In the winter of 1996, Bob Martin got the creative spark for his company, BrightIdeasInc.com, when he realized most people dread the yearly task of hanging holiday lights. Confident that people would pay for the convenience, Martin launched the business from his garage. He spent just $2,500 at startup, purchasing supplies such as advertising signs, ladders, lights, timers and other equipment.
By sponsoring the local TV station’s toy drive and giving away free lighting displays through radio shows, he was able to score much-needed exposure in his community for next to nothing.
In 1997, BrightIdeasInc.com also began offering year-round landscape lighting services along with its seasonal decorations. Now with two showrooms and four warehouses in Illinois, the company projects nearly $2 million in sales this year.
Photo by rkimpeljr.