Interested in entering holiday lighting industry for 2018

TXPL

LawnSite Senior Member
Been pondering this all year, but I've decided while I'm doing my own stuff to tinker with my stuff. Any general advice that you guys have? Franchise vs. Non, which wholesaler seems to have the least OOS/best inventory and reasonable prices...or just any other general info. It all is appreciated. Thanks, y'all.
 

RDALawns

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Texas
In my area. I'd think you would need a bucket truck already to get into Christmas light installation. Majority of new house are 2 1/2 stories tall. I'd hate to know I was doing them with extension ladders.
 
OP
TXPL

TXPL

LawnSite Senior Member
In my area. I'd think you would need a bucket truck already to get into Christmas light installation. Majority of new house are 2 1/2 stories tall. I'd hate to know I was doing them with extension ladders.
It seems to be an even split here in my area. I live in a densely populated suburban area, so there's quite a bit of diversity regarding home sizes/design.
 

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
In my area. I'd think you would need a bucket truck already to get into Christmas light installation. Majority of new house are 2 1/2 stories tall. I'd hate to know I was doing them with extension ladders.
I dunno.
When i was in colorado we were the dominant holiday lighting company.
no bucket truck.

one of the keys to success for holiday lighting is to have lots of organized storage space.
You charge the customer to keep, store and maintain their lights.
Theyre stored and maintained by you.

Otherwise you get a tangled mess the cat peed on in the attic every year to deal with.
you'll also need a buzz box to quickly find and replace bad lights.
 
OP
TXPL

TXPL

LawnSite Senior Member
I dunno.
When i was in colorado we were the dominant holiday lighting company.
no bucket truck.

one of the keys to success for holiday lighting is to have lots of organized storage space.
You charge the customer to keep, store and maintain their lights.
Theyre stored and maintained by you.

Otherwise you get a tangled mess the cat peed on in the attic every year to deal with.
you'll also need a buzz box to quickly find and replace bad lights.
Yeah. Shop or storage unit for that. Is there something I'm missing. Can't I just rent a bucket truck if necessary?
 

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
Yeah. Shop or storage unit for that. Is there something I'm missing. Can't I just rent a bucket truck if necessary?
frequently, you can't reach with a bucket truck, sure for COMMERCIAL work there's pavement every where , but you don't want to go cruising through peoples landscape with your bucket truck to reach this or that.

It's just not really practical, I used to have a bucket truck for tree work and there was still lots of opportunity for climbing and ladders.

Also renting the bucket truck will eat any profit there was.

The GEM to holiday lighting is really keeping employees busy.

Lets say your "normal" season is april to october. you get some work that goes into november but you're not steady.

Beginning in october you start hanging holiday lights, the sooner you hang them the lower your price is.
They don't have to turn them on, but they are there.
Also the later you take them down the lower the price is.

So the "customer on a budget" gets their stuff put up before halloween and their stuff taken down after St pattys day.

this way you are doing the bulk of your decorating in your slow months.
you MAKE the money off selling, upselling, repairs and storage of the lights.

SOME customers want their lights hung Dec 15th and down January 6th... these people pay PREMIUM.

but the MAIN purpose for holiday lighting is to keep your main people working when they would normally be laid offend this way they are there for you in the spring.

IF you did have a bucket truck, a nice upset is taking their xmas tree and throwing it in the chipper while you're there to take down their lights.
an quick $20!
 

Patriot Services

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Tampa FL
Sell your designs as early as possible. We're building frames and assembling custom strands year round. Current customers always have ideas for next year's changes and additions. Neighbors always want to know who did their lights. Solid 20% of the bottom line this year. TP is right about needing space. Half our customers own their setups the rest lease from us. We did some Halloween kits this year that proved successful enough we will be marketing them heavily next year. People love their decorations and the ones with money will pay well for professional designs and no hassle on their part. We use a mobile bucket lift for trees. I shop supply all year. I always seem to come across large lots at clearance prices.
 

jrb8225

LawnSite Member
Location
Tyler Tx
I dunno.
When i was in colorado we were the dominant holiday lighting company.
no bucket truck.

one of the keys to success for holiday lighting is to have lots of organized storage space.
You charge the customer to keep, store and maintain their lights.
Theyre stored and maintained by you.

Otherwise you get a tangled mess the cat peed on in the attic every year to deal with.
you'll also need a buzz box to quickly find and replace bad lights.
I have been installing Christmas lights for 4 seasons now and would like to know if anyone has figured out if it’s possible to buy lights directly from the manufacturer as a installer or do you have to have a business that sells lighting materials to purchase directly from the manufacturers over seas? (I know they will have minimum purchase requirements) I’m trying to get my costs down and lighting materials prices are pretty high through local suppliers. (Ewing irrigation/metro irrigation). I know they have to make a profit on what they sell. Any thoughts?
 

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
I have been installing Christmas lights for 4 seasons now and would like to know if anyone has figured out if it’s possible to buy lights directly from the manufacturer as a installer or do you have to have a business that sells lighting materials to purchase directly from the manufacturers over seas? (I know they will have minimum purchase requirements) I’m trying to get my costs down and lighting materials prices are pretty high through local suppliers. (Ewing irrigation/metro irrigation). I know they have to make a profit on what they sell. Any thoughts?
The company I worked for had a Christmas decor franchise, so the materials/equipment was brokered through them.
I don’t know where to get them outside of that network.
I would think , like anything, there’s a way around the middle man but it typically requires buying more bulk than you need
 

Patriot Services

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Tampa FL
Ive discovered people are too particular to stock for. Its easier to source locally and charge a handling fee. People show me sale papers or snapshots they took at HD and say i want that.
 
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