Recession ready

Departments - Editor’s Insight

August 2, 2019

It seems that as far back as 2017, economists and other people who know more about the economy than me were predicting a recession in 2020 or 2021.

One of the hardest-hit industry services, if not the one affected the most, by the Great Recession was the residential design/build segment. It got so bad some companies dropped the service all together, or, even worse, closed up shop.

Brian Horn, editor, Lawn & Landscape

With a recession possibly on the horizon again, residential design/build is the last service you’d want to invest heavily in. Yet, that’s just what our cover story subject, K&D Landscaping is doing. In 2016, the company made $365,000 in design/build revenue.

But they saw an opportunity to grow that segment, and focused heavily on doing so. In 2017, design/build revenue grew to $630,000 and in 2018 it grew even more to $2.1 million. In 2019, company owner Justin White and his team expect design/build revenue to reach $3 million.

You can turn to page 38 to find out the details of how they achieved this type of growth, and why they chose 2016 to start. When we asked him if he was at all concerned about growing a segment that really suffered during the last recession, he said he wasn’t. He’s not worried because he is confident that the other services K&D offers are strong enough to offset any struggles in design/build work. He’s built up a foundation to collect revenue from steady services so he can take a big swing with a more volatile one.

Don’t be afraid to play outside on a rainy day, but have a plan when that day turns into weeks, months and even years.

“I know there’s going to be some type of recession and it is going to slow things down, but in that market you can actually still make a really good profit if you approach it in the right way and you’re ready for it,” he says.

From the landscape contractors we talk to on a monthly basis, a lot of them operate as if the bottom could drop out tomorrow. They expect the best and prepare for the worst, even when the profits are rolling in. Whether you provide maintenance, irrigation, or any one of the many services you can provide in this industry, that’s always a good attitude to have. Don’t be afraid to play outside on a rainy day, but have a plan when that day turns into weeks, months and even years. – Brian Horn