Landscape Companies in the Future

A recent leadership academy at Cornell University’s SC Johnson School of Business tackled the topic of “Landscape Contractors in the Future”.

The event was sponsored by the National Association of Landscape Professionals and was intended to give participants insights into our complex and challenging industry.

Instructor Michael Hostetler engaged the group in a discussion of the landscape company of the future. The group reviewed many of the macro trends in business and their potential impacts on the evolution of the traditional landscape contracting business. Their observations were interesting:

  • Consumers would continue to demand more from contractors, favoring full-service firms. Contractors who added more services would have an advantage over those who specialized, because consumers would appreciate less hassle and a better level of service with one-stop shopping. Contractors could grow through acquisition, internal expansion or strategic alliances.
  • Climate change, water availability and land use would change the landscape plant palette and the types of landscapes favored.
  • Smart technology will impact all facets of the industry, from equipment to irrigation, to lighting to employee tracking.
  • Industry consolidation will accelerate, echoing the trends in similar industries.