08 Nov Gambino Landscape Lighting systems Are Not For everyone
By Mike Gambino
Great landscape Lighting Design and Products for Everyone?
Should Gambino landscape lighting System design, custom products and installation services be accessible to everyone? Does everyone deserve a beautiful, professionally-designed and Installed Custom High Performance low Voltage Landscape Lighting System on their property?
My answer is no.
Sometimes I am told- “We love everything you are offering, you are the guy but you’re just too expensive. Do you have a lower product line for less money that you can use?” My answer is always a resounding NO! If there was such a product that existed then I would have no reason to not offer it to you from the start. It is unfortunate that your budget will not allow hiring me but one thing I will never do is to substitute a product of lesser quality just to get a job. This to me is a recipe for disaster, a failed project and one very unhappy designer (me) and more importantly client.
Custom Landscape Lighting design/Build is a luxury service- not everyone can afford it. It’s inherently expensive. Fixtures, hardware, Power equipment, intensive labor all can be significant investments – as does the project management to pull it all together. Landscape lighting design/build isn’t meant to be a universal right.
A comfortable, safe property, yes. But an Landscape Lighting designer builder to provide a professional service, no.
But I see too many designer builders, product suppliers etc. say that they want “good landscape lighting to be accessible to everyone”. That’s a nice sentiment, but not sustainable for Landscape lighting designers and operating a business.
Operating a Business, Not a Hobby or Charity
There must be a threshold that you determine in your business as to what is profitable for you. Because, most designers who tell me they want to design for everyone are also the ones that want to know how to make money in Landscape lighting design/Build.
Custom Landscape Lighting designer builders shouldn’t get the short end of the stick because “everyone deserves good lighting”. There are plenty of ways that someone who wants good lighting design can achieve it without the service of a professional designer – because sometimes that professional service is not in their budget – and that’s okay. Designers don’t have to absorb that cost. We’re not running a charity, we’re running a business.
It’s important to get clear on what we can and can’t offer to clients. We should know what our project minimum is. And need to know if we can be efficient enough to get it done within the budget and profitably for our own company. Client’s expectations need to be determined and managed.
The following questions must be considered and be truthful with ourselves:
- Is the client’s budget reasonable?
- Can I make a profit and get the job done within this budget?
- Are my fees going to be reasonable compared to the budget?
- What is the minimum hours I would need to do this in to make a profit?
- What is the maximum hours that is reasonable for this budget?
- Is there another service or package I could offer the client that would be a better fit for their budget?
Just because we love the profession of Landscape Lighting design/build and want everyone to enjoy their properties doesn’t mean that we give our skills and talents away for free.
This landscape lighting blog is published by Mike Gambino of Gambino landscape lighting inc. all rights reserved. Mike is a professional landscape lighting system designer/ builder and has been designing, installing and maintaining landscape lighting systems for more than 29 years. Mike resides in the Los Angeles area with his wife and 2 sons. To visit his website go to www.Gambinolighting.com . To inquire about hiring Mike please click here .
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