Customers lights or rent/sell lights?

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by Grass Man Floyd, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. Grass Man Floyd

    Grass Man Floyd LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    The economy in the last week or two really got me worried about some of the landscape projects I had lined up for the winter. I have started to offer holiday lighting but at a basic install this year since I have no training but wanted to see if it would be a service my costumers we be interested in. I have had some interests in the service, some of those who are interested were wanting us to hang the lights they already own. I am wondering if those of you who do holiday lighting take part in that or do you require the costumer to purchase/rent the lights. I realize I am starting about a month behind what I should be but gotta start some time. Please any input would be appreciated thank you.
  2. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    We push for them to use our lights, but we charge hourly if they want us to hang thier lights and we don't warranty anything.
  3. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,753

    I have tried to hang homeowner lights in the past. I will not do that anymore it was a disaster. However, it may work for others.
  4. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    as soon as you touch other's lights the customer will act as if you own them. They will not want to pay repair fees for bulbs, fuses, etc. They will call you when there is a problem and expect you to fix it. for free. this is a fact, so we do not install customers lights as a rule.
  5. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    We make then sign a contract saying we don't fix anything.. I would recommend anything you do in this business you get in writing.

    This year our rate is $100 per hour from the time the truck leaves until it comes back.
  6. worx

    worx LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    I have been asked 3 different times in the last month if I did holiday lighting. My answers were no, no, and I'm thinking about it. Let me ask this, as a hands on training tool, and an opportunity to create some income, would you consider a service to home owners hanging there lights? Charge an hourly wage from the moment you step on the property. This would include checking and changing any nonworking lamps. If you provide the lamps you would recover that money as well. No warranty, same hourly rate for all call backs, and removal at the end of season. I would hope this would provide some much needed income as well as buy me some time for formal training on product, pricing, etc.
  7. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    Alot of people just start out hanging lights that the home owner already has. I think that is a great way to get started. I did this for several years when I was running a lawn care company. It works. You just wont get a lot of high end customers. But it is a great start.
  8. Deltacare  LLC

    Deltacare LLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    We've beed doing this for 10 years now. There are a thousand ways to run this part of the business, just like every other part of the business. There are plenty of customers who prefer the way you do it over the way another guy does it. NO right, no wrong as long as you make money and are happy. We supply lights and use customer lights. You just have to put in writing what your policy is, AND explain the contract to your customer. We use their lights, they pay for any replacement lights at 1.3 x cost. We make one service call at no charge. All others are charged. The lights are the property of the customer in all cases. We also store for many of the customers. Mostly 75% res / 25% comm.

    I know there are a lot of people here that say there is only one way to work this gig, but it just depends on your situation (location, primary business, etc).

    Just a couple of to speak.
  9. Christmas Pro

    Christmas Pro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    As delta said, there area bunch of different ways you can run this business, however after a few years of doing both, we will never again install lights that a customer already owns. We make everybody buy or lease lights from us.

    Its just not worth the hassle, to deal with a customers, tangled, old, sub par quality lights, when there is such a demand for this service that you can easily find 10 customers to replace this one, and they will gladly purchase your lights.

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