Economic Impacts of the Turfgrass and Lawncare Industry in the United States
(Written 2002 Revised 2009 and reviewed 2012). Economic sectors of the industry include sod farms, lawncare services, lawn and garden retail stores, and lawn equipment manufacturing. As defined in this study, the five sectors comprising the U.S. turfgrass industry in 2002 generated total output (revenue) impacts of $57.9 billion (Bn), employment impacts of 822,849 jobs, value added impacts of $35.1 Bn, labor income of $23.0 Bn, and $2.4 Bn in indirect business taxes to local and state governments. If these values are expressed in 2005 dollars, the total output impact was $62.2 Bn and the total value added impact was $37.7 Bn. The value added impact represents total personal and business net income.
Lawn & Landscape publishes State of the Industry Reports, one of the most comprehensive annual analyses of the industry. Through this analysis, L&L identifies the significant trends and influences taking place in the industry each year and present a glimpse of the industry’s health. Also be sure to check out their annual Business Strategies Conference and School of Management.
Landscape Management represents another great source for business and operations solutions, industry news and trends, technical updates and other critical information needed by landscape/ lawn care contractors and grounds professionals. They also have an annual special issue on the State of the Industry.
PRO Magazine is a national trade magazine providing the critical business information landscape professionals need for success. PRO focuses on “how to” topics such as surviving and thriving through the “pinch-points” of growth; maximizing productivity; diversifying and taking advantage of trends; making innovative approaches to the marketplace.
Grounds Maintenance is the technical magazine of landscape construction, design and maintenance, serving landscape contractors and superintendents of golf courses, parks, institutions and recreational areas. GM’s principal mission is coverage of practical topics such as pest control, equipment, irrigation, plant establishment and care, business and design. You can also subscribe to their weekly e-newsletter Maintenance Matters.
LandscapeOnline.com is a portal to the landscape development industry. Subscribe to Landscape Contractor magazine or to their weekly e-newsletter. Find products, find a landscape professional, or check out their Landscape Communications Stock Index (LCSI), a listing of approximately 60 key landscape and construction industry companies that have publicly traded stocks.
Focus On…Landscapers is a monthly interactive E-Magazine that brings you extensive information on the latest products and services to enhance the productivity and profitability of the landscaping and grounds care professionals throughout North America.
PGMS Publications Directory. The Professional Grounds Management Society (PDMS) bookstore contains a comprehensive compilation of resources for the landscape maintenance professional regarding operational guidelines, estimating guides, forms and job descriptions, landscape cultural practices, and service manuals.
The Economic Briefing Room of the U.S. Census Bureau provides an overview of the latest economic indicators including housing starts, homeownership, new home sales, and construction spending. The Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER), a department within the College of Business Administration at The University of Tennessee (UTK), conducts research on national and state economic trends for UTK, state agencies, and public and private organizations. The Center collects, analyzes, and disseminates data on the demography and economy of Tennessee.
Bidding and Estimating Resources (Books, Guides and Training Seminars)
- How to Price Landscape and Irrigation Projects
- RSMeans Site Work & Landscape Cost Data
- Landscape Estimating and Contract Administration
Software for the Landscape Industry – One of the questions most often asked is “What software alternatives are out there for the green industry?” While the list below is not meant to be all-inclusive, it is a good point from which to start in analyzing which software may be best suited for your firm:
- Adkad Technologies – Customer Maintenance and Billing Software for the Landscape Professional.
- ArborSoftWorx® family of software products is specialized for the commercial and municipal/campus arborist, tree care, urban forester, landscape, lawn care, and pest control professionals. These powerful, integrated, easy-to-use database software applications satisfy the industry’s unique office and field automation, data compilation, and reporting needs.
- ArtVision – publisher of 3D Garden Composer – garden design software.
- – Integrating web site design with custom AutoCAD applications
- CLIP Software – an industry-leading software for landscape professionals that provides automatic routing, scheduling and job costing.
- CompuScapes – provides management solutions to exterior and interior landscape contractors.
- Gopher Billing and Scheduling Software – Gopher Billing & Scheduling Software is available in three versions. Gopher Basic is ideal for small companies that need an easy to use billing and scheduling program. Gopher Plus has everything the Basic version has and is designed for larger companies that need more powerful scheduling options such as handling snow plowing, spring/fall cleanups, and multiple step job series (e.g. lawn treatment program). Other features of the Plus version include: QuickBooks link, expense tracking, late fees, and more. Gopher Pro has every feature of the Plus version along with the ability to keep track of chemical applications, equipment usage and preventative maintenance, and employee tracking.
- Quickbooks – powerful accounting software for all types of businesses.Now offers a contractors edition.
- SLICE Technologies – Computer software for Nurseries, Landscaping, Maintenance and Retail businesses.
- Huston Enterprises – Huston has just released its latest Windows version of its Estimating Platform Software. From Jim Huston, author of Estimating for Landscape & Irrigation Contractors and How to Price Landscape & Irrigation Projects. Prepare your bids and calculate all of the costs needed for estimating your jobs.
- Software Republic – offers landscape and irrigation design software for green industry professionals.
- UDS Green Industry Software – Software for Nurseries, Landscapers, Garden Centers, and Greenhouses.
- Business.com-The Business Search Engine- Horticulture and Field Crop Software. In today’s business world it is necessary to utilize technology to remain competitive. If you are looking to buy new software, or upgrade your old products, this website is another good place to start your research.
E-commerce applications in the green industry. Although e-commerce performance in the green industry has been mixed to date, opportunities do exist to apply information technologies to the marketing of green industry products and services. While appropriate B2C models are still being evaluated, B2B models/portals have been highly touted as useful tools for e-procurement and online exchange.
- A few of the most popular B2B green industry sites (provided only as examples of this latest trend – not an endorsement) include
PlantAmerica.com, and Plant & Supply Locator
- Home Advisor.is an online marketplace connecting homeowners to pre-screened contractors and service professionals. The company is revolutionizing how people buy and sell services by creating a better connection between ready-to-buy consumers and pre-screened, customer-rated businesses matched to their needs and interested in their requests. Landscape firms will want to ensure that they are listed.
- Angie’s List – for landscapers in selcted metro areas, Angie’s list serves as an online referral system for customers to select firms that receive an excellent rating for their service.
- Spectrum Net Designs offers services to the Green Industry including internet access, website registration, website hosting, website design, and website marketing.
- Focal Point Communications has been producing creative brochures, newsletters and sales aids for the green industry since 1987. Landscape companies, lawn care companies, trade associations and suppliers use Focal Point for solutions to their marketing challenges.
- LandscapeWeb provides landscape forums, website hosting, a landscape company directory, and search engine optimization for improving you landscape company’s marketing efforts.
- Ground Trades Xchange and LawnForums.com are sites where people involved in the landscaping and lawn care industries meet and share knowledge to the benefit of business, clients and the industry. Bulletin board style discussions are what’s on the menu, with topics including brick paving, tree and shrub planting, low voltage lighting, water features, landscape maintenance contract and legal issues, sales and marketing and resource management.
- Irrigation & Green Industry Network – www.igin.com is an informative website for landscape, irrigation & maintenance contractors providing a plethora of pragmatic business advice.
Conversion Table Reference: Conversion Tables, Formulas, and Suggested Guidelines for Horticultural Use published by the Georgia Cooperative Extension Service.
Associations are a vital part of the development and growth of businesses and the ornamental horticulture industry as a whole. The following are links to national, state, and regional associations.
- American Nursery and Landscape Association
- Professional Landcare Network
- American Society of Landscape Architects
- Southern Nursery Association
- Professional Grounds Management Society
- Turfgrass Producers International
- The Irrigation Association
Tax Information for Businesses. This website, provided by the IRS, is a good source of information for tax rules and regulations. The Small Business/Self-Employed webpage, also provided by the IRS, offers information and links for starting a business, employee records, employer id numbers, and many other aspects of owning and operating a small business.