Description: Outdoor Lighting Perspectives invented the landscape and architectural lighting category. OLP is proud to be North America’s first, largest, and most trusted full-service outdoor landscape and architectural lighting provider. As the leading national brand with the most locations, largest footprint, and the largest client base in the category, no one has installed more low-voltage lighting systems and more fixtures. Opportunities: Single and multi-unit opportunities available throughout the US. Business Type: Franchise. Minimum Cash Required: $75,000. Financing Assistance: Yes, from the company. Training Provided: Yes. Home-based: Yes. SBA-Approved: Yes.
We offer a $2,500 discount on the initial franchise fee to qualified military veterans.
Interview with Erin Zide: Outdoor Lighting Perspectives Franchisee
Light has the power to transform and illuminate, taking an ordinary exterior to dazzling while also providing heightened levels of safety. Outdoor Lighting Perspectives recognized this market need for home owners and built a business that has become America’s number one choice for outdoor lighting. OLP has lit up the landscapes of over 100,000 clients by offering an accommodating and fruitful business model that franchisees stand behind.
In this Success Stories Interview, we hear from Outdoor Lighting Perspectives franchisee Erin Zide. Erin has owned not one, but two OLP franchises and has an extensive knowledge spanning 16 years of what it takes to effectively operate this top home improvement franchise. Read on to learn about Erin’s journey and why OLP has been a rewarding fit for her and just might be for you too.
Can you tell us a little about your history with Outdoor Lighting Perspectives?
In 2000, my husband and I licensed our first Olp franchise in the St Louis market. We had success with the business model and my husband went on to work with the corporate office. After four years, we moved to be near the franchise headquarters and sold our St Louis franchise. I spent a number of years training and supporting new and existing locations along with recruitment. A couple of years ago, the local Richmond OLP came available and I decided to license this office. It is a great opportunity to grow this market, test new strategies for the system and it acts as a great training location for new franchisees.
Describe a person who would fit in well with running an Outdoor Lighting Perspectives franchise.
Someone who is a driven, self starter, who enjoys client interaction, sales and networking
What initially attracted you to OLP?
Back when we began, we found the marketing assets available would give us an edge in the marketplace. Also, having the support on the product and technical end helped to ease the learning curve. It has only gotten stronger over the years.
Describe the need that OLP fills in communities.
Curb appeal, extending hours into the evening, safety and security
What is your favorite thing about being an OLP franchisee?
I love the smile we bring to our clients faces. We are an enjoyable purchase for our clients who love their properties. Seeing their home lit at night brings a great deal of pride. I also appreciate being able to dictate my schedule and am able to be a mom before and after school.
What does training look like for an OLP franchisee? Is knowledge in the outdoor lighting industry necessary?
Training is 4 1/2 days in one week. The training focuses on all parts of the business model - marketing, IT, financial, operations, sales, and field installation. From experience, I can say that a new location can go back to their town and begin running their business after their week in training.
What is the #1 piece of advice you received as a first-time franchisee?
Be sure to market your business and create brand awareness in your market. Never sit and wait for the phone to ring-- make it happen with networking and building up the trade
How close were the estimates of startup time to actual startup time?
We started immediately following training. The key is following the pre training checklist that is provided, so you do come quite prepared for the next steps.
Why does outdoor landscape and architectural lighting make a good franchise? Is this a growing segment?
OLP is a great franchise opportunity. It is a growing trend with residential homeowners. This particular business model has some impressive margins, reasonable start up costs, opportunity to run from home with less overhead. Lastly, a small staff is all that is needed to run a sizable location.
Did you need a lot of working capital before you began to bring in profits?
When you begin overhead is low in regard to employees or need for an office. The largest sum is what is needed for marketing spend to launch the business
Can you elaborate on the kind of support and training an incoming franchisee can expect from Outdoor Lighting Perspectives?
The training and ongoing resources available to new and existing locations are many. All of the team is very dedicated and loves what they do. The franchisor had specialists in each department who are a great resource for both new and existing locations.
Has the industry landscape changed since you opened your first franchise in 2000?
The industry has certainly changed since opening our first location back in 2000. I think clients are looking on the internet much more to find an outdoor lighting company. They are also getting great visual ideas from sites like houzz and Pinterest. It helps to plant a seed for lighting. There is also the excitement of LED and being part of this great time in lighting with so many new innovations in the industry.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
OLP has brought both me and my husband on a wonderful journey spanning 16 years thus far. It is pretty amazing to find a business model that offers such flexibility along with opportunity. It is just as much fun today as it was many years ago. I still learn something new every day.
GREAT! WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
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