Every seasonal business experiences changes in volume during different parts of the year. The end result is not only a decrease in revenue but also a loss of skilled employees due to little or no work. If you are in the maintenance business or deal with landscaping or other outdoor services, you must have faced this issue: The business experiencing a lull or in some cases, even a complete halt after the first snowfall. You end up laying off skilled employees and the next year, you have to build a new team all over again!
You can easily avoid this hassle and ensure a steady cash flow throughout the year by starting a seasonal lighting business. Once the landscaping and outdoor maintenance jobs decline at the end of summer, you can pick up Christmas lighting orders. By doing this you have work all year round and get to keep your favorite team of employees on a permanent basis.
At PrimoLights.com, we decided to guide you on how to seamlessly add a seasonal lighting business to your current list of services. We are going to do a series of blog posts that will explain in detail, all that you need to know about starting this service, building a customer bank, estimating costs and bids, and, of course, installing and troubleshooting lights.
The holiday lighting season begins soon after the usual summer services ends, as potential customers want to see their Christmas lights turned on by Thanksgiving. This means that as soon as your summer services business starts to lull, you get busy with holiday lighting projects, ensuring a steady cash flow while still managing to get the last week of the Christmas holidays off for yourself!
Once you build up a client base and land bigger, commercial projects like shopping malls, you will find yourself installing lights as early as the beginning or mid of October to meet the demand! For the first year, we recommend that you play it safe and commit to a few, small to medium sized jobs. This will ensure that you can easily handle the work and get yourself familiar with the technicalities. Once you get these jobs completed successfully, you will get references as well as a brand new level of confidence!
After you have a few happy and satisfied customers the first season, you will definitely be getting referrals in the seasons to come. Secondly, the same clients might contact you to take of their outdoor maintenance and landscaping jobs during the summer, thus increasing your revenues even further. This builds up your client base, and satisfied customers that trust you will naturally bring more work for your business. You will find yourself working all year round and might end up adding more services to your holiday lighting business as the demand and good feedback for your company grows.
The Beginning and Conclusion of the Holiday Lighting Season:
The Holiday lighting season begins at the same time as the usual outdoor maintenance ends due to snow. The work continues steadily from there to about two weeks after Thanksgiving. This is the time spent in actual installation of the holiday lights. Once your installation phase is over, you will only need to do some minimum maintenance on the lights you installed till New Year. The amount of actual work required during the maintenance period depends largely on the weather. Factors like rain, snow and high wind may damage your installations among other things. Usually, the last two to three weeks of the holiday season are light and require only a few maintenance trips so that you can still enjoy some time off. Especially during Christmas week up till New Year’s Day, you will get a nice stress free break to enjoy with your family.
After New Year’s Day, you and your team will need to get back to work. You will need to take the lights down and store them safely away for next year. The first thing that needs to be done is to switch off the timers and get the extension cords out of the way. Extension cords are quite a hassle when left in the porch, patio or driveway. You can also assure your clients that you will be back soon to take down the lights in a few days. So long as the lights have been turned off, the cords are out of the way and the customer knows exactly when you will be taking down their lights, you will probably get enough margin to get the lights down in your own time.
Always remember that efficient communication is the key to success in any business, and will play a major role in ensuring happy, satisfied clients. It can take up to the first week of February to take the lights down and properly pack and label them and get them shifted to storage. This timeframe also depends on the number of jobs you initially took on.
It always helps to provide something “extra” to your customers to get the edge on your competitors. By offering storage facilities for your clients, you take care of a lot of hassle for them and also ensure that they hire you again next year. This is true for the simple reason that you have their holiday lights and know exactly how the client prefers them, so it ensures returning customers the following year. But, before you make that commitment, you should always make sure that you are prepared to live up to it. You should have enough storage space to safely store all the boxes, the warehouse should be safe from potential damaging factors like flooding or dust or any other hazards. You will also need to get your warehouse insured for added security before you take on the responsibility of storing your customers’ holiday lights.
Once you have all the issues sorted out, offering storage facility for your clients’ holiday lighting equipment will definitely get you more business and keep you ahead of the competition.
We hope you found this information helpful. We would love to hear your comments and feedback! Please feel free to contact us via phone (888) 528-0309 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further assistance and visit our blog again for more info on how to set up your own seasonal holiday lighting business.