How do you add "real" value?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by seolatlanta, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. seolatlanta

    seolatlanta LawnSite Member
    Posts: 176

    After looking at some of the posts on this forum it has become apparent that I am not charging enough. Therefore it has become obvious that I need to raise my prices. I have known this for a while.

    It seems that there is so much competition here in Atlanta that almost everybody except referrals gets 3-4 bids. How do I go about adding value?

    I believe in my design and my installation techniques but I need to get my fixture prices to @ $200 per. Seriously there is more than one company here doing ten fixture "package deals" for $1300 including transformer! I am anywhere between $140 - $160 per.

    I would like some input on how to run a PROFITABLE lighting business. How do i add value to my presentations and marketing so i can get to where i need to be.Do all of you guys do leave behind packets with pictures and testimonials?I have thought of leaving my laptop with my photos and info on it so they can look at it while I am outside doing the bid. Do I take the risk of doing less installations with more profit on the ones I do?

    I would love for us to have more discussions on this forum about business-I have all of the fixture knowledge i could ever need!!

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. High Performance Lighting

    High Performance Lighting LawnSite Senior Member
    from So Cal
    Posts: 326

    David, Let's begin this discussion with what brand fixtures/transformers are your competitors using?
    what brand fixtures/transformers are you using?

    aluminum, brass, copper, stainless composite?
     
  3. seolatlanta

    seolatlanta LawnSite Member
    Posts: 176

    Here is what I use for the most part:

    Unique Transformers and some of their brass and copper fixtures, especially downlights
    SPJ Par 36 directional
    BQL MR 16 Bullets
    Clarolox , Hadco, and Lightcraft East pathlights
    I love well lights but the pine straw and mulch here doesnt help.

    I would say my "average" fixture cost is $45-$50. I get a lot of stuff from Florida Outdoor Lighting and Clarolux-the best quality stuff I can get away with.

    The competition here uses tons of Vista aluminum bullets as well as knock off stuff- I know that Kichler is very popular across the country but I cant get it here. I have seen guys using well lights to wash walls etc!
     
  4. seolatlanta

    seolatlanta LawnSite Member
    Posts: 176

    I hope I did this right!

    BQLHollywood-lg.jpg

    Hadco Copper.gif

    BQLDallas-lg.jpg
     
  5. High Performance Lighting

    High Performance Lighting LawnSite Senior Member
    from So Cal
    Posts: 326

    many of the fixtures you show are readily available on the internet to anyone with a browser and a credit card. FOLD has an internet site where they sell the same fixtures for a few dollars more than you are paying. Have you to date found this to be an issue? Even if not currently, you are still building your business on a weak foundation by leaving your achilles heel exposed.

    Setting that aside. Why should I hire you over your competition that is offering low cost "package deals"? What do you offer that they do not?
    What makes you different and your offer better?

    What are you doing to build the "perceived" value of your services?
     
  6. seolatlanta

    seolatlanta LawnSite Member
    Posts: 176

    That is what I am getting at.

    What are some tips to build percieved value for myself?

    Also, I have not ever had an issue with the products that I am using-my clients rarely even ask about the products.
     
  7. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    David, I constantly design and install projects where clients had already gotten prices and demos from other guys. My projects usually cost at least 1/3 more than what had been quoted and I still sell the job. What I offer that they don't is me!! I sell me and my company. My design skills, my knowledge, and my service. There are a lot of people out there that are willing to pay for the best. Not necessarily the best products, but the best company and service. That's what sets me apart from my competition.

    You have to make sure that you are more educated than your competition and you have to make sure that your clients know that you are the best!!
     
  8. perfectlawncare

    perfectlawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 120

    Try selling your warranty Clarolux has a Lifetime Warranty. People love that!!!I always use this line. Can you ever regret spending more money for quality??? I know i sure cant.. People buy from people they like and trust. Also when you do give your price make sure you say everything your going to be doing and say all of that for ONLY $5000 or what ever your price is. Hope this helps.

    Jason
     
  9. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,180

    All good advice... Most the things on FOLDS outdoorlightingdirect.com website is at or near retail. If you can get full retail on all materials you should be close to your 200 buck mark anyways... I mean everything... drycons... grease tubes... wire... etc. Then ad a modest labor charge to it. Many people are becoming wise shoppers now and checking prices on the net. If I get someone who wants a full breakdown I use retail plus labor and not just a flat system price. Rememeber 200 a light is NOT always where you wanna be. See Mikes examples in the prospect says whats it cost thread. Big variation in cost there ranging from just over 200 to well over 300 per light. Long runs will eat your 200 a light.

    If the guy thats installing lights for 1300 and using alluminum I would find an alluminum fixture thats all corroded and then a copper one thats be installed about the same time and show them the diffrerence. I carry some CHEAP copper knock offs and some plastic lights and some alluminum. Then I show them a cast light or kichler light thats been installed several years. The cheap copper light I got is 2 years old and FAILED. On a few occasions I have flat out told people that got lower prices from joe lighter that I really dont think thier expectations can be met for this price they are being quoted.

    As far as adding value if they are on the bubble or ask me to sweeten the deal I will toss in an x-10 or maybe a little novelty light (people seem to like that kichler squirell on the stick but if you use it get a heavy duty stake) and if it takes 100 bucks off my profit to seal a deal vs getting a we will call you then so be it. Another point is ... will that other company be around to fix thier system and to maintain it at peak performance! Ask the client flat out. Have you ever regretted spending a little more on high quality ?

    my full page ad in the south mississippi scene was mailed out today! Hopefully good things will come of it!
     
  10. seolatlanta

    seolatlanta LawnSite Member
    Posts: 176

    Hey Billy,

    I know from doing all of the bids and talking with my accountant it seems that , for me and my company, $200 is the number to work around.

    I appreciate all of the input on this-I enjoy discussing the business side of our business as well.
     

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