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The Grasshopper and the Ant . . .

By George Schmok

Well . . . Summer is about over, the kids are back in school and Landscape Contractors across the country are finally getting a look at their books to see how they did over the summer and what they will need to do to keep it rolling as fall and winter sets in.

I can tell you straight off, what you already know, that this probably wasn't your best year ever . . . Unless it was your first or second year in business. To that, LC/DBM has just completed its annual readership survey and while a full third of you saw business decline in 2011, hope springs eternal. In fact, about 21% of you said that business held firm this year and more than 41% of you saw growth (23% grew more than 10% and 5.8% grew more than 25%) . . . That is good news!

Even better was the amount of optimism shown by the survey takers . . . While about 28% predicted the next 12 months would stay about the same, only 7% thought things were looking worse. That left better than 59% who thought that business would be picking up over the next 12 months. Now . . . We're not sure if just everyone was hoping things would get better off or if they were sure of it, but the good thing is the positive outlook of the industry.

Still, this winter is going to be a tough one for the industry at least for those of you who aren't now looking at your books and planning out the months ahead.

You know that story about the grasshopper and the ant . . . One lived for the day and the other worked for the future . . . Well, some of you might be sitting back on your heels, but the smarter of you are out there buying snow blowers, hooking up with Christmas lighting franchises, learning about Green-Roofs, figuring out the water harvesting business, contacting cities who are switching from in-house to outsourced landscape maintenance, adding hurricane clean up to your business cards and websites, and spending the down times to put a little spit, polish and oil on the old equipment.

If you want to shape your our own landscape look at the busy beaver who takes a stream and makes a lake. If you want the sweet life, look at the busy bee who doesn't miss an opportunity to grab a little more nector for his hive and honey. And if you want things to continue to grow, just look for the busy ant who relentlessly goes about the task of searching out the next best thing for the company and to support its Queen back home . . .

Yep, this might not have been the best summer ever, but it has set the stage for growth and opportunity in the future. We at LC/DBM have grown a bit and so have the majority of you. So ''Here's'' to the past . . and ''Here's'' to the months ahead . . . Your nose may lose a little skin to the old grind stone, but the harvest is ‘a-comin . . . May yours be fruitful and blessed . . .


God Bless . .


George Schmok, Publisher

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December 10, 2019, 7:09 pm PDT

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