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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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