This is a guest blog post by Brandon Stephens, president of Christmas Decor.
For franchisees with summertime businesses like landscaping, lawn care, pool cleaning, and roofing, the winter months can serve as a major challenge when it comes to ongoing business operations like allocating budgets, preserving employees, and most of all, remaining profitable. As a solution, investing in an add-on franchise for the ‘off season’ has proven extremely beneficial for staying profitable year-round.
Below are some key advantages to extending your seasonal franchise’s business.
Diverse services. One of the main benefits of investing in an add-on seasonal franchise is the opportunity to offer diverse services to clientele according to the time of year and climate. The key to identifying a suitable second product or service for wintertime is to leverage skills that have already been developed. For instance, it would make the most sense for someone who repairs pool heaters throughout the summer to offer heater/furnace repair come winter. Consistently offering services throughout the year not only helps to generate a consistent cash flow, but also helps to both maintain a strong clientele and attract potential new customers.
- Preserving Staff. Rather than having to deal with the hassle of hiring, terminating, and training employees each season, operating businesses for both winter and summer allows franchisees to maintain a full staff year-round. Plus, it also provides the chance to annually assess employee performance and decide whom to keep on board for the following season.
- Planning for Growth. While the summer business is in its off-season, franchisees that offer winter services are able to remain profitable while leveraging that time to outline the summer business’s growth plans. Seasonal businesses differ from typical businesses as they only have about four to five months to generate revenue while most companies have the full twelve months. Therefore, the best way to plan for continuous profits is to plan ahead, leading up to the seasonal rush. While operating the winter business, seasonal franchisees can begin to assess their summer business’s needs and determine their goals and profit targets for the next season.
A great add-on winter business that is growing at accelerated rates is holiday lighting and decorating. Over the past several years, the market for outsourcing holiday decorating services has skyrocketed as consumers find it safer and easier to hire companies like Christmas Decor, the premier holiday lighting and decorating company in the U.S., to handle all of their outdoor residential and commercial decorating needs. With a 95+ percent customer approval rating and an average sales growth of 3 to 5 percent each year, the Christmas Decor concept serves as a topline add-on franchise opportunity for outdoor businesses.
One example of a Christmas Decor seasonal franchisee is Gary Fouts, who operates his business out of Southwest Chicago. Since opening in 1999, his Christmas Decor has achieved a steady sales increase of about 10-20 percent each year for the past 14 years. As a Landscape Maintenance Contractor throughout the summer months, leveraging Christmas Decor as an add-on business has given Fouts the opportunity to go back to his summer client base and offer additional winter services, leaving his customers happy while continuing to establish a solid client foundation for both businesses.
Since its inception in 1986, Christmas Decor has become the leading holiday lighting and decorating company in North America. The Texas-based company was founded by Blake Smith as an off-season supplement to his landscape business and as a method to provide year-round work for employees. Christmas Decor quickly emerged as a viable business opportunity and today, operates in more than 375 markets in 48 states and Canada.
For the 2013 winter season, Christmas Decor will be the first business in the industry to launch the latest RGB (Red Green Blue) lighting technology to cater to the hottest decorating trend this season, creating mesmerizing but non-invasive animations for consumers around the country. With the cutting-edge RGB technology, customers can choose from an array of more than 250 different color patterns that softly fade in and out, creating a captivating look as they sparkle through the night.
The revolutionary technology gives customers the power to control the color, depth sequence, and brightness of the bulbs, which can also fade from any color to look as if the lights are chasing each other without the need for music. Additionally, customers have the option to leave the light structure up year-round to match their lighting designs to area sports teams, local festivals, and a variety of holidays without the hassle of getting on the roof.
As new lighting technologies continue to launch and the demographic for outsourcing holiday decorating continues to grow, we have made it our mission to not only alleviate the frustration and pressure that come with the arduous task of holiday decorating, but also to leave an everlasting impact by partnering with causes that touch millions of lives.
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In addition to the Decorated Family Program launched in 2005, in which Christmas Decor franchisees nationwide donate products, resources, and time to decorate the homes of local military families, this year Christmas Decor will be unveiling a new partnership with CancerCare, a national organization committed to helping people cope with the emotional, practical, and financial challenges of cancer. To help raise money for the cause, the franchise will be selling pink wreaths and donating 100 percent of the proceeds to the cause.
For more information on Christmas Decor’s 2013 initiatives and franchise opportunities, visit www.christmasdecor.net.
Brandon Stephens is President of Christmas Decor, the nation’s premier holiday lighting and decorating company. Stephens holds a degree in Communications from Angelo State University and an M.A. in Communications from Texas Tech University. He joined the Lubbock-based franchise in 2003 as their Director of Marketing. Today the company operates in more than 375 markets in 48 states and Canada. To contact Mr. Stephens please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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