In the next few pages, we’ve pulled out some of the most important data from this year’s State of the Industry survey to help you better understand what’s happening nationwide, and put your own operation in context. The landscape industry has finally recovered from the hangover of the Great Recession. Contractors across the country are raising prices, and report that customers are spending again – especially on outdoor living and construction projects. Maintenance continues to dominate the share of trailer (and P&L) for most landscapers, topping lists for both the fastest-growing and most-profitable services offered. As owners age (more than half are 45 or older, and the median age is 51) and as more private equity money continues to pour into the industry, landscapers are looking to sell. A quarter of contractors say they plan on selling their business in 10 years, and 40 percent of those say they have an articulated exit strategy. The biggest limit on business is a lack of labor – owners cite a dearth of quality employees as having the biggest impact on their business in the next three years, more than insurance costs, low-ball competitors and fuel prices. – Chuck Bowen
The survey sample of 10,584 was selected in systematic fashion by Lawn & Landscape and Readex Research from a larger sample representing 21,167 recipients. The survey ran from July 7-16, and the margin of error for percentages based on 241 usable responses is ±6.3 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. Some charts do not total 100% due to rounding.