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Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Mike M, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,946

    Curious if anyone here is, or is considering, diversifying; either going inside with lv lighting and working as a designer with EC's during new construction, or, expanding your design/build business with water features or putting greens, etc.

    Unique has a great shot of a putting green, beautifully illuminated and well landscaped.
  2. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,535

    Do you think there's a big market for putting greens? A Google search yielded a lot of hits....and a lot of ads.... you might be onto something...
  3. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 6,462

    There are three companies that I have seen here in the DFW area that only do putting greens. So it seems like it could be a big thing. I think water features would also be a good thing to get into.

    If you want to see a bad a$$ water feature, talk to Tim Ryan
  4. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    We do Christmas and Landscape lighting, have 4 very nice maintenance accounts, I have done some deck work and built a couple "pondless" water features this year, some rock/bed construction work, some landscape light service work, some irrigation repair and install, etc. In my market it is a good thing I have been doing landscape/lawn stuff for over 25 years. I really could not feed a family of 6 on just landscape lights in 2008.

    I do see a day when that could happen with maybe 5 years of marketing and saturation here. I really don't think my experience is a matter of the economy in general, as I have done 3-4 times the landscape light jobs I did last year, but rather getting the word out to all folks who are in the demographic that buy the landscape light projects. If the landscape light side of my business grows like it did this year, in 5 years this will be a full time for 2 guys "off christmas light season" business. In 8 years it will probably be cutting into my christmas light business and need to be run seperately.
  5. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    oh yeah, I used to own a business with a partner who had paid big bucks for a putting green "franchise". in 3 years we included that fact in catalogs, brochures, web marketing, etc. we sold 1 putting green. I would not count on putting greens to be a revenue creating stream.
  6. Mark B

    Mark B LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    Well I do backhoe service as well. I do some digging at the local university. They hire me to dig from point A to point B and install 4" conduit. I'm also am looking to go to work for a bigger company. I am alittle worried about winter coming.
  7. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    Diversification can eat up a lot of time and capital. Think about it.. for a small operation, do you really have the time and wherewithall to open another business in a complimentary trade (water features etc).

    I gave this a lot of thought. And I talk to my advisors about it too.. They helped me focus a lot and have started me down the path of Vertical Integration. This is another way to diversify your business and holdings.

    By vertically integrating your business, you are getting involved in multiple layers of the same industry. It is an excellent strategy for sustained growth as well as sheltering you from any downturns.

    Do some looking into this yourself before you venture off into a completely different direction.

    Best of luck.
  8. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,946

    Okay. Mixed responses.

    What I like about the putting greens is the lifestyle and upscale clients. Same demographic as lighting (at least the lighting jobs I'm able to get).

    I also like the low cost of entry to the market. I can go to a training session, come back, advertise, and rent the stuff I need per sale. I can install the plants, lighting, and a putting green, all in one project.

    That's what I'm getting at. Utilizing the network of people who trust me for design/install of lighting systems to design/install other things they can enjoy.

    What the heck is vertical integration? If it's over 24' you can count me out.
  9. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    Most businesses you deal with on a daily basis are vertically integrated in some manner Mike. Look into it.

    Would you rather be paid one time per transaction or two, three or even four times per transaction?

    Have a great day.
  10. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    vertical integration was introduced by carnegie. In his steel business, he figured out he could make alot more money if he owned the iron ore mine, the coal mine to smelt the steel, a railroad,tug boats and trucks to transport to folks that buy it. and I believe he owned a company to build the factories and the equipment to make steel, not sure about that.

    I think James may be suggesting building your own lights, and wire and trans, but maybe not. I build my own lights for special applications, but only because I like to build lights and yes, I can do it for less money in materials, but I do spend time to make them. I know that James is on a path to build LED lights, but that may not be for you.

    I again do not reccomend putting greens unless you have a a 1 million person market. the demographics are the same as landscape lighting, but more limited, as 95% of your buyers will be either golfers or folks with young children. we had a market of around 300k and sold one. with a full time sales guy strongly suggesting them on every client and perspective client we had.

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