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Landscaping Industry Trends

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by 532Chris, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. 532Chris

    532Chris LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I just recently started researching business trends in the landscaping industry for a paper my business team is writing and would like to hear feedback from owners and managers of landscaping businesses. Specifically, we are interested in knowing if higher gas prices, slower housing sales/starts, and a general slowdown in the economy is affecting the money spent for landscaping projects.

    I appreciate that most business owners and managers stay very busy, especially this time of the year. That said, if you have a couple of minutes to comment on how your business is being impacted by the economic slowdown, I'd be grateful.

    A few of the questions that we hope to address in the paper are:

    Are landscaping companies seeing a difference in revenues from previous years?
    Are consumers spending less than they have in the past on landscaping projects?
    Are consumers foregoing vacations and instead spending more on home projects (landscaping or otherwise)?
    Are consumers shifting their spending from professional landscaping companies to big box home improvement stores?
    What strategies are landscaping companies using to combat higher gas prices?

    While we realize this information is anecdotal, we would like to include comments from people "in the trenches" along with the formal research we will be doing for the paper. If you have a few minutes and would like to respond to these questions or just post general comments, we would really appreciate it. We will be wrapping up the research around 7/28. If you don't mind including your city and state (or area of the country where the business is located), that would help determine if landscapers are being affected differently in different regions of the country.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. coif_kid

    coif_kid LawnSite Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 93

    I work in a very wealthy area (average salary is 78k plus), with high population increase (>5% per year) with large immigration and an increasingly diverse population.

    Changes in revenue... No. Revenue is up 15% this year over last. (It is only july so that that percent will get higher.)

    Your next two questions are redundant if revenue is climbing.

    Concerning big box stores... unsure. I'm not of the size where they would impact me. (My sales are approx 90 - 100k.)

    Gas prices are minor to me. I have tried to make a goal of $10 per revenue for every kilometer travelled in the truck). That said, prices are 30% higher for me year over year so they are notable. I dealt with it by increasing prices 1.5% this year, which makes up for it and then some.

    Hope this helps.
  3. MMEC

    MMEC LawnSite Member
    from East
    Messages: 36

    my info: I am a irrigator that is 80% install / 20% service in a depressed region.

    A few of the questions that we hope to address in the paper are:

    A lot of LCO's in this area had a bigger issue with their H2B workers this year then finding work. They had work but no workers. Our revenue will be down probably 400k+ this year from last year.

    The highend customers (700k+)are still spending the same, the middle of the road customer (500-700k) is phasing the projects and the entry level homes (300-500k) continue to try to buy a 50lb bag of potatos for the price of a 10lb bag. And the <300k are trying to do it themselves more and more.

    I see them foregoing a few things, but I don't seem them investing in their landscaping or home projects.

    Yes, in the <300k range

    Our service truck add a fuel charge of $5 per each visit, we have went from a 5-6 day work week down to a 4 day work week in hopes of running "tighter" routes. We have added as much as $6500 on a commercial bid to cover fuel costs associated with the project. Petro and copper have had a horrific effect on the irrigation industry while LCO's have not been nearly as effected. You are talking about wholesale increase in the 100%+ range of the past 3 years on copper, 50% increase on pipe and fittings. A hike of 5-18% on components one or two times a year accept on the loss leaders.
  4. 532Chris

    532Chris LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    coif_kid & MMEC -

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. Your posts reinforce what I have been reading about the economy in general. High income consumers are pretty much spending as usual (though some news reports indicate this may be changing too) while middle class consumers are being squeezed and are cutting back on unnecessary spending. No surprises there. I suspect as I research the landscaping industry specifically, I'll find the same.

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