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Movin’ On Up

It’s that time of year again.

The time of year when landscape companies find out where we rank among our competition.

Each summer the landscape industry’s major publications create their listings of the largest landscape companies in North America. The data is gathered, analyzed, and rankings are sorted by each company’s revenue.

We used to wonder who, outside of our employees and others in the industry, would care about these rankings. But for the last couple of years, the article on our blog where we revealed where Yellowstone sits on this listing has been one of our most popular posts of the year.

Obviously, it’s a tremendous honor to be included anywhere on these listings, but over the past few years, we’ve been steadily “movin’ on up” the list and, in the 2017 edition, we’re up one spot to number 12.

Why do we look forward to these listings every year?

Two reasons.

First, it tracks the growth of our industry from year to year. This year, the Top 100 companies generated $9.16 billion (yes, billion with a “b”). That’s an increase from 2016 of almost 7%. This means that customers are investing in the services we offer across the country. It means that our industry’s largest companies are healthy and growing.

Second, we care about these rankings because they give us a chance to show how far we’ve come in a relatively short time. We’re proud of the company that we’re becoming, and these listings allow us to share our progress with our employees, our customers, our colleagues, and our future Yellowstone Landscape Professionals.

More than two years ago, we laid out 5 key elements of how we track our company’s success. One of those keys is growth. So, as we continue to climb up the rankings, and especially now as we enter the top 12, there’s no doubt that we are growing. But what the listings don’t show are all the other positive changes in our company that come with growth.

In the last year, we’ve hired new employees and promoted existing team members, deserving of more responsibility. We’ve begun partnerships with dozens of new clients. We’ve renewed relationships with clients we’ve been proudly serving, some for more than a decade. We’ve expanded to new service areas and welcomed our new team members in North Carolina.

None of that shows up directly in a Top 100 listing, but those are the kinds of things that are the truest measure of why our growth is something to be proud of.

In closing, as has become our practice when these listings come out each year, we pause and say a heartfelt “Thank you” to our clients, our employees, and everyone else who’s helped us get to where we are today.

It is a great honor to be a part of such a vibrant and growing industry.

 

To see the entire 2017 list of Lawn and Landscape’s Top 100 companies in their May issue, click here.

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The Price of Admission in Commercial Landscaping

When I’m driving down the road, I notice every pickup truck with a trailer attached to it.  And when I see a mower or two on the trailer, my first instinct is to look for the company name on the door.

Why do I do that?

  1. Because landscape companies come up with some pretty funny names and some interesting logos. (Lawn and Order, Special Mowing Unit – that’s pretty clever, right?)
  2. Because I’m curious if the truck belongs to a new competitor that’s entered the market.

It seems like there are an endless number of landscaping companies out there. One study from 2015 estimated there were 466,768 landscape businesses. The same study found that these businesses employed 958,711 workers. That’s an average of 2.05 employees per company.

When you consider that the overwhelming majority of these businesses are serving residential clients, and the guy on the mower is also the guy who owns the company (sometimes affectionately referred to as “Chuck and a Truck”), it makes sense.

Another interesting fact - our industry’s trade association, the National Association of Landscape Professionals, estimates that 99% of landscape companies have annual revenues below $1 million.

Today there are more landscaping companies than ever before, and more of them are starting to market themselves to commercial clients.

This creates an interesting challenge, not just for the large, established commercial landscaping companies like Yellowstone, but for the property management professional looking for a new, reputable, experienced commercial landscaping partner.

How does a Property Manager weed out the best from the rest?

It starts with something we call “the price of admission”. And the price of admission in commercial landscaping is simple.

Make the landscape beautiful.

Somehow in the RFI/RFQ/RFP process this simple truth gets overlooked. We get asked about any and everything else imaginable.

  • How many locations do you have?
  • How many certified employees do you have on staff?
  • Provide your last 5 years of financial statements.

All important, but none of those questions answer your property’s most basic need. The reason you invest in commercial landscaping in the first place is because you want your grounds to be more beautiful.

If the landscape contractor you’re considering can’t prove that they can cover the “price of admission”, then they aren’t right for you. Move on to one of the other 466,767 companies out there.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a landscape contractor that’s paid the price of admission several times over, get in touch with your local Yellowstone Landscape office. We’d be glad to help you create the beautiful landscape that you and your property deserve.

Photo credit: The Daily Dot

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