Christmas and lights go hand-in-hand together. When one thinks of Christmas decorations, Christmas lights – both inside and outside — are always a key element in the design and decor.
However, not everyone has the energy, know-how and time to efficiently and creatively decorate their exteriors and interiors with Christmas lights. There are people who want to have their houses decorated from the outside, but don’t like climbing tall ladders or untangling old lights. They may also not have the knowledge of how to safely install and set up electrical systems for outdoor Christmas lights.
A growing number of businesses, including franchises, exclusively provide Christmas lighting services. They offer professional Christmas light installation characterized by captivating designs. These are not your typical neighborhood installation of simply wrapping a pine tree with Christmas lights. Instead, these businesses specialize in creating knockout holiday designs intended to elicit the wow factor. If you love Christmas lights and have know-how in design, you may want to consider starting a Christmas lighting installation business.
Types of Christmas Lighting Markets
Christmas lighting businesses typically cater to residential and commercial clients. For both types, your business will be responsible for the complete design, full installation, in-season service and timely takedown of the lights.
To start a Christmas lighting business, know that there are two major markets for this business:
Commercial Lighting Services
A big market for the Christmas lighting business is the commercial segment. This includes the design and installation of commercial properties, such as retail stores, malls and other businesses. The local government can also be a huge market, particularly for installation of Christmas lights in the streets, lamp posts and parks.
When the December holiday comes, retail stores, shopping centers or malls and even mom and pop stores are brightened up by Christmas lights and holiday decors. The lights help create a warm, fuzzy and festive holiday atmosphere to call out shoppers and induce them to buy. Retail sales peak during the holiday season, and bright lights and holiday décor help remind customers that the season is upon them – and that they need to start shopping!
The Christmas lights are typically installed by professionals to ensure safety and efficiency. Your goal is to design a holiday Christmas light installation that will help the business stand out from their competitors and bring more traffic to the business location. The design should grab customers’ attention while giving them a comfortable atmosphere to shop.
Residential Christmas Lighting Services
Customers for residential Christmas lighting services include middle and upper income class neighborhoods, especially homeowners whose properties are visible in high traffic areas.
The first step in a Christmas lighting business will be the design of the lights installation. Talk with the customer and discuss with them how they envision their property decorated with Christmas light. Some of the key questions to ask are:
- Do they have a theme that they want to use?
- Do they have any specific design elements they want?
- Are there any particular colors they prefer for the lights?
- Do they have their own ornaments they want to use?
Study and evaluate the property, and take into account these key factors:
- unique topography of the land
- design of the house
- current landscaping, if any
- plants and trees surrounding the property
- how the property stands in the neighborhood
- what the client wants and how they envision their house to look like with lights
Based on your client consultation and overall evaluation of the property, you can then create a Christmas lighting and decoration plan that will accent and highlight the best features of the home. You can also start to plan the technical and electrical requirements that will be needed to bring the Christmas light design to life.
Once the Christmas light design has been approved, the next step is the installation. Schedule the installation at the time that is most convenience for you and the customers. If possible, schedule the installation when the client is present in order to resolve any issues that may arise quicker.
Important Considerations to Help Your Christmas Light Business Succeed
Knowledge and professionalism – including yours and all your staffs — are important elements in the success of your Christmas lighting business. You need to clearly demonstrate that all your decorators and installers are well versed in the requirements of a world class holiday installation.
Safety is essential, both for the residential and commercial markets, and you need to show your customers that your employees have comprehensive electrical instructions and adhere to strict electrical safety measures. Demonstrate that your designers have extensive design training and experience in creating holiday designs. You also need to assure customers that your business follows thorough ladder and roof safety, and that they are completely insured. It is also useful to let customers know about annual continuing education, if any, that your staff goes through to gain more knowledge about the business.
One important selling point that can help improve the marketability of your Christmas lighting business is the care you provide to ensure that no damage is done to the property. Use property friendly clips and fasteners to prevent any damages to the house, shrubs or trees, as well as the landscaping.
After the installation, show your customers that you care how their Christmas light installation is holding up during the season. Be sure to visit the property after the installation, and incorporate into the contract the number of visits you will make to check their Christmas light installation. This will give the property owner more confidence to work with you. Also be sure to include in the contract how defective or broken lights will be handled.
Once the holiday season ends, your business will be responsible for taking down the lights and decorations. Make sure that you do not damage the property and take pains to ensure that you keep it in such a way that it looks the same way prior to the installation of the Christmas lights and décor.
Another component of the Christmas light business is storage. Unless the client prefers to store the decorations themselves, offer to store the decorations used for the off-season. Clearly mark the decorations used for easier reinstallation for the next holiday season. Your goal is to entice repeat customers for your business!
Recommended Books on How to Make Money During the Holidays:
- The Business of Holidays
- How to Sell on Etsy this Holiday Season: 10 Tips to Help Make this Holiday Season the Most Wonderful Time of the Year for your Shop!
- Gift Basket Business Guide to Holiday Sales: How to Make the Most Out of Your 4th Quarter Sales (Gift Basket Business Guide to Profits Series)
- Holiday Marketing: Increase Your Book Sales this Christmas (Day-by-Day Book Marketing 3)