Plantscape Solutions Thread

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by PlantscapeSolutions, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,744

    Plantscape's budget is real shoe string at 3000. It really depends on how you want to grow the business and how serious your are about it.
    My 1st year we spent close to 10,000 on material and equipment. Then figure overheads on top of that

    Keep in mind it adds up fast. A little giant ladder will run you 400 alone.

    Good luck.
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  2. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,991

    I was lucky because I already had all the ladders, an enclosed trailer, and a place to store lights. I went nuts this last year and spent 5K on advertising and another 2K racking, tool boxes, and other stuff. I think I mostly just broke even last year. I will not do direct mail three times again. I think I'll skip the early batch this year.

    I'm also only going to push c7/c8/greenery this year. The LED Light Links no longer use the "Always Lit Technology" and are way too risky to sell anymore. Every time a bulb goes out on any LED Light Links or yard art stuff you will half the strand will go out as well. An average size home that never caused you much grief in the past could easily generate 20 call backs over a five year span. Do you think that is going to be a happy customer? The call backs are going to run you ragged and eat up your profits.

    Last year I unknowingly did one house with the new LED Light Links and another with yard art and they both had failures and I found out the hard way the Always Lit Technology had been very, very, silently killed off.
  3. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 569

    My first year I spent over $25k. Started from scratch, including material, advertising, trucks lettered etc.
  4. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    I have listed what I think is the minimum start up list on another thread a couple years back. There is just a ton of stuff. it seems simple until you list it all. the best way to figure out what you need is to do your house now with c-9's on front and sides, a couple wreaths, garland around your entry door and mini lights in all your trees and bushes. and buy whatever you need. clips, cord, bulbs, timer, ladders, etc. and then add up every dollar you spent or would have spent if you had to buy the item you already had. then I would triple that number. that would give you inventory and tools for the first few jobs. you will need some tall ladders, some short ones, and enough inventory to do a few jobs.
  5. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,991

    For anyone who has not been to Houston it is a very spread out city. The night life area is down town where the convention center is located. All the stuff you want to walk to is between the convention center and HWY 45.

    From the Holidynamics hotel location to the cool part of Houston is about a 25 mile drive. For anyone who goes and wants to have a good time at night and be able to walk from your hotel to the clubs and bars you need to get a room downtown.

    A month after the event in Houston is the Texas Nursery & Landscape Expo in Dallas. It's too bad they couldn't have the Holidynamics event at the same time. Christmas Designers, Christmas Decor, Novelty Lights, and a few others go to the event. Each year more holiday light suppliers are showing up.

    I want to check out Vickerman's showroom in Dallas this year.
  6. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,991

    My dealer had been trying to sell this power head for a T261 for several years. They wanted $250 but I got it for $200. I just have to stick the bottom end on from one of my worn out units and I'm ready to go.

  7. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,991

    Oops, I stuck my T261 on the wrong thread. I think this year I'm seriously looking at using Vickerman for all greenery. I just emailed Dara to see how much off list I can get certain items for. Vickerman does five years on the LED warranty (hear that NE). Vickerman has the most extensive line of greenery products on the market.

    From the plain plain but super dense Grand Teton line to the Cheyenne Pine that can match the best from NE they have it all with the best warranty in the industry. I just wish they had a warehouse location with their Dallas showroom. Even shipping from MN the shipping probably won't exceed the NE prices.

    I purchased one of Vickerman's high dollar exterior use trees last year from Dara. The shipping wasn't that bad considering it came in two huge boxes via truck freight. I think Vickerman is big enough they get freight discounts and do not milk people for handling charges.

    I'm still feeling very deceived in the way the superior LED technology was dropped last year with out saying a word until after the fact. Everyone should have been told in advance that they would need to buy a testing box and that every time one GD bulb goes out and your going to lose half of the strand. I had multiple failures on new stuff last year and the problem is only going to get worse with each passing year and cause some serious customer satisfaction issues.

    It seems to me that the folks in NE are are constantly focused on surviving one year at a time and put short term profits ahead of building long term relationships. I probably purchased 90% from other sources last year and it will probably be closer to 100% this year. $1500 down the drain. I wish I were a Johnny Come Lately and had only wasted $99. It might as well be .99 cents.
  8. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,991

    It looks Dara may be able to get me a 25% discount off list for the Vickerman greenery. At that price, level of warranty support, coupled with their high end looking material I think I'm going to try Vickerman this year.
  9. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    I have used Dara for some items, she is nice and will treat you right. I have continued to be thrilled at my decision to shun mostly all LED products. Garland, wreaths, and mini's really don't pull that much juice unless you get into a whole bunch of them. The best mini's do give you 6-9 seasons of service if you only burn them 4-6 hours a night from Thanksgiving to New years.

    Since I have never gotten LED's from HYDY, I have always had a great relationship with them. but then, when an incan bulb fails, you can lose 1/2 a set too. it is just far easier to fix.

    I appreciate the updates on what is going on in your business.
  10. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,991

    Is anyone else going to the June lighting show in Dallas in June? I also want to go by and check out Vickerman's showroom. I'm seriously looking at using Vickerman this year for greenery.

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