Do you want to start a Christmas light installation company? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a Christmas light installation business with NO money and no experience. Without a shadow of doubt, it is challenging to start a business from the scratch but one thing is certain, if you are persistent and focused, you will surely make headway with your new business.
If you don’t have all it takes to leave your paid employment and you truly want to start your own business, you can choose to use your spare time to build a business and there are several businesses you can build from the scratch while still keeping your paid employment.
One of such businesses is a Christmas tree installation business. Although Christmas tree installation is a seasonal business, but it is a business that can fetch you additional income. This kind of business is suitable for those who are looking towards building multiple strings of income and also for those who are familiar with decorations.
Before launching any business, the rule of thumb is that you should carry out your market research, economic and cost analysis and of course feasibility studies. You will need to make sure that you have the real reasons why you want to be in the line of business you have chosen. If you get things right before launching your Christmas tree installation company, it will not take you long before you secure enough corporate clients that can give you leverage in the industry.
So, if you are all out to launch a Christmas tree installation business, then you need to read this article and you will be well informed and equipped on the ins and outs of the business. You can start your Christmas tree installation company from a small town in the United States and if you are consistent and creative, it won’t be long before your brand becomes a nationally recognized brand especially if you choose to work for government contractors and other corporate clients all across the United States of America.
18 Steps to Starting a Christmas Light Installation Business
Table of Content
- 2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- 3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
- 4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
- 5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
- 9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
- 10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
- 11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
- 12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
- 13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
- 14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
- 15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
- 16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
- 17. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
- 18. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
1. Understand the Industry
Christmas tree installation companies are engaged in the installation and maintenance of Christmas trees and other related decoration services. Christmas trees installation and other seasonal decorations over the centuries have become the norm for winter holidays, and this business generates 53.6 percent of revenue for the Retail Market for the Seasonal Decorations industry.
According to the National Christmas Tree Association of US, consumers and businesses spent a collective $2.1 billion on 25.9 million real trees and 12.5 million artificial trees. Festive lights, ornaments, home accents and religious paraphernalia also contribute to this category.
After declining 0.2 percent in 2015, total spending on decorations is expected to grow 1.3 percent this year to reach $6.7 billion. Selling Christmas trees and other seasonal decorations has become increasingly commercialized, with vendors encouraging consumers to decorate earlier, right after Thanksgiving.
In 2016, consumers are expected to spend a total of $3.2 billion on holiday greeting cards and postage. According to the Greeting Card Association, 61.0 percent of seasonal greeting cards are sent during the winter holidays. This segment includes family holiday cards as well as cards given with gifts.
Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own Christmas tree installation company could be that the business is a profitable business even though it is a seasonal business; it is a business that can be started with minimal capital and of course minimal full-time employees.
Lastly, Christmas tree installation business is open to all and sundry as long as they have acquired the required skills. The truth is that people that are into Christmas tree installation hardly run the business alone because of its seasonal nature hence the need to run the business with other businesses not necessarily related businesses like exterior and interior decor business.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The people who patronize installation companies cut across churches, government agencies, households and corporate organizations hence the demographic composition for a Christmas tree installation company is all encompassing. In essence, your target market can’t be restricted to just households within your location, but all corporate organizations and businesses around the city where you have your business presence.
3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
Even though there are natural and artificial Christmas trees, it is safe to say that there is no niche area in the Christmas tree installation line of business because the business can either be a niche idea in the exterior and interior décor industry or any other related industry.
The Level of Competition in the Industry
The competitions that exist in this line of business goes beyond competitions amongst Christmas tree installation companies in your location; you are expected to compete with other businesses in the exterior and interior decor services industry who are also into installation of Christmas trees and even DIY proponents. So, it will be right to say the competition in the Christmas tree installation line of business is not easy.
No matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your services or business properly, you will always make headway in the industry. Just ensure your workforce can carry out efficient and thorough Christmas tree installation, you can deliver excellent after sale and customer care services and you know how to attract and reach out to your target market.
4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
Regardless of the industry you choose to start a business, there are always brands that perform better or are better regarded by customers and the general public than the others. Some of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long time, while others are best known for how they conduct their businesses and the results they have achieved over the years.
These are some of the leading Christmas tree installation companies / exterior and interior deco services companies in the united states of America and in the globe;
- The Christmas Tree Company
- American Holiday Lights Installation Company Chicago
- All American Christmas Co.
- National Tree Company
- Christmas Décor
- Baker Design Group
- Christmas Decorating Services Wayne, NJ
If you are planning towards successfully launching a business and maximizing profits, then you need to ensure that you get your economic and cost analysis right and try as much as possible to adopt best practices in the industry you choose to build a business in.
The Christmas tree installation business has been in existence from time immemorial, as a matter of fact; you will come across several Christmas tree installation companies and other players in the exterior and interior decor services industry that also carry out Christmas tree installation when you drive through town, search through directories and browse through the internet.
So, if you are mapping out your economic and cost analysis, you should carry out thorough market survey and costing of the required amount for the purchase of the required working tools, business card and also the cost to successfully run the business.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
When it comes to starting a Christmas tree installation business, you just have to start from the very scratch because you can hardly see the franchise of a Christmas tree installation company to buy. This is so because it is a business that is open to all and sundry and it is a business that does not require any serious formal training to learn. As a matter of fact, with your inbuilt skills, you can successfully launch and run a Christmas tree installation business.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
If you decide to start your own Christmas tree installation company today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established Christmas tree installation companies and other players in the exterior and interior decor services industry that also carry out Christmas tree installation. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.
Some other challenges and threats that you are likely going to face is economic downturn; if the economy is in bad shape, Christmas tree installation companies and other seasonal businesses usually struggle to maintain their old customers or even welcome new customers. unfavorable government policies can also hamper the growth of your Christmas tree installation business. There is nothing you can do as regard these threats and challenges other than to stay positive that things will work well for you.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
If you are considering starting a Christmas tree installation company especially if you choose to run the business alongside other related businesses, then the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow.
You have the option of choosing a general partnership, a Limited Liability Company or even a sole proprietorship for a Christmas tree installation business. Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small – scale Christmas tree Installation Company especially if you are just starting out with a moderate start-up capital in a small neighborhood and carrying out only selected Christmas tree installation services for households within your locality.
But if your intention is to grow the business and work for government agencies and corporate clients all across key cities in the United States of America, then choosing sole proprietorship is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name
When it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be imaginative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. Usually it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business.
If you are considering starting your own Christmas tree installation company, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- Carissa & Coleman Christmas Trees®, LLC
- Santa Boys® Christmas Tree Installation, LLC
- Red Ribbon© Christmas Tree Installation, Inc.
- Silver Bell® Christmas Tree Installation, Inc.
- Jeff Abel and Sons™ Christmas Tree Installation Company, Inc.
- Larry Josh & Co ™ Christmas Tree Installation Company, Inc.
- Snow White© Christmas Tree Installation Company, Inc.
- Zara Exterior Deco® Christmas Tree Installation Company, LLC
- G Y Group© Christmas Tree Installation Company, Inc.
- John Bosco & Sons© Christmas Tree Installation Company, Inc.
9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
Although you can successfully run a pretty small Christmas tree installation business especially as a part – time business without necessarily buying any insurance policy for the business, but that does not undermine the fact that in the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a standard business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from.
So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your Christmas tree installation company. Here are some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own Christmas tree installation company in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health / Medical insurance (for your workers and yourself)
- Liability insurance
- Workers Compensation
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own Christmas tree installation company, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
When it comes to Christmas tree installation business, you do not need to have any formal training or special certification before you can be allowed to start a Christmas tree installation business. All you need is informal training that will give you the needed skills coupled with your own inbuilt artistic talents.
On the other hand, if you come across any form of certification that can aid you to conduct your Christmas tree installation business, then by all means try and pursue such certification.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hand of the law catch-up with you.
These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own Christmas tree installation company in the United States of America;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Tax Payer’s ID/Tax Identification Number
- Business Plan
- Contract Document
- Non-disclosure Agreement
- Employee Handbook
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
- Building License
- Franchise or Trademark License (optional)
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Starting a Christmas tree installation company is not capital intensive and it is a business that you can generate the startup capital from your personal savings or borrow from your family and friends. As a matter of fact, you can generate the bulk of your working capital from your first Christmas tree installation contract.
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
It cannot be overemphasized that the location you chose to start your business is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where there are high business activities and households with the required purchasing power, and lifestyle.
Most importantly, before choosing a location for your Christmas tree installation company, ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey. The possibility of you coming across similar business that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out. This is why it is very important to gather as much facts and figures before choosing a location to set up your own Christmas tree installation company.
These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your Christmas tree installation company;
- The demography of the location as it relates to Churches and Christian populations
- The demand for Christmas tree installation services in the location
- The purchasing power of the residents and businesses in the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The number of Christmas tree installation companies and other players in the exterior and interior decor services industry that also carry out Christmas tree installations in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community
- Traffic, parking and security
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
On the average, there is no special technology or equipment needed to run a Christmas tree installation company except for your tool box, truck and ladder. So also, in other to run your office which is your operational base, you will need computer, internet facility, telephone, fax machine and office furniture (chairs, tables, and shelves) amongst other and all these can be gotten as fairly used.
As regards leasing or outright purchase of an office facility, the choice is dependent on your financial standing, but the truth is that to be on the safe side, it is advisable to start off with a short term rent/lease while test running the business in the location. If things work out as planned, then you go on a long – term lease or outright purchase of the property but if not, then move on and source for other ideal location/facility for such business.
One good thing about Christmas tree installation business is that it is a business that can be run with a handful of employees and they can be part time employees. But you must be ready to play the role of Manager, Accountant and Marketing Officer et al.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
On the average, the way Christmas tree installation companies work varies from one company to another company, but ideally, a Christmas tree installation company is expected to first and foremost build a robust company profile before biding for Christmas tree installation contracts from top clients/corporate organizations and even government agencies; it will give them an edge amongst their competitors.
The process starts with biding or submitting proposal for a Christmas tree installation contract, once the contract is won, then it is expected for the entire contract document to be signed and advance payment made as required.
Once the payment has been sorted out, the next step is for the Christmas tree installation company to deploy workers, equipment and materials as required to execute the job. They are also engaged to take down the Christmas tree and other decorations after the season is over.
In general, it is the practice for Christmas tree installation companies to first access the hazard and risk involved and the nature of job they are to do before billing the organization that requested for their services.
It is important to state that a Christmas tree installation company may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility; the above stated Christmas tree installation business process is not cast on stone.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
Normally, running a business requires that you should be hands-on when it comes to marketing your goods or services. If you choose to launch a Christmas tree installation company, then you must go all out to employ strategies that will help you attract customers or else you will likely struggle with the business because there are well – known brands that determine the market direction for the Christmas tree installation line of business
As a matter of fact, your marketing strategy will center on attention to details, reliability, swiftness, safety, pricing, thoroughness, and above all excellent customer service. You should ensure that whenever your customers hire your services, they will get excellent service. The truth is that if you are able to put the above stated in place, you won’t struggle to retain your old customers and at the same time win over new customers.
Businesses these days are aware of the power of the internet and which is why they will do all they can to maximize the internet to market their services. In other words, a larger percentage of your marketing effort will be directed to internet users.
These are some of the marketing ideas and strategies that you can adopt for your Christmas tree installation company;
- Introduce your Christmas tree installation company by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to government agencies, households, estate managers, corporate organizations, small scale businesses, medium scale businesses, churches and other key stake holders throughout the city where your Christmas tree installation company is located
- Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across
- Create a basic website for your business so as to give your business an online presence
- Directly market your services
- Engage in road shows in targeted business communities from time to time to promote your Christmas tree installation business
- Join local Christmas tree installation business owner associations for industry trends and tips
- Join local chambers of commerce and industry with the aim of marketing your services
- Advertise our business in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals)
17. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
A major factor that will help you offer your Christmas tree installation services at rock bottom prices is to purchase your Christmas trees and other decoration materials directly from wholesalers and importers in pretty large quantities. The truth is the higher the quantity of items that you purchase directly from importers and wholesalers, the cheaper you tend to get them.
One more strategy that will help you offer your Christmas tree installation services at the right price is to ensure that you cut operational cost to the barest minimum, and channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name. Aside from the fact that this strategy will help you save cost, it will also help you get the right pricing for your products.
You can also try as much as possible to work with independent contractors and marketers; it will help you save cost for paying sales and marketing executives.
18. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
Come to think of it, if you are in business and you are not deliberate about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portray your business to be.
If your intention of starting a Christmas tree installation business is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national brand by working for government agencies and large corporations all across key cities in the United States, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.
No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and brand boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create a corporate identity for your Christmas tree installation company;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and related magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community based events
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your Christmas tree installation company
- Install your billboards in strategic locations all around your city or state
- Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted residential communities to create awareness of your Christmas tree installation company
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- Contact churches, households, corporate organizations, small scale businesses, medium scale businesses and other key stake holders throughout the city where your Christmas tree installation company is located informing them about your v installation company and the services you offer
- List your Christmas tree installation company in local directories/yellow pages
- Advertise your Christmas tree installation company in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site
- Position our Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your Christmas tree installation company is located
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and vans are well branded with your company logo