can you REALLY make money doing xmas decorations?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Nov 27, 2004.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    while doing my business today, i saw a landscaper working on putting up xmas decorations for his customer. he was already there the first time i drove by. and he was still there the last time i drove by (3 hours later), there were 3 men working. considering they were already there, and then still there, i'd say it had to be a minimum of 4 hrs today. even at the rock bottom price of $40 per man hour, that's $480 just to set them up. i'd imagine taking them down would take even longer (freezing, ice on roof, etc). so am i to understand the client would pay $1000 + to have xmas deco put up, and taken down? the lawn service on a property like this is maximum $800 FOR AN ENTIRE SEASON OF MOWING. is there REALLY any money in this?
  2. sanfordandsonfan

    sanfordandsonfan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 103

    I was thinking the same thing yesterday when I was putting my own decorations up. It is crappy work and always cold / windy. Like my name says, I am a fan of the original junkman, and thats what I do in the winter. Hauling junk for realestate companies and my clients. Everyone has a garage full of crap they want removed.
  3. lafrance4078

    lafrance4078 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 246

    I had one of my mowing clients ask me if I could put up some x-mass lights up on the shrubs and in their beds in the front of the house. I have not advertised this service, so I had never thought about what to charge. I looked at it and told them that I could do it for 150.00 That only included putting them up and they already had the lights. It took me 2 hours and wasn't very difficult. Didn't even use a ladder. I thought that it was good money considering the only expirence that I have doing this is at my own house. I told them that I would come back the 2nd week of the new year and take them down for another 100.00 bucks. They said ok. Might consider advertising this service next year if I can do some research into the whole thing. Not sure about ins. though. I don't think that I would be covered if I fell off of someones roof while putting the lights up. Much less and employee.
  4. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    the only thing that worries me is the possible liability involved
  5. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    I suppose there is some money in it, but not for me. I want to stay on terra firma.

    I look at it like this. I could be climbing up and down some ladder and slip and fall. Say I only sprain my right ankle which I need to operate my $200+ per hour snow plow truck. BUT, now I can't. Oh sure, I could sprain my ankle slipping on my front stairs, but the chance of that vs. going up and down a ladder stringing lights and decorations is a lot less IMO.

    See where I am going with this?
  6. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,744

    Just committed to a decorating franchise for next season. All numbers, market analysis, etc point to 1000-1500 per install includes install, 2 service calls, and take down. Approximate 50% GP. Sure beats plowing snow at 3 AM Especially since I've never heard of a plow truck for $200/hr. Loaders with 5 yd buckets don't even get that around here.
  7. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    explain more about the decorating franchise, because I am curious. The length of contract, up front costs, etc.
  8. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Actually, I know of people who make more cause they have tighter routes, just like as in mowing. I've never heard of a decorating franchise as well. How much $$$ up front I wonder???
  9. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Posts: 3,256

    How do you arrive at $200/hr?????.
  10. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    It's called division.

    I divide the amount of money each truck grosses in a snow event by the number of hours it operates. We average $200 - $225 an hour. Period And that INCLUDES travel time from job to job.

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