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  #51  
Old 12-10-2012, 04:44 PM
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CleanCut1 CleanCut1 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Village Mills, Texas
Posts: 58
We sold 22 new jobs this year. My goal was 15 new, so I'm happy, but never completely satisfied. I haven't sold anything since 12/3, so I'm pretty sure it's over. I'm still getting two or three calls a day, but no serious customers.

I thought I had two more in the bag over the weekend. One wanted multi colored mini's and the other wanted blue C9's. Both were ready to buy if I could install right away, but didn't want to wait for an order. I had no multi minis and not enough blue C9's in stock, so they both passed until next season.
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  #52  
Old 12-10-2012, 10:47 PM
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PlantscapeSolutions PlantscapeSolutions is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Buda,Texas
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I had a tire kicker in a two million dollar house pondering 400'+ of C9's but it went no where. That made two big jobs that fell thought. I did get a referral yesterday that's going to be 526' of C9's on a three million+ dollar home. Great easy going client that listens to your fair price and just tells you to do it.

Had to shake 1000bulbs.com down to get a better price since it seems everyone is out of Minleon soft white C9's. I think I've picked up 14 new clients so far and it's got to be over by now.
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Market- Austin Texas Area
Employees- 3
Sales $300K+

Services-AutoCAD Landscape Design & Install, Maintenance, Landscape Lighting, HD Holiday Lighting, Masonry (Stone, Block, Brick, and Stucco), & Arborist Work

Accreditations & Memberships- BBB, TNLA, TPCL 611373, & Class 1 Nurserymen.

Market Niche- High end residential.

-http://plantscapesolutions.net/
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  #53  
Old 12-11-2012, 10:44 AM
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CleanCut1 CleanCut1 is offline
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Location: Village Mills, Texas
Posts: 58
At this point in the season it is very tempting to take some "hang the customer's lights" jobs. For the past week and a half I've taken tons of those calls. We have all jobs installed and there is nothing to do but repairs, getting organized, resting and waiting for take down. I could probably make a couple thousand extra by taking some of these jobs. I know I would probably regret it, but it is tempting.

I don't want my business associated with the low end "hang the customer lights" but there is so much demand for it. Everyone who calls wants to know if I can refer them to someone who does that. I wonder if it could be profitable to set up another business under another name to handle those jobs? When the caller asks for a referral, I hand them off to the sister company.
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  #54  
Old 12-11-2012, 11:22 AM
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addictedtolandscaping addictedtolandscaping is offline
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There has to be something to it, the ones that I have parted ways with over the years are having lights installed, by one of those ones that will also go to Walmart and put them up. Ya know, the $250 and up guys.

What would concern me about doing that, an I did for the first year, just to recoup some of the investment, the headaches. My lights don't work, my breaker keeps tripping etc etc. Then consider the quality of the lights and the safety of them.
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  #55  
Old 12-11-2012, 06:50 PM
hotrod1965 hotrod1965 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SE Michigan
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Here's how I did it.

1. Draw up an agreement that says "these are your lights, your problem, no warranty, I charge every time I come out here ...etc"

2. Charge them $100-150 per hour to hang up their lights. Have a price list for extras such as , extension cords..etc.

You will scare away most people, because they are really only looking to pay $15-25 per hour. Which isn't worth any true businesses time as it's prolly really costing you somewhere around $40-50 per hour just to operate.

The jobs you get will be worth it because you will have the chance to dazzle them and eventually get them into your system (happened 25% of the time) The rest will be with you for a season or two then go away, but you made $100-150 per hour for your time.
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  #56  
Old 12-11-2012, 11:49 PM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Fayetteville,AR
Posts: 3,648
got #50 yesterday. still did a bid today and have 2 scheduled tomorrow. more may or may not happen, we will see. have went to one fix and add on/ install crew, and one landscape light install crew. I actually have a takedown scheduled this friday for a client that is moving, and have the opportunity to takedown some of the college buildings we do next week. may do it if the weather is good. never know, might get rained out right after Christmas day.

I have referred folks to 2 local companies that hang clients lights. I have done a few. sometimes you can bring them over and sell them product, but usually not. and it tends to just confuse your employees when you send them there for rehang or whatever. If you have nothing else to do, then gernerating income is always good. we try to focus on spending payroll dollars on things that make us money first, save us money second, and make our jobs easier 3rd.

having my new secretary call 25-50 folks per day to check on their lights and get email addresses has been a blessing and a pro-active approach to keeping customers for next year. I can't count the number of customers I have lost that never called me but were unhappy and did not use us again. hoping to help close the back door a litle bit by calling folks. plus it generates work for the guys and they always like that. calling all people in one area during the day, then I drive around that area from 5pm-7pm that night to fill out the list, really knocks down on the fix and drive time. I always hate to do a fix one day in a neighborhood 30 minutes from the shop and then be right back in the same neighborhood for a fix the next day.
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  #57  
Old 12-12-2012, 12:14 AM
PlantscapeSolutions's Avatar
PlantscapeSolutions PlantscapeSolutions is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Buda,Texas
Posts: 2,408
Quote:
Originally Posted by CleanCut1 View Post
At this point in the season it is very tempting to take some "hang the customer's lights" jobs. For the past week and a half I've taken tons of those calls. We have all jobs installed and there is nothing to do but repairs, getting organized, resting and waiting for take down. I could probably make a couple thousand extra by taking some of these jobs. I know I would probably regret it, but it is tempting.

I don't want my business associated with the low end "hang the customer lights" but there is so much demand for it. Everyone who calls wants to know if I can refer them to someone who does that. I wonder if it could be profitable to set up another business under another name to handle those jobs? When the caller asks for a referral, I hand them off to the sister company.
I converted one hang my lights guy this year. He bought $500 in new lights and we agreed to hang some of the light spheres they had. I thought it might be a dozen of the spheres but it turned out to be about 60 of them. I converted it into a $65 per man hour job and the labor was about $750.

Their spheres were past their prime so I think next year I'll be selling them new spheres as well.
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Market- Austin Texas Area
Employees- 3
Sales $300K+

Services-AutoCAD Landscape Design & Install, Maintenance, Landscape Lighting, HD Holiday Lighting, Masonry (Stone, Block, Brick, and Stucco), & Arborist Work

Accreditations & Memberships- BBB, TNLA, TPCL 611373, & Class 1 Nurserymen.

Market Niche- High end residential.

-http://plantscapesolutions.net/
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  #58  
Old 12-13-2012, 09:41 AM
MMarlow MMarlow is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Posts: 9
I normally don't sell in the install side of our company, but this year I have sold 8 jobs. With one commercial job in there. The commercial job was an easy install at a retirement center which quickly accepted by $3,500 bid for Light Lights, Cone Trees, Starbursts and Light in two trees. The install crew was there for 2 hours tops. The latest was a couple who stopped into the retail store, I pulled their house up on google and designed up a 25 light link house with a 5' wreath and 3 garlands around their arch...the best part of that house what the 8' Cherry Blossom Tree they purchased on a whim...added $1,000 to the bid for little over 3K. The guys put in 3 hours on that job. If I had to put a number to what jobs I sold this year, I believe it would be 20K+...and that wasn't really trying to do more. Our Omaha division has had a 6 digit increase this year...think about the competition we have in this city.

I love this business, you start with a blank canvas and create magic on every home. Sometimes you can't please everyone, but on the average you will make an impact for their holiday season. It's great to see everyone's success.

Everyone have a great holidays...next phase take down and storage.
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Happy Holidays,

Mike Marlow
Holidynamics.com

Last edited by MMarlow; 12-13-2012 at 09:42 AM. Reason: finishing last sentence
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  #59  
Old 12-13-2012, 10:08 AM
PlantscapeSolutions's Avatar
PlantscapeSolutions PlantscapeSolutions is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Buda,Texas
Posts: 2,408
Quote:
Originally Posted by MMarlow View Post
I normally don't sell in the install side of our company, but this year I have sold 8 jobs. With one commercial job in there. The commercial job was an easy install at a retirement center which quickly accepted by $3,500 bid for Light Lights, Cone Trees, Starbursts and Light in two trees. The install crew was there for 2 hours tops. The latest was a couple who stopped into the retail store, I pulled their house up on google and designed up a 25 light link house with a 5' wreath and 3 garlands around their arch...the best part of that house what the 8' Cherry Blossom Tree they purchased on a whim...added $1,000 to the bid for little over 3K. The guys put in 3 hours on that job. If I had to put a number to what jobs I sold this year, I believe it would be 20K+...and that wasn't really trying to do more. Our Omaha division has had a 6 digit increase this year...think about the competition we have in this city.

I love this business, you start with a blank canvas and create magic on every home. Sometimes you can't please everyone, but on the average you will make an impact for their holiday season. It's great to see everyone's success.

Everyone have a great holidays...next phase take down and storage.
How did the cherry blossom tree's do this first year? How many do you think you sold versus the number you brought in. I know that's a tough big ticket item to judge the demand for.
__________________
Market- Austin Texas Area
Employees- 3
Sales $300K+

Services-AutoCAD Landscape Design & Install, Maintenance, Landscape Lighting, HD Holiday Lighting, Masonry (Stone, Block, Brick, and Stucco), & Arborist Work

Accreditations & Memberships- BBB, TNLA, TPCL 611373, & Class 1 Nurserymen.

Market Niche- High end residential.

-http://plantscapesolutions.net/
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  #60  
Old 12-13-2012, 10:23 AM
MMarlow MMarlow is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Posts: 9
Well we sold two of the 8 footers over the weekend...it's a higher ticket item. It needs to be shown to appreciate the detail we put into them...as many of the larger cherry blossom trees are all tape base, ours have a look and feel of an actual tree trunk...gives it a real looking feel.

To answer your question, we brought in 110 trees this year...some were already purchased on pre-orders from our Kickoff. But we have (13) 8' and (6) 6' left in stock...we demoed them at a couple commercial locations and had a 80% close ratio. Keno areas, Car Dealerships, and high end salons.

We are looking to expand this part of our product offering next year.
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Holiday Lighting is an Art between Chaos and Bliss!

Happy Holidays,

Mike Marlow
Holidynamics.com

Last edited by MMarlow; 12-13-2012 at 10:29 AM.
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