PDA

View Full Version : Green Industry - a lesser career choice?


HBFOXJr
10-25-2011, 08:02 AM
As the financial crisis wears, people ask how is business. I tell them better this year and last, kind of mirroring the good part corporate America.

Yet when you look at what the industry can provide as a business opportunity, it isn't real wonderful. Take farming as an example. Poor midwest farmers flooded out this year, Texas farmers losing out to a historic drought, yet these guys have had some great years. Given the right weather or the right market conditions, these guys have had the opportunity for killer years with our buying extra equipment or hiring extra man power. They will or have gotten disaster aid.

Who among us has had those "bumper crop", great market place years, disaster aid or federal bail out? When the diary industry was collapsing a few years ago because of too much production, they sold the cows for meat and cut production. Yup, killed them. We can't thin our business ranks and cut the consumers supply of green care providers.

But we can have bad years as I saw in the 70s, 80s, 90s and now. I'll never have a year or group of years where I can make up what I lost in 2008 and 2009 with the same size business as I had then. My only option is to grow the business size, and grow it carefully and profitably to increase total profit. There will never be a year where I can fertilize 50% more lawns with no additional investment. There will never be a year in which irrigation blow outs suddenly rise 25% because of a market related condition some where else in the country or world.

Sure auto, appliance and other manufacturers have suffered. Retailers have suffered and doors have been shuttered by choice or circumstance. The survivors will have the opportunity to ramp up manufacturing, keep prices up and make billions of dollars to stash away for another day. Good for them.

When have margins, prices or production ever been high enough in the green industry to do more than survive and endure. So after 40 years, all I can say is, I have had solid years and a few bad years, but never a record year or bumper crop causing profit to spike. The nature of the industry doesn't allow years like Exxon, Ford, and farming. Plan carefully.