Challenges and changes that have confronted business owners in pest control and in lawn and landscape in the last three years haven't dampened optimism as a new year approaches.
More than eight in 10 business owners, in surveys for separate state-of-the-industry reports, expect to generate more revenue for the next financial reporting year.
Respondents expecting revenue increases in pest control for the new year total 86%, according to the Pest Management Professional 2023 State of the Industry Report. And nine in 10 business owners in the lawn care and landscaping industry project year-over-year revenue growth for 2022, according to the recently released Lawn & Landscape 2022 State of the Industry Report.
Business owners continue to develop new ideas that will lead to more revenue generation. And then there’s a more traditional way: Raising prices for services.
“While some of our more rural areas may have ‘tightened up’ on additional spending, we’re still selling and meeting goals at the new pricing scale by continuing to focus on a high-quality service offering,” Trent Heard, owner of RedHawk Pest Control in Madison, Ala., tells PMP.
Concerns remain real, though, going into 2023. All Americans are watching inflation, and these business owners have their eyes on materials and fuel costs.
“Not only are our products costing us more, but the overall cost of living has gone up for everyone as well,” Heard adds.
Keeping teams fully staffed also remains a chief worry.
Owners in the pest control industry can’t stand still, even after success they've experienced during difficult moments in the pandemic and now amid inflation.
Increases in referrals, prices, and repeat businesses are opportunities they foresee to boost revenue in 2023, according to the PMP report findings. So are making improvements in recruiting employees and upselling services.
Price increases for services give companies a chance to build revenue, although making decisions to implement them must be strategic.
“It was our first increase in a while, and we grandfathered in fixed-income customers,” Pete Fargo, the chief executive officer of Noble Pest Services in Acworth, Ga., tells PMP.
He adds that even as some customers canceled services, new customers took their places and others understood the need.
Fargo's business added gutter-cleaning services. Another company, FieldRoutes partner Crown Pest Control in Matthews, N.C., added crawlspace encapsulation and mold remediation.
Keeping teams fully staffed remains a top concern for business owners. The survey found that two-thirds of the business owners surveyed expect to retain 91% to 100% all of their employees in 2023.
To combat the recent labor shortage, they've bolstered staffing by addressing pay, bonuses, vacation, insurance, 401(k) matches, training, and advancement opportunities, according to the PMP survey. Flexibility matters, too, according to Jeff King, president of The Pest Rangers in Hanover Township, Pa.
“It comes down to understanding,” says King, whose company is a FieldRoutes partner. “People have family. People get sick, people sometimes have to do things during work hours. That’s one good thing about the service business, especially for the guys who are on the road. You can work around people’s schedules.”
If an inflation benefit exists, says Colony Pest Management CEO George Sheehan, it means job candidates are more likely to follow through.
“We used to get 40% of job candidates actually show up for their scheduled interviews," says Sheehan, whose company in Brooklyn, N.Y., is in the FieldRoutes family. "That was after each submitted his/her resume, spoke with us on the phone, filled out a job application, took our behavioral assessment, and agreed to come in for an interview. Now, almost 80% are showing up for interviews.”
Among the other PMP report findings, surveying professionals in 254 businesses:
38% of business owners expect 2023 revenue to range from $1 million to $10 million, and 9% believe revenue will be even higher
44% predict revenue will grow 10% to 25%
78% report higher revenue in 2022 compared with 2021, including 40% saying revenue grew 10% to 25%
60% predict they'll retain 91% to 100% of their customers, and 29% think they can keep 81% to 90% of customers
Almost all, 94%, believe their equipment and materials budgets will be higher, including 20% expecting an increase of more than 26% and 37% expecting an increase of 11% to 25%
Business owners in the landscaping and lawn care industry might go into 2023 with slightly tempered expectations compared to one year ago, but they appear to have rebounded well coming out of the pandemic.
Labor shortages, supply chain delays, and high energy prices are trends likely to continue to pose challenges in 2023.
According to Lawn & Landscape’s State of the Industry Report, released in October 2022, 85% of businesses reported a profit in 2021, the most recent full reporting year. That’s six percentage points higher than in 2020.
Other metrics are even more impressive: The report showed a median revenue of $604,000. That’s more than double the previous year’s total of $273,000, although the report cautioned that 2020 statistics could reflect that some companies did not respond to the survey or were acquired by other businesses or closed.
The United States’ turbulent economy has a few more lawn care and landscaping business owners cautious regarding projections for revenue totals for 2022. A total of 10% of business owners, up two percentage points from the 2021 report, are not at all confident they’ll see higher revenue totals; similar skepticism abounded for the industry as a whole, rising five points to 8%.
Still, 48% (very confident), 21% (confident), and 21% (somewhat confident), or nine in 10 business owners, predict greater year-over-year revenue.
Among the other findings in the report:
Regarding expectations for revenue growth in the industry, business owners are more measured. A total of 29% responded that they’re very confident, with 36% confident and 25% somewhat confident.
The report also broke down respondents' top revenue-grossing services for 2021. Landscape and mowing maintenance led in totaling 40% of revenue, with landscape/design construction at 22% and lawn care/chemical application at 15%. The remainder: snow and ice management (8%); irrigation installation, maintenance, and service (6%); trees and ornamental (4%); and holiday lighting (0.1%).
While the world never stops changing, one thing remains constant: Your business needs to operate efficiently to generate more revenue, and you need to stand out with an inviting, responsive website and a digital marketing strategy to get people on it.
Whether it’s pest or lawn, FieldRoutes is here to support your business with our Operations Suite and Marketing Suite. Our expert team can develop an end-to-end solution built to last. Contact us today for more information about the easy-to-use software that will help your business grow and scale effectively.
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