5 reasons to consider adding holiday light installation to your business

Installing holiday lights can be a lucrative side gig for landscaping professionals
Holiday decor services can carry businesses through the slow season, even in dry winters. (Photo: Andrey Burkov, Dreamstime)

When the thermometer dips each winter, landscaping companies often experience commensurate declines in income as demand for their typical services wanes. While many firms turn to snow removal after the traditional landscaping season concludes, as most Colorado residents know all too well, flurries fly with little consistency. So how else can landscapers keep their laborers busy and their income stable during the fall and winter months?

[Related: Winter wonderland—Landscaping for Colorado winters]

Take a drive through the city at night and you can’t help but notice the answer—professional holiday light installation. This burgeoning business is in high demand from residential homeowners, commercial property managers and smaller brick-and-mortar establishments alike, and is often ideal for landscaping professionals and companies looking to broaden their service offerings. Although the 2018 holiday light season is over, now is the time to make decisions so you can plan for a more profitable 2019.

If installing holiday lighting sounds like an appealing option for your landscaping firm, here are five of the most compelling reasons to consider offering this service in 2019:

  1. Capitalize on an in-demand industry. Many homeowners love the idea of decking out their homes’ exteriors with twinkling lights and decorations, but they often lack the proper equipment and tools, time, expertise, physical ability, eye for the aesthetic, or desire to spend a day tinkering away in the cold. There’s also the inherent risk to consider, given that when it comes to holiday lighting, there are more Clark Griswolds than experts. Fortunately, landscaping professionals typically possess many of the requisite skills to install holiday light displays, including design and installation know-how, safety and electricity awareness, time and proven installation skills.
  2. Landscapers already have most of the equipment, and what they don’t have can be purchased for relatively little. Chances are good you already own most of the equipment and tools of the game, like ladders, working vehicles, insurance and a great deal of tools. Furthermore, the general consensus is that contractors can purchase the lights, decorations and other light-installation-specific equipment for roughly a $2,500 initial investment.
  3. Keep workers busier, longer. Although most Christmas lights are illuminated for the six weeks between mid-November and the day after New Year’s, the season for installing them usually begins sometime in late October and runs through early January—generally one of the slowest times of year for landscaping pros. There’s quite a bit to be done over those three months, including consulting with clients on design, the physical installation of the lights, light maintenance and of course, timely removal, so having a team who know their way around a home’s exterior is a real advantage.
  4. Finding clients is easy. The hardest part of starting any new business venture is building a strong clientele. Fortunately, you already have a list of hot prospects—the clients who already use your landscaping services. Create some literature about your new light installation offerings and start talking to existing clients during the rest of the year.
  5. Boost your bottom line. “Christmas light installation businesses can make more than $1,000 per day per work crew during the season,” says a statement on WeHangChristmasLights.com. “Well-organized installation crews can make more than $2,000 per day. It is also not uncommon for installers to earn upwards of $3,000 in a single day when installing larger residential and commercial jobs.”

Interested in learning more? Check out our Colorado Resource Guide: Landscape and Lawn Edition for a listing of distributors and peers that provide holiday decor services. Here are some good resources:

Christmas Light Installation Pros Association (CLIPA): An association that certifies professionals in the holiday light installation industry, it offers training to neophytes and advanced tips for more seasoned professionals, including a variety of helpful courses.

WeHangChristmasLights.com: An early entrant in the holiday lighting industry, this organization provides helpful blogs, research and free literature to help you get into the business.

Mile High on the Cheap: With a page devoted to the best Christmas light displays throughout the greater Denver/Boulder areas, you can review public light displays as well as myriad residential homes with lights impressive enough to make the list. A great resource for keeping an eye on design, fixture and overall display trends and to get some inspiration.

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