Grow Your Business by Adding Hardscape Services
New technologies can allow your landscape company to begin offering hardscape services with minimal training and without hiring new personnel.
March 6, 2018
Market growth in the outdoor living space has been phenomenal over the past few years, but the green industry has also been faced with labor shortages. One way to capitalize on the growth of this sector, while keeping labor challenges in mind, is for landscape and irrigation contractors to offer hardscaping as an additional service and look for opportunities to do more at every jobsite. For example, just about every hardscape installation requires some form of drainage solution.
During the past year, many stories have surfaced regarding the lack of labor in landscaping markets. Some contractors reported turning away hundreds of thousands of dollars in new business because they didn't have the crews and/or couldn't find local labor to hire.
Unfortunately, the labor shortage is happening at the same time as substantial growth in the industry. According to the Freedonia Group
, the landscape products market in the U.S. is estimated to grow 5.3% annually through 2019 to an estimated $8.2 billion. Much of this anticipated growth will be driven by residential homeowners upping the curb appeal of their homes, and for many homes across the country, this translates to consideration of a hardscape project.
It's clear that a business opportunity exists, but how can contractors take advantage of it without hiring new personnel and without highly skilled labor?
Newer products on the market, like Satura from Belgard
are changing the dynamics of the hardscape labor force and market. By offering manufactured stone products, these companies make hardscapes easier to install, meaning less crew training is required while providing many of the natural stone looks that clients desire at a lower price point. Depending on a number of factors, manufactured stone is typically half to one-third the price of natural stone. This translates to a business opportunity for landscape contractors to train their existing crew to install manufactured hardscape products and offer this service to their existing customer base. Other labor-saving products, like Alliance Gator Base or super sacks to transport aggregates, can also help reduce labor demands.
Where to begin with hardscapes:
- Knowledge. While installation is a relatively simple process, it's still important to get professional training either from the manufacturer or your supplier. SiteOne offers training for contractors who want to learn hardscape installation. By leveraging on-staff experts and inside knowledge from product manufacturers, SiteOne offers a comprehensive education in hardscaping.
- Tools. While many contractors have the tools necessary to do the work, some specialty tools and equipment may be needed. As a contractor gets started in the business, renting the right equipment can help speed up the job.
- Safety. It's always important to keep safety in mind. If you're cutting stone, your crew may be using different tools than normal, so training and proper safety equipment are important. Also, ensure that all crew members know how to properly lift and move heavy objects to avoid injury.
As always, working with a supplier that understands your local market and specific business needs can be invaluable. To learn more about offering hardscape services next season, ask your local SiteOne representative by visiting your nearest SiteOne branch or Hardscape Center.