Here are five stats from Lawn & Landscape’s State of the Industry issue that greenhouse growers should know, whether they are already selling to landscapers or are thinking about getting into that market.
1. The industry continues to rebound after the last recession.
Like the greenhouse industry, lawn and landscape professionals were hit hard by the Great Recession and the years of economic discomfort that came with it. The good news is, those days appear be over.
In this year’s report, responders reported a median revenue of $291,000 — up from $256,000 in 2015 and $217,000 in 2014. Additionally, 86% of landscape contractors reported turning a profit in 2016 — up from 84% in 2014 and 78% in 2014. Comparatively, 88% of responders to Greenhouse Management’s State of the Industry report said they turned a profit last year.
2. Businesses are offering more services.
According to Lawn & Landscape’s report, 59% of landscaper contractors say they began offering tree and ornamental services in the past year. Additionally, another 8% of responders said they plan to start offering trees and ornamentals in the next 12 months. Comparatively, 6% said they stopped offering trees and ornamentals in the past year.
Trees and ornamentals are a small part of many businesses’ service — they accounted for just 4% of gross revenue in 2016 and ranked as the sixth-fastest growing category, according to the report — but interest seems to be growing.
3. They share labor concerns.
While landscapers’ concern for labor dropped slightly — from 45% saying it was a top concern in the 2016 SOI to 42% saying it was a top concern in the 2017 version — it is still the top concern in the industry. 77% said they believe a lack of quality employees hinders their operation’s growth.
Several factors contribute to this concern. Some businesses like Peabody Landscaping in Columbus were shut out of the H-2B visa pool and had to turn to a temporary staffing company to fill needed roles.
4. Minimum wage is also top-of-mind.
In Greenhouse Management’s State of the Industry issue many growers reported concerns over a potential minimum wage spike and how that would affect their ability to hire labor. Many landscape companies have the same concerns, with 33% of responders considering higher wage costs a major concern in the next three years.
5. The industry is optimistic.
Despite those concerns, 94% of landscape responders say they are at least “somewhat confident” that the industry will grow. Additionally, 93% of responders say they are confident that their business will grow.
By comparison, 86% of greenhouse growers said they are at least “somewhat confident” in the direction the industry is headed.