comfortable with. Jacksonville, FL is the biggest city in the country based on land mass. My territory extends 65 miles to the North of me, 60 miles to the South and 40 miles to the East. There's enough room here for everyone to make money.
I'm really bad with humor in the world wide web as you can probably tell. I love to speak with competitors but the problem is they don't like talking back . What ends up happening here alot is that prices are so low and it takes me time to educate the homeowners on the product and service being offered. It helps that a lot of my customers have always been recommendations and have, on the most part, seen the result. pricing is just about everything here in Houston so it drives me insane at times but, i usually end up getting calls to fix the previous landscaper that installed their system. I don't like saying I'm the better one around here but i feel as I'm one of the few who actually enjoys doing it and love getting paid for it instead of just another source of income coming into the company. I've talked to maybe one other guy around town who I've had a few drinks with and that's about it and even then I sense hesitation on his part when we talk about work. I'm not trying to take the work i like discussing the work but our market is so saturated so I completely understand him. I like losing projects to him and that's about it bc i know he puts his all into the systems, lighting is all he does. Most Landscape companies just have their foreman install lighting systems really quick when they're doing the landscape work. With us having 2 highway loops around town and a third one being developed i can pretty much service all of our surrounding areas. Some have sent me to their second homes in diff. cities which is always neat, oh and get expenses paid by them so it's always great, it's usually a drag for servicing. The servicing is what usually gets to the customer around here bc it's expected for the landscape light to work like an indoor light, once the bulb is out you replace mindset. But once you explain how there's electrical problems outside as there can be inside as well. Ok i rambled to much already.

on a side note/ question how many of y'all on here do indoor lighting/ electrician work? I've always wondered since the other major competitor around town is an electrician, but with improper connections for the outside(wirenuts and black electrical tape is water proof in texas)
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Old 01-23-2016, 11:02 PM
kellanv kellanv is offline
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Good size market here. Lots of competition with a lot of cheap labor. There are some very legitimate landscape lighting companies here and a lot of fly by nights uplighting everything and calling it a day. Then again, I'm one of the lowly multi-disciplinary guys
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