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  • Rich Watson

Hiring the right company for the job...

Updated: Oct 27, 2022

Every homeowners number one physical asset is their home. Our pride and joy. Our "castle," our "sanctuary." We don't just trust anyone onto our property...or do we?

So you saw a Facebook advertisement, a sign at the intersection that read "Christmas Light Installation" with a phone number or found a Xerox copy stuffed in your mailbox that said "For Cheap Christmas Lights call 867-5309"....But for some reason, you've never heard of them. There's a reason most of those signs or advertisements don't have a "brand" on them. There isn't one...its a temporary business.

How do you know the company is experienced in Professional Christmas lighting installation? Do they actually have General Liability Insurance coverage for the type of work they will be doing? Do they have product inventory on hand, and will they come back to take the lighting and decor down after the season? What happens if something goes wrong, can you find them? Will they return your calls, texts or emails?

Each year hundreds of new installers enter the market to try to carve out a niche for themselves. Some lead with low pricing just to get business, even if it's lower than the cost of commercial materials. Some will go to a big box store, buy retail product and sell it as commercial lighting. Most are well below the market average cost. Others lead with a catchy name, that may not even be registered with the Secretary of State or Department of Revenue. Many of these new installers do not carry General Liability Insurance, much less the proper coverage.

And then the websites...the websites that all look the same, have the same pictures you can find on a quick google search, or the photos of houses loaded with snow...something you don't normally see in Carolina...The template based websites that all promise the same service offerings that have more or less become buzzwords and catch phrases in the service industry.

But who are they? Where did they come from? Many times its traveling laborers, pressure washers, painters, gutter cleaners and landscapers. Many will say they are just trying to keep their workers employed during the offseason. They probably attended a sales convention or industry conference that told them they could get rich quick if they just threw some lights up on a house. And as long as they were super fast they could do 10-20 houses a day. Meanwhile, successful business owners rarely have an offseason if they are proficient at their trade.

And then you have the top of the trade in your city. The long term, year round Christmas, Holiday, and Event companies that actually specialize in the lighting you're looking for. These types of businesses are normally run by someone that goes all out decorating their own home and has actual photos of their own work. They may not have one of those cookie cutter websites we commonly see, but their website is definitely genuine and honest.

That's where charlotteELF comes in. We are a local company. We prefer to work within a close radius to our home, our schools, our community. While we do have clients that found us in various cities across the Carolinas, we are primarily a local, family owned business. Our kids attend the same schools, we shop at the same Harris Teeter and Publix, and sometimes we still cheer for the same local sports team, even the one that's normally losing. But we also take our business seriously. We have the proper insurance. We own aerial lifts to keep workers off your roof and ladder work to a minimum. Our branding is on all of our advertising, vehicles and uniforms. Safety is actually a virtue within our company. Protecting our clients property is paramount to us. Building lasting relationships where our clients can rely on us to not only deliver your holiday or event concept, but to stand behind our work and to understand this is a simple tenet of business. Doing things the right way. If we won't do it on our own home, rest assured we won't take chances with yours. While some may use some of these phrases, we live by them. It's instinctive to us.

One of the first things we always ask other holiday business owners when we us pictures of your home, the one that you decorate...And sadly, most of the time....they don't have any. Not even on their own website. That speaks volumes to us, as holiday and event decorators. It may not seem like a big deal to some, but to us, you have to love what you do, especially during the holiday season. Temporary business owners just don't have that same feeling, and it shows in their work and the presentation. We would enjoy having you as a client this holiday season, and for every season after...lets get started celebrating the most joyous time of year, and let us handle the heavy lifting ;)

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