The winter months can be a tough time for a lawn care business. More and more lawn care businesses are getting into offering outdoor holiday lighting and decoration services to help them get through the slow times. Those who have experimented with it seem to be pretty happy with the results but how do you get started in offering these services?
Justin wrote “I’m just getting started in offering holiday decoration services and I’m really not sure how to go about bidding on hanging lights. I put a nice ad in my local newspaper and have been receiving responses. My going rate for lawn care is $60/hourly. Also the holiday lighting estimates will be for both putting up and taking the lights down. I will be using the customers lights. Should I possibly ask if I need to supply the product? I have a few customers already calling and I procrastinated. If someone could help
me that would be awesome. Thanks.”
Steve: “I would since this is your first time doing this, why not decorate your house with some lights and figure out how long it takes you to do some standard lighting, such as running lights across the roof line. Figure out how long it takes by the linear foot. This should then help you measure other homes and get an idea how long the job will be.
Then if you are going to be taking them down as well, you will need to double that fee. Why not try and keep your hourly rate of $60 the same in your bids.
If you want to offer your own lights, why not consider figuring out how much lights are costing and buy them as needed. Charge the customer for the lights and then you will be able to take them down and reuse them next year as well. You could consider charging double the cost of the lights.”
Charles: “I charge by the hour. I sell the clients the lights or they buy themselves. I put them up and take them down. When I take them down, I put them in some big Tupperware containers and put them in their garage. I know I could get a lot more because I’ve heard of guys doing a $1,000 a house and being very basic. I’ve been charging like $300 for a better job. It’s still new to me though. I have looked at some of the “holiday lighting wholesellers” and they seem to be the same as a box store, so I just purchase them locally. If the client owns the lights then you explain that every year they will more than likely have to buy a few new sets because they go out. Plus if they want to expand on it they can do so a few pieces at a time.
It usually takes me until lunch for $150 and $150 to take them down which takes less time. You can make a lot more but once again I am new to this and am figuring out my costs.”
Luke: “I installed 6 strings of 50 LEDS with a light clip for every light on a two story house. I charged by the hour and supplied the lights. It was a simple light around the roof job. The cost was $20 per box of lights and $5 dollars per box of 100 clips. It took 5.5 to 6 hrs to install. I charged $380.00.”
Keep experimenting with offering holiday lighting and decoration services. Try to increase your sale price with each customer as you go. From the discussions I have had with other lawn care business who have done this for a few years, they try and shoot for $750 to $1,000 per house. This includes installing the decorations and taking them down. You can use your own decorations or use the customers. Try both ways and see which works best for you. I have also included some free postcard and door hanger design templates you can use to market this service. If you would like to join in on this conversation further, visit the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.