how much population and years to be full time?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by David Gretzmier, May 2, 2009.

  1. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    I wholeheartedly agree on the website thing. I have hired a marketing company to do a simple but professional one for me, and we'll see how that works out.
  2. NightLightingFX

    NightLightingFX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 580

    KISS, Don't spent a small fortune on a website. Start out with one page with a couple of pics on it. Then as you get more ideas, more pics, more things to promote start adding more pages to your website. It just seems in this day and age if you don't have a website you are missing out on an opportunity to establish yourself as a serious professional in your field.
  3. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    We are currently running a 3way attack on our marketing. We are doing 70,000 pieces in a local magazine. between 25-35 thousand pieces of direct mail 6x9 postcards and we are doing 70,000 pieces with RSVP this month too. We have been averaging 6-8 leads a week. We are targeting for 48k in gross sales per month, so far we are on track with one month down. It is a large financial commitment every month to get these leads generated but is paying off so far.
  4. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Re: websites. I firmly believe that if you are going to do something then you should do it to the best of your ability. What you spend on your website will directly reflect in the quality of that presence and its functionality.

    Ned says to not spend a fortune on a website. I say why not? Once published it is an enduring public statement that reflects the quality, professionalism and even ethics of your business. Maintenance and updates need not be frequent and are generally very inexpensive. So, I say, blow your budget on the website! Hire a professional web developer to research, build, edit, publish and host your site. It will not be 'cheap' to do, but what good things are cheap?
  5. NightLightingFX

    NightLightingFX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 580

    I don't disagree with James. If you have the money put it toward your website. If you don't have the money. Start out small and make sure what you do, LOOKS GOOD! I am very proud of my website, it didn't cost me a fortune. I started off with just one page and grew from there.

    Doing a website is an art just like what we do. You need to find someone who takes that approach.
  6. NightLightingFX

    NightLightingFX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 580

    In regards to a website, whether you spend a lot or not I think the biggest factor to have a good website is that you personally MUST have A LOT of pride in your website. If you aren't involved in making it look right then it is going to look generic. Make sure you hire a web guy who takes an artistic approach but also lets you make your input.

    Dave your statement, "We will see how it works out." Gives me the impression you won't have a very good website. You are an outdoor lighting guy, I am assuming you have some artistic talent or you wouldn't be in the business. Take that artistic ability and put that talent into making a website you are proud off. If you take a half a$$ attitude you are going to pi$$ more money away.
  7. The Lighting Geek

    The Lighting Geek LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 886

    I would agree with investing in a website. The best campaign is to keep your ads simple and direct everything to your website. You can change your info, pictures, etc. quickly on the website but literature cost s more to change. Keep your message short and to the point and send them to your website is the best. You cannot spend enough on a website if done properly by a professional. I am currently redesigning my website with a company that specializes in website design.
  8. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    double post
  9. Eden Lights

    Eden Lights LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 805

    Lazy, I spent 5K on a website almost 24 months ago and they still want about 50 more pictures before rolling it out. You know how much time it takes to get 50 great shots! Lazy is all that I can say.
  10. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    basically I am paying a marketing company who has a website developer on staff. aprox 4 pages to start, and the idea is to make this look as good as any landscape light franchise out there. we email attatchments back and forth. I have already creatively adjusted the header and menu options and filled out some biography questions. My goal is to make it a great website, but I cannot create from scratch, but I do well at changing stuff I don't like. That is the process that seems to work with me and the web designer.

    BUT- I'm not so sure that a 30,000 buck website will develop the same leads as firefly mentioned above. That may be the best yet info I have seen on how much do you have to spend to generate enough leads to "get there"

    6-8 leads per week is leading to 48k in sales per month, or roughly 12k per week. in my market that is 2.5 average jobs per week, and this is the kind of volume I want to do at the bottom end.

    My estimate of what it would cost me to put those kind of pieces out-

    30,000 pieces of direct mail has got to be at the saturation rate on postal route codes to be even remotely affordable. picking and choosing addresses and printing, postage, addressing, etc, would put that cost at close to 45-50 cents per item. $12-15000 bucks. you can print them at that volume at around 4 cents each, or 1200 bucks, but the postage can't get much lower than 18 at the saturation rate, and you still gotta pay someone to print addresses in order. maybe 7500-9000 on the bottom end.

    70,000 pieces of full cover pamphlets will cost you a nickel each, or 4x6 color postcards can be printed for 2 cents each , $1400 and then you gotta pay a magazine to put them in, maybe , 2 grand, 5 grand? I'll guess 4500 total for that.

    I think RSVP is pretty cheap, but you still gotta print the postcards, so I'll say $3000

    so a 15-19000 monthly local media buy to get 6-8 leads per week, generating 12k/week 48k per month, in starting up a landscape light division in an established electrical contracting firm is a pretty good indicator what you need to spend for what I want to achieve. whoo boy.

    and yes, I know, this is probably one of those snowballs that rolls down a mountain. that media buy should bear fruit the next 3-4 months, and even more so when you get to "touch " people the 2nd, 5th, and 10th time. it will essentially do 2 things at that volume- it will create demand for the service, and keep folks who want the service before you ever mailed them from picking up the yellow pages and calling someone else. they will just call the number on the card they got last week.

    my gut tells me this kind of volume advertising should be generating crazy volume leads in a few months.

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