Another season has snuck up on me and of course, I am not as ready as I would like. but we plan to start hanging lights on our super early bird customers this year on Sept. 12. so 20 days from now we are ramping up. This will give us an extra week in September, hopefully that will be enough. but lots of things still to do: need to locate and purchase anonther used boxvan. really just need to recognize the need for another newer rig or 2 and have a better back up system for mechanical issues. right now when one of our 3 boxvans goes down we are looking at an older truck and trailer or my truck goes with the trailer and I drive a car or rent one. I really could use 2 more boxvans, and that may be what happens. we'll see. The goal- what is the newest lower mile ( under 125k ) boxvan that has 16-20 feet long box can I find for under $5000? I am really tired of 14 and 15 foot vans. still need to do graphics on one boxvan, and fix graphics on another. gotta tell you, I had a guy locally off craigs list put a phone number and "Christmas Lights installed" on the aero part above our windshield on our fiberglass aero box van. big mistake. the color vinyl graphics I got from china look perfect two years later on the side. the full color heavy canvas banners still look very good on their 3rd season. so you can go cheap and look good. but not so much with a guy who does vehicle lettering out of his garage. we've gotten most of the work done on our shop that I wanted to this year, but still have some touch up to do. I'd like some more gravel spread around, and some other items, I will try to update my shop thread with some new photos. need to get postcards designed and set to mail, probably will do a mailing Oct. 1 and Nov 5 this year. you know me, go big or go home, so both sets will be 6x11 size, and probably 4-5000 each mailing. still need new yard signs, I have a ton of old ones but really like the idea I have in my head for the new ones, so if money is available I will get them, although probably mid september at the earliest. I have gotten 2 service magic exact leads already for holiday lighting this month, with one coming in today. I have had several landscape light customers tell me they want Christmas lights, so I need to get some contracts signed and get them on the schedule before it gets crazy. wanted to get some kind of ladder rack and maybe ladder rungs goint to roof of boxvans for putting tall ladders on top of vans. we use 32 foot and 40 foot extension ladders, and I am sick of the 32' sticking out the back with the door half open. gotta get on that. speaking of ladders I need another 32 footer and a couple of 6 foot little giants. I never seem to have enough ladders. even though I think I currently own 23. got the new HBL catalog yesterday with my "Platinum" membership, and it looks pretty slick. Since I missed convention I need to familiarize myself with new product and pricing. need to nail down my c-9 bulb and cord inventory, as we are gonna start going through bulbs like crazy on our commercial jobs. I know I have a few cases, but I usually get those from up north and it is a 4-5 day shipping window. I am thinking of signing up with a local trade partners group that issues money in trade dollars. There are about 400 local busines that do it, and I can set what limits I will do in trade, like maybe 50% trade credits and 50% cash, but a local handyman service already wants me to do landscape lighting on his home with trade dollars, and I can use him for several projects, so I think this will lead me to some jobs I might not otherwise get, and as long as I can spend some of the money on necessities, I probably will make out ahead. what all is going on with you guys? anybody else gearing up and need to get stuff done?