The "state" of the industry is always difficult to diagnose -- especially when factoring in the range of businesses and services being offered. Small lawn maintenance firms may very well view the state of the industry differently from full-service landscape design/build firms, which may be very different from the view held by a dedicated irrigation contractor. It is for that reason that we tried to diversify this year's State of the Industry overview, and the industry responded in force (see Part I. beginning on page 12).
In our most in-depth State of the Industry coverage to date, we received feedback from all corners of the landscape and irrigation industries. The responses were so well thought-out and detailed that we have decided to publish the bulk of the comments in full. To paraphrase or cut comments altogether would have watered down the passion for the industry that this year's respondents exhibited.
I extend a sincere "thank you" to all those who contributed to our discussion this year, as the comments help paint a picture of the industry and its challenges with a much broader brush.
And although most respondents were willing to state their opinions for the record, we did receive feedback from others who wished to weigh in on the topic anonvmously.
Many are still feeling the impact of the troubled economy, and have seen other landscape industry businesses in their area go out of business.
"I think there is still a lot of fear in our industry, so people aren't making investments in their companies to help them grow," stated one source who wished to remain anonymous. …