A Bright Idea. Last year my family helped make the holidays a little brighter. After several years of sagging icicle lights and crooked illumination, we finally hired a professional to hang our outdoor Christmas lights. Our house never looked more beautiful. So beautiful, in fact, that our neighbors are considering hiring our lighting man themselves for next year.
Start advertising your services in the fall. Ask local landscapers to refer potential clients. Leave business cards with Christmas tree farms and specialty shops. Distribute flyers in mall parking lots. Newspaper ads are also useful. Post well placed, eye-catching signs on busy street corners.
Remember, you are offering a valuable, timesaving service to busy people who embrace the season, but can't always find the time to decorate for it.
Give your best clients preferential treatment. Contact them early the next season for optimal scheduling. Take this opportunity to discuss any concerns or new ideas. Leave extra business cards with your customers and ask them to give your name to anyone who appreciates your handiwork.
When deciding fees, consider the cost of any equipment you may need to rent, including a cherry picker truck for extremely tall buildings. Estimate man-hours and materials including lights, extension cords, and hooks. You may want to offer a small removal fee.
If you have the space, consider charging clients to store their lights during the off-season. The more stress you can relieve for the overwhelmed holiday hustle-bustler, the better for your own Christmas budget.
Meet with business owners by
appointment in person as early as July. You'll want to show a portfolio
of your best work and present ideas for making their building the best
dressed on the block. Get a contract and a down payment and you'll have
money in the bank for seasonal advertising.
Brighten the holidays in your own unique way and you'll boost your budget as well as your spirit this season.