Latest survey results: COVID-19

Latest survey results: COVID-19

The new numbers show 11% of companies have had at least one employee test positive, while almost 60% received a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program.

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May 21, 2020

Lawn & Landscape collected data from our fourth COVID-19 survey from May 7-14  and received about 500 respondents). Below are how the numbers compare from our first survey on March 20-23 (about 1,300 respondents), the second survey from March 28-31 (about 800 respondents) and the third survey April 11-14 (about 800 respondents.) The survey shows the industry is rebounding with increases in landscapers getting cancelled jobs back, but the bulk of landscapers are still expecting to lose up to 20% of revenue.

Scroll to the bottom to get specific feedback from respondents on how their businesses are doing.

S1 = Survey 1

S2 = Survey 2

S3 = Survey 3

S4= Survey 4

 

Have any of your employees tested positive for COVID-19? (Not asked in previous surveys)

Yes: 11%

No: 89%

Did you receive a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program? (Not asked in previous surveys)     

Yes      59%    

No       41%

How is your business situation compared to where it was last week? (This question was not in the first survey.)

Better

S2: 6%

S3: 7%

S4: 21%

Worse

S2: 38%

S3: 51%

S4: 30%

About the same        

S2: 56 %

S3: 42%

S4: 49%         

How much have circumstances around COVID 19 negatively affected your business?

   Extremely

S1: 17%

S2: 24%

S3: 20%

S4: 9%

    A lot

S1: 23%

S2: 24%

S3: 25%

S4: 22%

    Somewhat

S1: 47%

S2: 46%

S3: 47%

S4: 56%

    Not at all

S1: 13%

S2: 6%

S3: 9%

S4: 14%

How much has COVID-19 and the economy affected your company's planned purchases/spending? (Select all that apply)

Cancelled all spending

S1: 12%

S2: 12%

S3: 15%

S4: 4%

    Cancelled some spending

S1: 20%

S2: 21%

S3: 22%

S4: 23%

    Paused all spending

S1: 21%

S2: 25%

S3: 16%

S4: 13%

 Paused some spending

S1: 40%

S2: 39%

S3: 40%

S4: 47%

    Hiring freeze

S1: 23%

S2: 23%

S3: 20%

S4: 13%

    Layoffs

S1: 10%

S2: 12%

S3: 12%

    No change in plans

S1: 14%

S2: 10%

S3: 14%

S4: 6%

Has anyone told you directly they are cancelling a job because of the economy’s downturn/COVID 19?

Note: The number of people who said yes jumped from 15% in the first and second survey but only 2% from second to third survey and now only one percent from the third to fourth survey.

Yes

S1: 53%

S2: 68%

S3: 70%

S4: 71%

No

S1: 47%

S2: 32%

S3: 30%

S4:  29%

If you have had jobs cancelled or paused, what segment were they in? (Select all that apply)

Maintenance (Mowing, trimming)

S1: 37%

S2: 44%

S3: 49%

S4: 47%

Design/build

S1: 51%

S2: 51%

S3: 54%

S4: 53%

Lawn care (Chemical spraying, fertilizer)

S1: 24%

S2: 28%

S3: 29%

S4: 30%

Irrigation

S1: 10%

S2: 10%

S3: 13%

S4: 11%

Tree care

S1: 11%

S2: 10%

S3: 11%

S4:10%

None cancelled or delayed

S1: 19%

S2: 13%

S3: 10%

S4:14%

What type of customer cancelled or paused?

Residential         

S1: 61%

S2: 66%

S3: 73%

S4: 68%

Commercial       

S1: 37%

S2: 41%

S3: 45%

S4: 49%

None cancelled or paused           

S1: 21%

S2: 14%

S3: 11%

S4: 14%

Were you able to get any of the cancelled work back?

S2: Yes  22%

S3: Yes  27%

S4: Yes: 43%

 

S2: No 78%

S3: No 73%

S4: No 57%

How much revenue do estimate you've lost because of cancellations COVID-19? (This was not asked in the first survey.)

Survey 2

0%:          11%

1-10%:      37%

11-20%:    19%

21-30%:   11%

31-40%:    5%

41-50%:    4%

More than 50%    7%

We've added business    6%

Survey 3

0%:          10%

1-10%:    33%

11-20%:  22%

21-30%:  12%

31-40%:   6%

41-50%:   4%

More than 50%:   7%

We've added business:    6%

Survey 4 

0%:                      11%

1-10%:                36%

11-20%:               22%

21-30%:               10%

 

31-40%:               4%

41-50%:               4%

More than 50%:               3%

We've added business    10%

 

Comments

  • Maintenance has been scaled back, but design/build estimates have been in high demand with people at home.
  • There have been far fewer requests for proposals for new work, so we will have fewer projects through the summer.  Hopefully they will pick up going into the fall
  • Overall, we have been blessed.  We have had very little negative impacts.  This is going to make our team better with more safety & clean measures in place. I believe if the economy can get back to work by June 1 & stop watching the news, the economy & our business will boom the last 2 quarters of this year.          
  • As a commercial construction contractor, I don’t think that we will see the true impacts that this will have on our business for 12–18 months. As the last contractor on the jobsite, the general contractors that we work with have been onsite for 12, 18, or even 24 months. Those projects are contracted and there is a contractual obligation to complete that work. New and upcoming projects that are being cancelled will really start to affect us in the timeframe that we would expect landscape and irrigation to fall on their schedules. I anticipate that we will see less and less bid invites as those projects start to go away. This will also make the market more competitive and potentially bring pricing down as the same number of landscape contractors are going after a more limited supply of work available.
  • Concerned about late Q3 revenue.  Slow down in residential building will impact us then.
  • Like any difficulty in business, there is learning and opportunity to be gained. We have ramped up videoconferencing effectively, selling a number of larger projects without actually visiting the site (!) and have used this new venue to set up effective interim mid-project meetings as well. As a business owner, I am hoping that the economic downturn may yield better quality labor applicants - and much less demand for pay increases. In design/build we are seeing some benefit of folks working from home, as many are tired of looking at their tired landscapes and are desiring a new look. We are fortunate to be located in a region where tech is dominant and many can work from home - and doubly thankful to be in the "other" Washington where we rely on science, rather than wishful thinking... many businesses are suffering, but design/build is hanging strong.
  • I don't want to jinx this, but honestly, the epidemic might have helped us.  People are at home, wanting to improve their homes, so leads are up. Furthermore, because they are home we get the chance to visit with them via phone, or socially distant in the lawn, explaining ourselves and our program better.  Which has resulted in great customer growth gains this spring.
  • The biggest problem we have is labor.  We can't find anyone who wants to work right now. We can't find anyone that wants to take a pay cut from the extremely high amount they are getting from unemployment.
  • Larger job prospects/design have put their projects on hold (residential).  We just don't know if those will come back around.  In the last recession, it took several years for that type of work to come back.  We have seen an increase in smaller landscape jobs that are under $5,000.
  • We reduced visas by 30% based on potential loss of work. Enhancement and Arbor will be 40% lower than originally projected  for the second quarter. Approximately 6-8% of our customers have reduced or suspended maintenance services.  It has created enormous uncertainty moving into the second half of the year. Construction installation has remained strong through the pandemic.
  • I think this questionnaire ought to be sent out to the same respondents in four or five months
  • It’s affected us at the beginning of the pandemic when we lost jobs that were already scheduled. We were able to fill those holes and schedule with additional jobs. We’ve seen a spike this year in the landscape design and build industry. We think, people are noticing the outdoor surroundings of their homes and people are wanting to update or design new landscape. For us, this will probably be our best year in business.
  • Besides some cancelations our marketing has worked extremely well across all mediums for the last several years. We decided prior to Covid-19 to spend additional funding towards marketing this spring. We did curb it a little but between March and April, we spent about $10,000 more on our marketing budget. In early March things were fast but it slowed around the 3rd week of March. Based on historical numbers between March and to date our leads are down 48%. I think if we didn't spend the additional money towards marketing that percentage would have been higher. Our focus is more on maintenance and was built that way vs. design build for a downturn in the economy or the surprise black swan event. We did receive the PPP which I believe will help us move forward, due to the uncertainty. Most of our uncertainty lies with landscape maintenance/enhancements. Historically we are booked late into the summer at this point but that aspect of our business is currently booked through the last week of June. In Virginia, especially in the southeast part of the state we rely heavily on government/military jobs, so to a degree the impact on our business is not what others are experiencing.