What will your first customers want?
What are the most important products to stock-up on to begin your season?
I'm starting my very first Christmas light installation company and I have no idea what to order? What do people want in terms of product? I want to be able to stock up some items so that I can have quick turn-arounds which will help me win sales.
The Christmas light business can be tricky because it's a seasonal service where everyone wants your help at the same time. And when the season really heats up, sales can be made quickly and easily by having stock ready and available for a quick turn-around. That being said, too much stock on the shelf isn't good either. Inventory leftover at the end of the season is cash... but cash you can't use until next season! Below are some suggestions on what to order a lot of and what to hold off on until you know for sure the sale is made.
LOTS OF WHITE LIGHTS
White lights are classy, versatile, and a staple that should be on every pro-installer's shelf in ample quantities. There are two types of whites: warm white and pure white. Warm white provides a more traditional look whereas pure white (without any blue-ish shade to it) provides a more modern look. It's usually a personal preference and tastes vary from region to region. Commercial clients may gravitate toward pure white, which tends to draw the eye more, and residential clients may gravitate toward warm white, so consider who your clientele are when deciding your ratio of warm white to pure white. If you are just starting out, consider a 60/40 split (warm white/pure white).
HOLD OFF ON COLOURS...FOR NOW
Colours are an amazing way to bring some fun to your displays and the kids (including 'big kids' in adult bodies) will love you for it. However, it's often difficult to gauge the demand for certain colours and there's a higher chance of them being left on the shelf at the end of the season. Therefore, we recommend ordering colours on an "on-demand" basis. If you prefer to stock up on colours anyway, red, green, blue, and multi-colour products are always popular.
This will provide power to your retrofit light bulbs. You'll want as many feet of this as you have bulbs because the sockets are at 12" spacing (one bulb per foot). If you want a selection of colours to more closely match the trim of the building so it's less noticeable during daylight, we have options of green, black, white, and brown. If you want to narrow down your offering to simplify your business more, pick one dark colour and one light colour only (ie - white and black).
These are products required to make your display look great. They include plugs, adapters, extension cords, power taps (products the split power to run in multiple directions), and clips. You'll go through copious amounts of certain accessories and without them, you won't be able to install the lights, so we recommend stocking up on these. They are inexpensive and the cost of running out is a lot higher than having some extra on the shelf at the end of the season.
A VARIETY OF BULBS
We have all kinds of LED Christmas light bulbs available. While it's nice to be able to offer a selection with lots of options based on size and quality of light, we recommend narrowing your offering to just two types of bulbs. This way, you aren't having to stock vehicles with all kinds of lights in case you need replacements and this will dramatically simplify your business and product costs. Choose a large bulb (either C9 or G30) ideal for rooflines and large trees. For small bulbs, choose the 5mm mini-lights which are great for trees and shrubs. With these two products on your shelves, you'll be ready to hang lights and meet the demand of your customers quickly and efficiently.
So how much of all of the products listed above should you order to kick off your season? Below is a very rough guideline with several assumptions:
1. $100,000 in sales
2. 50% of revenue is product sales
3. Margin on product is 25% (higher margins are often achieved if you take advantage of our pre-season orders in February)
So, if you expect to make $100,000 in sales, half of that will come from product sales assuming that all of your clients are new (repeat clients will be using last year's lights). If your margins are to be 25%, that means you'll need $37,500 worth of product (calculated using this handy margin calculator). Let's create a list that totals this amount:
|Category||Product||Wholesale Price||Qty||Total||Sale Price||Revenue|
|G30 Bulbs||Warm-white (25-pack)||$51.25||140||$7,175.00||$68.33||$9,566.20|
|Base Wire||500' spool black||$220.00||12||$2,640.00||$293.33||$3,519.96|
|500' spool white||$220.00||4||$880.00||$293.33||$1,173.32|
|5mm Mini-lights||Warm-white on green wire||$21.95||240||$5,268.00||$29.27||$7,024.80|
|Pure-white on green wire||$21.95||180||$3,951.00||$29.27||$5,268.60|
|Accessories||Black Multi-clips (100-pack)||$23.00||50||$1,150.00||$30.67||$1,533.50|
|Clear Multi-clips (100-pack)||$23.00||20||$460.00||$30.67||$613.40|
|Black male plugs (100-pack)||$105.00||3||$315.00||$140.00||$420.00|
|Clear male plugs (100-pack)||$105.00||1||$105.00||$140.00||$140.00|
|Black female plugs (100-pack)||$105.00||4||$420.00||$140.00||$560.00|
|Clear female plugs (100-pack)||$105.00||2||$210.00||$140.00||$280.00|
|Black extension cord (1000' spool)||$285.00||4||$1,140.00||$380.00||$1,520.00|
|White extension cord (1000' spool)||$285.00||1||$285.00||$380.00||$380.00|
|Coaxial Adapters, green||$3.10||100||$310.00||$4.13||$413.00|
|Coaxial Power taps||$5.25||50||$262.50||$7.00||$350.00|
|Other||Other coloured lights and miscellaneous||$6,000.00||$8,000.00||$8,000.00|
(Prices are in Canadian dollars) The profit made from this product (assuming all is sold) is $12,338.48 or 25% margin. *Note either G30 or C9 bulbs can be chosen as your large bulb option.
Don't forget that pre-season sales programs offered by Big Star Lights with discounts up to 25% off will further add to the margin, so definitely take advantage of these. We will announce pricing at the end of January.
If you have any questions about our products or want to request samples kits, please visit our website, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-888-444-4081
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