The hot, bright days have returned, but landscaping businesses are feeling the heat. While business is booming, inflation is also rising.
And as Americans are already suffering the effects of inflation, thanks to the Biden administration, they are weighing whether they could keep their lawn or call for services now that inflation is also hitting the landscaping business.
According to the Wall Street Journal, landscaping companies have been forced to raise pricing due to rising costs for things like fuel and equipment. Lawn mowing was up 22.4 percent in May compared to the same month last year, according to the newspaper.
Similarly, the WSJ added that the cost of external pressure washing has increased by 20%, while the cost of having a business trim trees has increased by 9.1%.
Here’s what Jaime Coronado, who owns the Texas-based “Grounds Guys of Cinco Ranch” company, 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 said, “It’s a challenge for us to work more efficiently to keep the cost down and not affect quality.”
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 explained.
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 worked as a landscaper for over ten years and has witnessed directly the impact that growing living costs are having on employees today. As a result, business owners are forced to raise wages in order to keep people employed, which adds to their financial stress.
“It’s difficult to, you know, not raise our prices even though gas prices are going up,” Bailey said.
Swanger has almost 40 years of experience in the sector. 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.
Landscapers are responding to the rising costs of their services by raising their charges 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. Well, all thanks to Biden. The U.S. economy is actually shrinking, as reported for the first quarter.