While the glorious days of summer are coming soon and with it, warm weather and bright days, landscaping businesses are really feeling the heat. Not from the weather, but from the rising inflation.
Americans continue to suffer at the hands of inflation, and this is just another expense many individuals are concerned about. At this point, people are weighing whether they could continue to receive lawn care services since inflation is also hitting the landscaping business.
The Wall Street Journal reported that many landscaping companies have been forced to raise their prices as a result of inflation increasing the cost of expenses like fuel and equipment. Apparently, lawn mowing is up 22.4% in May as compared to the the same time last year.
Additionally, the cost of external pressure washing has jumped 20% meanwhile the cost of having a business trim trees is up by 9.1%, according to WSJ.
Owner of Texas-based “Grounds Guys of Cinco Ranch” company Jaime Coronado told the WSJ:
“If it weren’t for the loans, we’d be homeless right now. Even then, we work 80 hours a week just trying to figure out how to make this company break even.”
Davis Landscape LTD Vice President Dave Swanger stated, “It’s a challenge for us to work more efficiently to keep the cost down and not affect quality.”
And landscapers are seeing it in fertilizer, mulch, plants, and fuel.
“Anything that has to do with synthetics, resins that we would use for hardscaping,” Swanger indicated.
Environmental Creations Landscaping and Bailey & Sons Property Management Owner Ivan Bailey said, “It’s also affecting employees, employees getting to work, due to not having the gas money to get into work.”
Bailey has been in the landscaping business for over 10 years and is being directly impacted by the growing living costs as well as witnessing it with his employees. Of course, as a result, many businesses have had to increase employee wages to keep people employed, however that continues to add stress to them financially.
“It’s difficult to, you know, not raise our prices even though gas prices are going up,” Bailey said.
Swanger holds over 40 years worth of experience and expertise in the industry. He said that the most difficult hurdle for landscapers to overcome is pricing volatility.
“The availability of the material and what the cost would be even in the future,” Swanger said.
So as inflation continues to hit hard, landscapers have either resorted to increasing their prices or cutting expenditures elsewhere.
“In landscaping, it’s very competitive,” Bailey said, explaining how he has to weigh his priorities as a business owner. “So, if I have a rate set for that season for a property, it’s got to stay at that rate. I can’t increase it.”
Landscapers say fuel costs affect everything. Material costs follow that. And remember: it’s all thanks to Biden.