BUSINESS FORECAST This year, Ashby applied for the
H-2B program. He still isn’t sure if he’ll get his people. “For this year, we are not looking at growth,” he relates. “We may try to replace some existing contracts with better contracts, but we aren’t really growing.” Last year, Ashby was 20 people
short of what his businesses really needed to hit target sales numbers. Even with a starting wage of $14.50 per hour (when minimum wage in Utah is nearly half that amount), getting people to work is a frustrating reality. Ashby will recruit in Puerto Rico this year after partnering with a vendor that will vet prospective employees there.
Labor pains are hampering growth and profitability across the country.
“There is plenty of demand
for services—the problem is labor,” echoes Rob Munn, president, English Garden Care, Rancho Cordova, Cali- fornia. He’s attracting labor through existing employees by providing $200 finders fees.
Meanwhile, a whopping 86 per-
cent of contractors answering NALP’s survey predict growth this year—the majority foreseeing a 7% to 10% gain. And, on a high note, the U.S. economy is booming. Construction is alive and well. But those higher-pay- ing jobs are attracting labor away from landscape firms, even when companies like Blue Ridge Property Services in Warrenton, Virginia, report increasing wages by 25 percent in the last two years. President Mark Langan says he has scaled back sales goals for 2019 and is focused on improving profitability.
Munn adds: “The one thing that all of us are going to have to do is become more efficient at everything we do—and to do whatever possible to attract quality people and keep them on board.”
COMPENSATING FOR LACK OF LABOR Last year, many companies had to adjust their sales goals and operations
GROWTH GAINS WHAT ARE YOUR GROWTH PLANS IN 2019?
24% - 7-10% GAIN 17% - MORE THAN 20% GAIN 15% - 11-15% GAIN 14% - 4-6% GAIN 10% - 16-20% GAIN
6% - 1-3% GAIN 5% - MORE THAN 20% LOSS 4% - 10-20% LOSS 3% - 0% 2% - 5 TO 10% LOSS
NOTHING BEATS LABOR AS THE TOP BUSINESS CONCERN WHAT BUSINESS CONCERN KEEPS YOU UP MOST AT NIGHT?
HIRING/RECRUITING/ RETAINING ENOUGH
WORKERS TO GET WORK DONE
PRICING/ESTIMATING WORK PROPERLY
HIGH COSTS OF DOING BUSINESS (FUEL PRICES, HEALTH
INSURANCE, WORKER’S COMPENSATION)
GROWING TOO FAST TO KEEP UP
20 THE LANDSCAPE PROFESSIONAL > MARCH/APRIL 2019
4% 3% 1%
LACK OF BUSINESS GROWTH/STAGNANT
REGULATIONS/BANS ON PESTICIDE/FERTILIZER USE
REGULATIONS/BANS ON NOISE/EQUIPMENT USE
REGULATIONS/BANS ON WATER/IRRIGATION
42% 7% 48% 45%
EQUIPMENT SPENDING SURGE HOW DO YOU EXPECT EQUIPMENT PURCHASES/LEASES TO CHANGE IN 2019?
INCREASE STAY THE SAME DECREASE
SERVICES PRICES ON THE RISE HOW ARE YOU DEALING WITH SERVICE PRICES IN 2019?
WE ARE RAISING PRICES AS NECESSARY. FEW CUSTOMERS ARE COMPLAINING; THEY UNDERSTAND THE RISING COSTS OF DOING BUSINESS.
WE ARE HOLDING PRICES STEADY IN ORDER TO RETAIN CUSTOMERS.
WE ARE DECREASING PRICES IN ORDER TO RETAIN AND ATTRACT CUSTOMERS.
MARKETING MOVES WHAT ARE YOUR MARKETING PLANS FOR 2019?
WE ARE MAINTAINING MARKETING SPENDING AT OUR CURRENT LEVEL.
WE ARE INCREASING MARKETING SPENDING. WE ARE DECREASING MARKETING SPENDING.
1% 22% 77%
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8
| Page 9
| Page 10
| Page 11
| Page 12
| Page 13
| Page 14
| Page 15
| Page 16
| Page 17
| Page 18
| Page 19
| Page 20
| Page 21
| Page 22
| Page 23
| Page 24
| Page 25
| Page 26
| Page 27
| Page 28
| Page 29
| Page 30
| Page 31
| Page 32
| Page 33
| Page 34
| Page 35
| Page 36
| Page 37
| Page 38
| Page 39
| Page 40