My first year in Christmas Light Installation went so-so

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by umpire, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. umpire

    umpire LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    Made alot of mistakes my first year. Probably could have got way more money for some jobs. Guess I was worried that I might scare some of the potential customers away If I bid too high. Tried a few high bids to begin with but never heard back from them. Just wondering what I did wrong and why I cant get the big customers to bite.
  2. desert rose gardening

    desert rose gardening LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 387

    How much did you make a hour? I only do it on my house.:)
  3. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    The first year is crazy tough. I did 12 jobs the first year in this area and still have a few of those 6 years later. send postcards next year using and spend 1-2 grand. target market the most expensive homes in your area, send out about 1000 cards in 1st week of october and 1000 in 1st week of November. find out what your competition is bidding now by having a few of your friends get bids now. so you can set your prices for next year. try to close 30% of the folks you do bids for. read 3 selling books before you do a single bid for next year.
  4. umpire

    umpire LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    Thanks David for your info! So basically just target the big market jobs? I have found that I am wasting alot of my time running around to all these small jobs and then have to pay another guy to help me! I am making a profit but but not even in the same ballpark as you or some of the other guys here! I look on Craigslist in my area and there is some guys posting installation as low as 100.00! Im about twice that much and in my first year I have done 14 jobs my biggest was 600.00 but I had to drive over an hour and the job took about 8 hours. Something is not right! Anymore advice would be great.
  5. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    14 jobs for your first year isn't bad. 600 for 8 hours is $75 per hour, which also isn't bad. You have to always not be afraid to say no. I phone screen everyone and weed out all the folks who arn't willing to pay (or don't understand how much it costs). This is typically half of everyone who contacts us. We are closing about half of the remainder or 25% total. When I hear things like "my handyman will do it for $25 per hour" I say "call your handyman, unless you want a pro job.... sell yourself here....
    If you take lower paying jobs, word will get out that you will work for cheap. You also need to have a top of the line product line to show folks. People pay for a better product.
  6. umpire

    umpire LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    Thanks for the tips hotrod.Next year i am definitly going to do some things different!
  7. CharlotteOutdoorImpact

    CharlotteOutdoorImpact LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    Hotrod, where do you get your products? And do you have a price list or catalog you could send me?


  8. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    I get some things from Holiday Bright Lights, but will no longer be buying from them.
    I work with a direct importer for everything else. I have a light line only two importers bring into the country, so I'm different and also have the most cutting edge lights.
    Next year, we will be setting a program to distribute to other re-sellers. It will be all online ordering, and a bunch of online video support for installation, and sales pres....
    I'll have more info in the comming weeks...
  9. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 516

    Wow! I just checked out quantummail and I am thoroughly impressed. That is exactly the kind of thing I have been looking for to market water features. Thanks for sharing that one.

    I can't believe how reasonable the pricing is and how small the minimum quantities are.
  10. Christmas Creations

    Christmas Creations LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Glad to have the 3rd year done, we grew 150% added 48K of new business. The amazing things we are looking at a couple more days and everything is in storage and inventoried. Living in a small area, I'm surprised of the amount of dollars were there to be made.

    I feel that every year there are more customers coming out of the woodwork that want a professional company to put up christmas decorations.

    I have been using Holiday Bright Lights the last couple years and it has made a huge impact for my business and customers. Having other options for the customer, it's like educating the all over again what Christmas decorations can do for them and their community.

    Good luck in 2008, look forward to hearing other stories about your business achievements.


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