Multi-Unit Franchise Experts

Franchise Evaluator™: Outdoor Lighting Perspectives

Founded in 1995, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives (OLP) specializes in the design, installation, and service of landscape and architectural lighting systems for both commercial and residential clients. The company also sells and installs lighting control automation for interior and exterior lighting applications. In 2010, OLP added a holiday lighting program to create a “three businesses in one” approach and help franchise owners extend their selling season. 

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives
Franchise at a Glance

Corporate Address
Outdoor Lighting Perspectives
2426 Old Brick Road
Glen Allen, VA 23060

Year Founded: 1995
Year Started Franchising: 1998
Franchised Units: 131
Franchise Description:

OLP is a home-based, B2B outdoor illumination business that allows entrepreneurs to run a thriving business while having the flexibility to make their own schedules. Selling points of the brand are a proven sales process, low overhead costs, and guidance from its parent company, Empower Brands (formerly Outdoor Living Brands and Lynx Franchising). The B2B franchise offers architectural lighting, color-changing lighting, festive string lighting, landscape lighting, HOA lighting, pathway light, and security lighting services. Commercial clients include restaurants, golf clubs, vacation rentals, hotels, and more.

MARKET Factors

1

What population does the brand serve? Is the market broad, niche, or somewhere in-between?

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Market Size

Data from Skyquest shows that the global architectural lighting market was worth $7.70 billion in 2022 and is poised to grow to $12.47 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 5.5%.

8

We categorize the market size as a large market.

Scale

Small to Large Market Size
2

Is the overall industry growing, that is creating new customers who have never used these services before, or mature where most population segments are already using these types of products and services?

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Industry Trend

The market’s growth is driven by increasing urbanization, rising infrastructural developments, and an emphasis on energy-efficient lighting solutions. Architectural lighting plays an important role in enhancing the aesthetics of both indoor and outdoor spaces and can influence the overall ambiance and mood. The demand for lighting solutions that complement architectural designs will increase as these designs become more innovative. The market is also influenced by a preference for customizable lighting solutions that offer advanced control and automation. Additionally, regulations aimed at reducing energy consumption have put sustainable lighting solutions in the limelight.

8

We categorize the Industry Trend as high growth trend.

Scale

Low to High Growth Trend
3

What drives the purchase of the product or service? Is it a “need-to-buy” or a “want-to-buy”? How are customers drawn to your business?

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Product and Service Drivers

OLP uses high-quality lighting and components, including heavy-gauge brass and copper fixtures, advanced LED technology, and commercial-grade stainless steel transformers. All LEDs have a 5-year warranty. Residential, hospitality, and holiday lighting services are at the heart of the business.

8

We categorize the product and service drivers as mid to high drivers.

Scale

Low to High Drivers
4

Are competitors a major factor in operating your business? If so, is competition sparse or saturated? Will it matter to your business?

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Competitive Climate

OLP invented the category of low-voltage landscape lighting and pioneered the processes and technology used by the entire industry. When it comes to outdoor lighting, OLP is the leading national brand with the most locations, experience, and the largest client base. Competitors in the industry use OLP as a model. Competition may come from other independent businesses, landscape companies and other entities considered “mom and pop” establishments.

7

We categorize the competitive climate as mid-high competitive pressure.

Scale

Low to High Competition
5

Are the business’s products or services regulated, or do they require licensing? Will you or your employees require special licensing? If so, is the regulatory climate strict or lax? Will this affect recruiting employees?

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Regulatory Climate

Electrical installation laws, permitting and regulations, as well as certification and licensing, vary depending on the state and municipality. Franchise owners should be aware of their state’s and local municipality’s specific regulations, requirements, licensing and laws before opening up for business.

8

We categorize the regulatory climate as high regulation.

Scale

Low to High Regulation

MODEL Factors

1

This is one of the most important factors of all. To understand it you have to look beyond what the business physically does, the services performed or products sold and ask how does the franchise make money? Where does the revenue come from? How is it generated? Are financial performance representations made? Coupled with External Factors 1, 2 and 5 – Market Size, Industry Trend and Competitive Climate and the next Internal Factor 2, Franchisee Role – the true nature of the franchise starts to take shape.

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Revenue Model

OLP’s franchise owners benefit from four main revenue streams: 
  • Residential Services: Landscape and architectural LED outdoor lighting; installation; and ongoing maintenance and service programs
  • Holiday Lighting: Design, installation, take-down, and storage
  • Hospitality and Commercial Custom Design: Install, ongoing maintenance/service for hotels, bed & breakfasts, and more
  • Annual Maintenance and Warranty Plans: With the Shine365 program, clients receive a lifetime warranty on their lighting system and annual quality checks.

9

We categorize the Operational Model as Simple.

Scale

Simple to Complex Model
2

How developed are the systems on which you will rely to operate your business?

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Operational Systems

OLP is a proven franchise model with more than 25 years of track record and over 200,000 installations across the U.S. Perks of the franchise include outstanding onboarding, marketing, lead generation, and continuous operational support. Its customer-focused approach offers clients custom lighting design plans with LED fixtures with an array of technology innovations.

9

We categorize the Operational Systems as Comprehensive.

Scale

Basic to Comprehensive
3

In this highly diffuse world, creating, managing and projecting a Brand is essential for the health and vitality of a franchise system. How well does the Franchisor manage this? How well positioned is the brand among competitors? Is it differentiated enough? How well would potential customers recognize the brand? How is it projected into new markets? What is your role and obligations in this process? How is the Brand’s digital footprint managed?

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Brand Management

OLP offers quality services to clients and has earned a stellar reputation as a leader in the industry. The brand has earned the certification of World-Class Franchise by the Franchise Research Institute with 100% scores on overall quality of the franchise and opportunity provided by the franchise system. OLP has been recognized as a Top 500 Franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine.

10

We categorize the Brand Management as High Engagement.

Scale

Low to High Engagement
4

What role is the franchisee expected to play in starting, ramping and the ongoing operation of the business?

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Outdoor Lighting Perspectives Franchisee Role

Franchisees must follow the proven business model, coordinate marketing and advertising activities, keep an eye on customer service, and manage a team of part time installers. The ideal candidate enjoys meeting and working with new clients, and has a strong commitment to service. A background in sales and marketing skills are a plus but not mandatory. No design or electrical experience is required.

8

We categorize the Franchisee Role as Business Manager.

Scale

Service Executor to Business Manager Role
5

What type of location, if any, is needed to deliver the product or service? If real estate is needed, are the requirements flexible or stringent? Is real estate essential to the product or brand experience or required for services to be performed onsite?

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Real Estate Needs

This home-based business can be run from a van. If candidates don’t own one, they can purchase or finance one. Therefore the overhead associated with owning and operating an Outdoor Lighting Perspectives is relatively low.

9

We categorize the regulatory climate as basic need.

Scale

Basic to Essential Needs

ORGANIZATION Factors

1

How experienced is the franchisor at being a franchisor?

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Franchising Experience

OLP is under the Empower Brands (formerly Lynx Franchising and Outdoor Living Brands) umbrella. The Empower Brands leadership team is made up of entrepreneurs who are passionate about helping franchise owners succeed and have decades of experience in the field. Other brands under the Empower umbrella include FRSTeam, Archadeck Outdoor Living, and Conserva Irrigation.

10

We categorize the Franchising Experience as Extensive.

Scale

Limited to Extensive
2

What is the tenure, background, and commitment of the franchise’s leadership?

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Business Leadership

Scott Zide is the president and CEO of Empower Brands. ​​He was an OLP franchise owner in St. Louis, Missouri, in 2000, and, in 2002, he was hired as a consultant and later became vice president.

Tom Welter is the group president of Empower Brands. He brings an extensive background in franchising and operations to the role, previously serving as Regional VP of Operations for Yum! Brands, Senior VP of Operations for 24 Hour Fitness franchises, VP of Franchising for Byrider, COO of Lift Brands, and CEO of Clean Streak Ventures.

Rich Young is OLP’s vice president and brand leader. He is responsible for executing new franchisee training, developing and implementing field programs, and more.

Scott Sutton is Empower’s CDO. At Empower, the passionate franchise development expert leads initiatives and strategies to help grow the company’s existing brands and add new ones to the portfolio. Throughout his career, Sutton has worked for Threshold Brands, Sunbrook Franchising, and BioLab Franchise Company.

10

We categorize the Franchising Leaders as Highly Experienced.

Scale

Limited to Highly Experienced
3

How often and how well does the franchisor engage franchisees? What assistance is provided in starting and operating your business.

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Franchisee Engagement

Prior to opening for business, franchise owners are provided with two weeks of training at corporate headquarters in Richmond, Va. OLP also offers franchisees third-party lending options and assists with site selection. Ongoing support and training includes 24/7 access to an Information Technology Support Team; C.O.L.T. training; comprehensive marketing workshops; and in-house bookkeepers.

9

We categorize the Franchisee Engagement as Highly Engaged.

Scale

Low to Highly Engaged
4

In what kind of financial shape is the franchisor?

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Financial Health

OLP has a robust item 19 that boasts an average gross profit margin of 54%; an average annual sales volume of $899,040; and average revenue totaling $209,711.

*From the 2023 Outdoor LIghting Perspectives FDD. Always consult your financial and legal counsel before making any investment decisions. The information presented here does not constitute endorsement or validation, nor an offer to buy a franchise. For information purposes only.

9

We categorize the Financial Health as Sound.

Scale

Weak to Sound Financial Health

Key Points

Investment Range
$99,675 – $214,200
Cash Investment

$60,000

Minimum Net Worth
$250,000
Franchise Fee
$59,500
Royalty Fee
7%
Passive Ownership
No
Average Number of Employees
1-3
Item 19 Financial Performance (AGR)

$903,654*

*Average annual gross revenue from OLP 2023 FDD

Home Based
Yes
Veteran Discount
Yes
VetFran 15% discount – $50,575
B2B
Yes

Total Evaluator Score

122
0 – 24

Missing fundamental, internal or external factors

25 – 49

More investigation is needed

50 – 74

Worth exploring further with caution

75 – 99

Add to consideration set

100 – 140

Sound opportunity and likely a great fit

Learn more about Outdoor Lighting Perspectives

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