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PlanetChristmas Magazine September 2014

September 2014  |  PlanetChristmas  39 advantage of the seasonal nature and retire the first half of the year knowing they’ll start ramp-ing up again in July. The PlanetChristmas staff slogged through all of our interview notes and came up with 10 ways others have been successful and made money in the Christmas business. In reality, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to potential earnings. Getting into any these business opportunities is no guarantee of suc-cess. Dedication, hard work, being in the right place at the right time and a certain amount of luck factors into if it’s the right fit for you. These are in no particular order, other than how they ended up on the whiteboard in our conference room. 1. Outdoor Decorating 2. Indoor Decorating 3. Mall Christmas Store 4. Pop-Up Christmas Store 5. Huge Christmas Props 6. Christmas Light Tours 7. Light Show Guru/Sequencer 8. HOA Decorator Specialist 9. Drive Through Light Park 10. On-Call Santa Some of these make total sense. Other, maybe not-so-much until you understand the market. Let’s dig a little deeper into each. We’re just scratching the surface so remember you’ll have to dig even deeper on your own if you want to pursue any of these ideas. Outdoor Decorating You would be amazed how many people want to decorate the outside of their homes for Christmas but don’t have the gumption to do it. Others avoid it because they know they’ll have to take stuff down after the season. If you are into outdoor decorating, doing this as a busi-ness sounds like a slam dunk. Word to the wise, though: it’s really hard work. How do you price your service? Should you use your own decora-tions or the customer’s? What about storing the decorations? Don’t forget you’re constantly on-call during December. How do you handle the customer saying his party will be ruined because a C7 bulb on the roofline is out? How about the grandmother on the other side of town say-ing she wants you to come by and change the timer so the lights go off at 9:30 instead of 9:45? Believe it or not, these are very manageable challenges. Where do you begin? If you have started a business before, you know the basics of cashflow and can come up with a good business plan. Focus on streamlining every process and spending money wisely. The key is to creating a decorating system. Put lights on the bushes the same way. Find a universal clip for holding a light on a roofline. Use the same type of light on all your jobs. By being consistent it’s easy to train employees and fix things when they go wrong. If running a business is foreign to you, consider a Christmas decorating franchise. Just follow their playbook and chances of success are high, though a cut of all your sales go to the franchiser. If you love outdoor decorating and want to get in the business, customers are everywhere. Indoor Decorating The experts tell us many companies want a professional to come in and handle all their hol-iday decorations. It runs the gamut from giant shopping malls to small businesses that want to get their employees into the spirit. Then there are all those homes in the fancy neighborhoods Outdoor Decorating


PlanetChristmas Magazine September 2014
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