hbl really worth it?

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by jay albers, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. jay albers

    jay albers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    been reading all day on this forum and thought id post.

    Like most i own a small lawn care company. its just me and another guy and was thinking of getting into the xmas biz.

    I have no experience what so ever in this.

    so i was checking out the hbl site , and it really worth 1500 bucks? i have no problem investing the money if i see it back.

    how does it work? do you get your supply right from them?

    how much will it cost me to start this thing up?

    lets say i get one of my customers to say yes. do I go buy the lights and then rent them to him?

    am i going to be out money that first year from buying product?

    O boy! so many questions!

    any help would be great, and I'll keep searching and reading. thanks guys!
  2. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,753

    Call HBL and talk to Mike, they are sponsors on here, he will give you the info you are looking for. I can give further info on other options as well if you want to PM me, see below for some specific answers.

  3. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 569

    My thoughts exactly.

    I am three years in this year, and I went with HBL after checking with the big three. I can personally attest to the quality of product, integrity of the company and Mike. Also if you would like you can PM me as well and I will go more into detail also.

    Bryan congratulations on making the leadership panel this year!!
  4. jay albers

    jay albers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    thanks alot for the reply!

    I emailed hbl and mike called me and i'm going to call him back today. ( we didnt get a chance to talk).

    Seems like november would be the busy time, i'm a little worryied it may interfer with my fall cleanups. first two weeks in november is when we bust them out.

    anyway thanks again!
  5. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    I think HBL is worth it just for the training alone. but having the noble garland garland and noble wreaths, plus the light link product, and the catalogs, it really sends a signal to customers that you have very high end product and it is priced accordingly. we buy a container load of HBL product every other year, and we sell every piece.

    I would not worry about the leaf work getting in the way. the first year most guys just pick up a few lighting jobs with some yard signs and maybe some existing customers. so you'll be adding a few days work up and a day or 2 in January taking down. even if you get 10 new customers the first year, most jobs go up in a day or less and come down in less than a half day. you will close most of your work the week before, the week of and the week after thanksgiving.

    we choose to primarily sell because I find I retain more customers on a year to year basis compared to folks who rent. I find that my customers feel they have invested in a product and take ownership of it. but there are tons of guys that love to rent. there are pros and cons to each and that has been discussed here more than once, and you can search and read it.
  6. jay albers

    jay albers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    seems like a hard sell right now tho, with the economy with the way it is.

    If I got them a couple years ago they'ed be a lock. If they pay a grand for lights there gonna have them put up.

    But right now? it will be a hard sell.

    Right now membership is only $500 which is'nt bad , but i'd want to go to the class which will be another $500 for airfare etc. then equipment, I figure another grand.

    decisions, decisions
  7. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 569

    That was my thought too. Much to my surprise it isn't. Up until last year, I concentrated on the light links, and didn;t fair very well, I fot business, but not as much as I wanted. About 1/3 of the way through lst year, i really started concentrating on the c-9, and things really picked up. I added four projects right at the end of the season last year because of offering the c-9's. I still show the light links, and tell the client point blank, we can give them something no one else has, or we can create a gorgeous display, but if they want what no one else will have, then you reach into the arsenal of the light links.

    To reiterate what Dave said, the mixed noble is just awesome. You would swear that it is real, and even three years later it still looks fantastic. Extremely full, different types of greens, just awesome.

    The catalogs are fantastic. They are full color shots of decorated homes, it really get the client going. All of a sudden they start anticipating what their house can/will look like. Then there is the software. There is a designer series and estimator. I just looked at the updates for this year, and see where it will save even more time.

    Then the support you get from HBL, second to none. I finalized my direct mail campaign last night, started the payment plan on it, and now have one less thing to worry about. I will have over 6000 post cards going out chosen demographically to where they will land, and it cost me 2500.
  8. jay albers

    jay albers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    I'v been doing my research, ( i swear!) but i'm not sure what you mean by switching to c-9s from light links.

    I understand they are a typ of light, but whats the difference?
    I'v read alot about c9s, what excactly are they?

    I also talked to mike from hbl, nice guy.
    how important is it to be at that class? I know its important but can i learn alot without going?
    thanks guys!
  9. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    I'm afraid you really need to go to class for a few days to learn how to bid, sell the product and this service, as well as install it and fix it. You need to see the showroom, the product, before you can even begin to sell it to customers. You are thinking aboujt Christmas lights you have seen, and 3 pages of info here will not scratch the surface of what you have not seen. trust me on this- if you spend 500-1500 bucks to get the membership and go to class, you will be FAR ahead of the game than if you stay at home and try to do it yourself.

    I paid over 20,000 bucks 11 years back to buy a Brite Ideas Christmas distributorship. It was worth every cent just so we could have the confidence to go out and market, bid, sell, install, takedown and store all the lights we sold the first year.

    You will still have to market, learn and work after training. but with HBL, when you meet a customer that wants to spend 2000, 5000, or 15000 on Christmas Lights you will be ready to make that house look awesome.
  10. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 569

    Dave, as usual, you make me look forward to your posts. I take what you say close to Gospel, you have been right in everything you have told me.

    The training, and confidence it instills, I could not agree with you more.

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