Just curious how many out there hang Lights etc. and decorate for their Customers?
I've always passed on requests for things like this. I always looked at it as saving a Customer by avoiding arguments over Time and Material costs or differences in taste, or avoiding a headache as they try to make decisions about what to do where.
As a general rule, my answer is no. I did have one customer who had me install large wreaths on 3 windows. I tried to explain that my time wasn't cheap and a handyman could do the job cheaper, but they insisted they wanted me to do it. So I did it and charge just like it was an electrical item. Last year I sent one of my crews to do the job and the customer didn't really like that, not that they didn't do a good job, it just wasn't me doing it. I get that a lot from long time customers who expect me to always do their job.
I had a chance to buy a franchise called "Christmas Decor" for my area. I turned it down because I couldn't see how you could make enough to cover the initial investment. Well, that was a mistake. They are all over our upper end subdivisions ($1mil+). I talked to one of their sales guys who said the average house spends about $6000 each year. Oh well.
Re: Do you Decorate for your Customers?#31738 12/02/0311:02 PM12/02/0311:02 PM
Wow, that's some average. When I was asked I'd always gotten the impression that the person thought it was no big deal. From experience this usually means that they're not thinking about Time and expecting something dirt cheap.
[This message has been edited by Bill Addiss (edited 12-03-2003).]
Re: Do you Decorate for your Customers?#31740 12/03/0303:34 PM12/03/0303:34 PM
Bill: Yes, we install holiday (I almost said Christmas) decorations for our commercial clients. Guess ya have to keep them happy.
15' dia. wreath and "Holiday Greetings" script at a large strip mall; a few small items here & there. It's not something that I look for. We do it "T&M" with the 55' bucket & 2 men; put it up & take it down. We do all there site lighting & sign service work.
Just a thought, I would not want to have to worry about "storage" for these items! Real estate prices here in NJ are unbelievable.
Re: Do you Decorate for your Customers?#31741 12/03/0305:38 PM12/03/0305:38 PM
Bill, You're right about most customers trivializing odds jobs like these. They think "while you're here with that 32 foot extention ladder, how about hanging these lights from my gutter, ...since you're here." I think $85 an hour, they think $20 tip.
I had another customer (Atlanta Falcon's player) call me to remove some lights hanging over a pool table that was removed for a party. I told them it would be $100 minimum to take down and the same to put back up after the party. They said fine. I got there and it was 3 pendants hanging from a track light. Took all of 30 seconds. If I could only get that rate on every job I'd make as much as the football player.
Re: Do you Decorate for your Customers?#31742 12/03/0305:39 PM12/03/0305:39 PM
The New York Sun newspaper earlier this week (or was it late last week) had a nice little writeup about the electricians who wire up the Rockefeller Centre Christmas tree.
After the X-mas season is over, the tree is then taken to a facility, chopped up and used as fertilizer.
The lights are thrown out. I'd love to get me some pices of light string from that thing. Would make a terrific souvenir. I wonder if they de-string the tree on-site or at the mulching place.
Anyone have any idea what sort of product is used for lighting up trees like that properly?
One of the electricans being interviewed mentioned that prank playing among them is common. You can be sitting up there splicing wires together and then when you go to move, you can't and then realize someone taped your legs together.