The resent news of a large landscape contractor in Florida closing their doors makes me wonder if the world of business is changing for everyone or just heading into a new cycle period. We lived through the mergers of the nineties and the mega national Landscape Firms and now are we seeing the “Too Big to Fail” syndrome in the large landscape businesses? This indicates to me that the growth and large revenues don’t insure business success. However, we will not see any government bailouts in the landscape industry. The landscape industry has always been, and in my opinion, will remain a family business industry. The landscape industry is a very difficult business to manage successfully due to all the outside factors that can affect it.
When you think about it, name any other business that faces the same issues that a landscape contractor faces; weather, labor issues, the economy, lack of new technology in the industry. These issues all affect the landscape contractors ability to succeed. I also believe that the landscape industry is a personal service industry, people buying from people they like. In the landscape industry the customer sees you more than any other services provide they hire. You mow their turf 30 to 50 times per year, you remove their snow in the winter, you hang their holiday decorations, you build their outdoor living spaces and most of all you get to know them as if they were you next door neighbor.
Our customers want and desire a long term relationship their landscape contractor. The landscaping business is more than a branch operation, it becomes a family affair. Customers are always going to buy from the family business whenever they can because it makes the customer feel that they are helping the small business in America grow. Small business in America represents what is good about America. If you provide a quality services and demonstrate that you care about your customer they will stay with you as long as you will have them. The important point is that you must provide a quality service.
For the small landscape contractor growth is always a topic of conversation, but it should be about a quality service, that is most important, not just growth. I believe that is why the small Landscape Contractor will always be a factor in this industry. There will always be large mega contracting firms, but the backbone of the industry is the family business.