As economic activity rebounds from the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, consumers and businesses will have a renewed ability to pay for professional landscaping (woot woot!). We've outlined four key opportunities to take advantage of to keep you excited and motivated for the year ahead.
Innovative, Outdoor Spaces
Many in the industry are projecting that the demand for spaces where people can spend time outdoors will only grow in 2021. With more people outside due to the coronavirus pandemic, homeowners and businesses are requesting outdoor living spaces. For businesses, they need to serve customers in new and innovative ways to continue supporting their businesses when indoor services are unavailable and/or less desirable.
According to Landscaping Professionals of Texas, "there was a great demand for beautiful plants in the early months of 2020. However, with the coronavirus scare gripping the nation, there is going to be a high demand for functional and useful plants in commercial spaces." Residential projects will spend money on specimens and ornamentals. Commercial projects will pare down to just plants that create barriers, hedges, screens, and shade with minimal investment in beautification.
Growth in residential construction, particularly for single-family homes, has underpinned industry growth over the past five years. Disposable income affects the degree to which households can afford to revamp their yards and landscaping. Demand for landscaping services is primarily tied to property markets trends because residential assets represent the industry's largest market segment.
Landscaping services are a valuable means of raising property and resale value, and industry services are standard in most markets. We see more and more that the economic impact of COVID-19 is primarily impacting low-income individuals, and in fact, is benefiting high-income demographics. For instance, those that can take advantage of the attractive financing options available in the property markets right now can benefit from the government's efforts to stabilize the economy. At the same time, lower-income individuals are often unable to capitalize on the same options.
Adopting New Technology
Our industry is primarily labor-based. While tools and equipment evolve somewhat and improve the quality and speed of work, fundamental innovations like online marketplaces including LandscapeHub, drone usage and robotic turf equipment are starting to have a meaningful impact on reducing cycle times and streamline the industry supply chain. Particularly in a year like 2020, which forced companies to adopt new technology to conduct business online, tools like
LandscapeHub are an essential piece of running a business for landscape professionals and suppliers alike.
Michael Mayberry, chief technology officer at Level Green Landscaping, was quoted in The Landscape Professional saying, "technology has been a focus for lawn and landscape companies because of the ways they now have to communicate. It will shape everything going forward. We're learning to communicate constantly, quickly and efficiently with clients and the expectations the clients have about our responsiveness will not go away. I think the pressure is really going to be on companies who are not using technology to the fullest because it's becoming the status quo. If you want to be competitive, you'll need to see where technology can be enhanced."
Diversity and Inclusion
Our industry is full of hardworking, earthy, creative, and entrepreneurial individuals. It's because we love our industry and the people in it that LandscapeHub is excited to be part of an initiative that launched this year aimed to bring more professionals into our industry, with a focus on diversity and inclusion. LandscapeHub worked with the NALP this year to help develop the Diversity and Inclusion Resolution for the National Association of our Green Industry. The resolution aims to advance our industry by outlining action items to create a vibrant and healthy workforce to propel us forward. The resolution also creates a council which aims to recruit more diverse members, increase engagement with members from underrepresented groups and build a more diverse leadership within the industry.