Turf Magazine - October, 2013

FEATURES

5 Reasons to Consider Outdoor Lighting

October declared National Outdoor Lighting Month
By Rich Young

Adding low-voltage landscape lighting to an existing business is a great way to help you expand and stabilize your operation. For those companies already in the home services industry, it's a wonderful opportunity to increase your top line revenue.

There are several reasons why you should consider adding outdoor lighting to your current business. The top five reasons are:

1. The Landscape lighting market is growing: Exterior lighting is a $789 million category. A new report from The Freedonia Group predicts 6.9 percent annual growth for the landscape products market through 2017. Increases in construction, existing home sales and new home builds will drive the expansion, which will be especially potent for the residential outdoor living sector, including decorative products, permeable pavers and outdoor lighting.

2. Recurring revenue: Increasing your business' recurring revenue will help you to grow your bottom line and improve the quality of your revenue. Residential service contracts, like the annual maintenance contract, allow you to get in front of your client on a regular basis, giving you the opportunity to upsell them on more services.



The outdoor lighting market is far from mature. The Freedonia Group predicts it will grow 6.9 percent annually through 2017, buoyed by new construction.
Photos courtesy of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives.

3. Combat seasonality concerns: As fall approaches and daylight savings kicks in, the need for landscape lighting increases. In my experience, October through December are some of the top revenue months to install low-voltage lighting. Holiday lighting services provide an additional opportunity to increase your revenue stream during the fall and winter months.

4. Increased exit multiple: Is your ultimate goal to sell your business? A larger revenue base, stronger margins and improved quality of revenue (i.e., contractually recurring revenue) will boost your exit multiple in a future sale. When the time is right, a larger exit multiple will allow you to maximize the equity value of your entire blended operation, assuming the businesses are sold as a package.

5. Leverage your existing client base: Providing high-quality landscape lighting services allows you to sell and service the client base you've already built. Additionally, cross-marketing allows you to promote your respective businesses, which will drive new client acquisition and revenues for each business. Clients who had a good experience working with you in one business will likely be willing to secure additional services.



Outdoor lighting adds to a property's safety and security.

To promote outdoor lighting, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives has declared October National Outdoor Lighting month.

Coinciding with Daylight Savings Time, National Outdoor Lighting Month will be an annual consumer awareness effort to educate homeowners about the safety, security and lifestyle enhancements outdoor lighting can bring to their homes.

The company intentionally selected October as the month for this campaign as Daylight Savings Time brings extended evening hours. The darkness really helps drive home the importance and benefit of outdoor lighting and the dramatic difference it can make.

Along with safety, security and curb appeal benefits, outdoor lighting can enhance and extend the enjoyment of outdoor living spaces. Through the strategic placement of LED and halogen outdoor lighting fixtures, peace of mind is a strong secondary benefit to home beautification.

To support the educational component of the campaign, a new website, http://www.NationalOutdoorLightingMonth.com, has launched and features a free guide to choosing an outdoor lighting professional. The guide includes tips on outdoor lighting design, products, installation and service. To learn more about National Outdoor Lighting month and to download the free guide, visit http://www.NationalOutdoorLightingMonth.com.

National Outdoor Lighting Month is to educate homeowners about outdoor lighting and the safety, security and lifestyle enhancements outdoor lighting can bring to their homes, according to Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, an owner-run franchise organization with more than 40 locations in the United States and internationally, with activity in Canada, The Bahamas and Kuwait. Outdoor Lighting Perspectives is part of Outdoor Living Brands.

Rich Young is the vice president of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives. Rich can be reached at ryoung@outdoorlivingbrands.com.

Distributors Vital to Lighting Category

By Keith Johnson

Distributors are vital cogs in the landscape/lawn service industry supply chain. This is as true for outdoor landscape lighting products as it is for mowers and other landscape equipment.

The job of a distributor is simple - buy product to sell product. But a good distributor partner provides so much more. When looking at your supply options, it's important to consider more than just price.

What additional services do you expect both before and after the sale, and which supplier is best equipped to deliver? Many distributors now offer training, both online and in person. Plus, many offer on-site lighting demonstrations, giving you a chance to get hands-on experience with installation and design.

While you could attend the training and still purchase product elsewhere, what happens if you have questions on the project or have an issue with the product? Having a store or knowledgeable distributor personnel close by can help resolve many issues quickly.

Most distributor partners offer a wide variety of landscape lighting products and brands so that your clients have a complete selection of style, composition and color. While specialized lighting products may not be on the shelf that day, most manufacturers offer overnight delivery so that your job continues on time, with the exact look your client demands.

Virtually all distributor partners offer extended credit terms, helping you better manage out-of-pocket expenses through the job. Your local distributor has a vested interest in your success and that makes for a mutually beneficial alliance.

Keith Johnson is the construction channel manager, Horizon Distributors, Inc., which has 60 store locations in 11 U.S. states. Visit http://www.horizon.com.