The landscape industry has been largely unaffected by the pandemic and is busier than ever, according to a nationwide survey conducted by the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP).
According to the data collected, 60 percent of landscaping companies are seeing revenues exceed pre-COVID expectations and more than 300,000 landscaping jobs lay vacant.
62 percent of lawn care companies report they’ve exceeded revenue projections, followed by 53 percent of landscape maintenance firms and 50 percent of design/build firms.
One of the reasons landscaping companies have easily weathered the COVID-19 storm is the fundamental nature of the landscaping business, says NALP Chief Executive Britt Wood.
“The landscaping business naturally lends itself to this type of crisis,” Wood says. “The way landscapers work means that they just naturally keep their distance from clients and each other. Also, people often use nice spaces to relax and remove stress, and a soothing landscape can help with that.”
Wood stresses that the strength of the landscaping sector in 2020 is ultimately a combination of factors.
People are experiencing their yards, decks, and patios in the middle of the day. Often, for the first time, they’re seeing things they want to tweak or improve. Eighty percent of residential customers have increased spending on these kinds of enhancements in 2020.
Another factor Wood points to are spending habits. Nationwide closures of dining and entertainment venues have opened new opportunities for home improvement projects.
The final factor is one that was unexpected but set up landscapers to thrive for the duration of the crisis. The Department of Homeland Security identified landscapers as “essential employees” in its guidance on critical infrastructure on March 19.
The government deemed essential any businesses that “maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, businesses, and buildings.” Landscapers’ ability to curb pest infestations and remove problematic flora and fauna qualified them to continue operating as normal.
Garden centers in particular are seeing increased business. Back in the spring, some ran out of plants before they ran out of spring.
Customers have found a renewed purpose in gardening since the beginning of the pandemic People are trying something new in the spaces that they have, whether it is trying vegetable or herb gardening for the first time, purchasing an indoor green plant for a home office … or transforming and adding to landscapes. People are enjoying making their spaces a bit more beautiful and useful.
Landscaping professionals work through wet winters in warm climates and, in colder ones, many transition to snow removal services. Time is at a premium right now! Good luck to all of you in filling backorders, completing end-of-season jobs , or preparing for winter.