Early results

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Lawn & Landscape sent a survey on March 20 to our readers. These numbers were collected the evening of March 23 after approximately 1,300 people responded. We plan on sending a similar survey out in a couple of weeks to monitor the pulse of the industry, and will follow-up with more coverage in the coming weeks.

How much have circumstances around COVID-19 negatively affected your business?

  • Extremely            17%
  • A lot      23%
  • Somewhat           47%
  • Not at all             13%

How much has COVID-19 and the economy affected your company’s planned purchases/spending? (Select all that apply)

  • Cancelled all spending    12%
  • Cancelled some spending              20%
  • Paused all spending         21%
  • Paused some spending   40%
  • Hiring freeze      23%
  • Layoffs  10%
  • No change in plans          14%
  • Other     3%

Have customers delayed any projects since the outbreak?

  • Yes         69%
  • No          31%
  • If you have had jobs cancelled or paused, what segment were they in? (Select all that apply)
  • Maintenance (Mowing, trimming)             37%
  • Design/build       51%
  • Lawn care (Chemical spraying, fertilizer) 24%
  • Irrigation             10%
  • Tree care             11%
  • None cancelled or delayed           19%

What type of customer cancelled or paused? (Select all that apply)

  • Residential          61%
  • Commercial        37%
  • Government        4%
  • None cancelled or paused            21%

Has anyone told you directly they are cancelling a job because of the economy’s downturn/COVID 19?

  • Yes         53%
  • No          47%

What steps/changes are you taking to ensure worker health and safety during this outbreak? (Select all that apply)

  • Allowing employees to work remotely if possible               38.41%
  • Staggered work hours     25%
  • Meetings outside             43%
  • Temporarily shutting down          16%
  • Extra cleaning    65%
  • Allowing field labor to commute directly to a jobsite        29%
  • Other     13%

How did you communicate your plans around COVID to the public? (Select all that apply)

  • Email     63%
  • Call        36%
  • Message on website        16%
  • Social media       29%
  • Mailed letter, text, or didn’t communicate      16%

Here is some feedback from the survey:

  • In Minnesota, our spring rush has not started yet, but, in general, past customers who normally prepay for services to receive a discounted rate on services are not prepaying and just paying as the season goes. This hurts our spring rush cash flow.
  • We expected more cancellations than what we got this week, but we surprisingly picked up more new jobs than the cancellations. So far so good, but as customers lose their jobs and income, we expect cancellations and layoffs.
  • Hope it ends quickly, if not we will weather the storm and push forward. I just purchased a 26-acre farm on March 16th. It has certainly been a whirlwind. My construction has been delayed and we had to tell my employees to sign up for unemployment on the first day of spring. All that said my employees and customers are most important and their safety will determine my decisions as we move forward.
  • Residents at home without work will have time, but no money, so they will likely cancel maintenance services. Commercial properties do not want vendors in their buildings and are trying to maintain their own interior plants. Commercial businesses may still need their landscape maintained, but may try to save money by eliminating flowers, mulching or other enhancements.
  • I think this may boost my detailed container and perennial maintenance and installation business due to my clients needing to stay home and therefore enjoying the gardens more.
  • So far our branch is in good shape. We’ve stopped the techs from having to enter the branch itself, which has provided more assurance for the admin working on the computer. Admin may soon work from home. So far, no major service disruptions. Only had one lawn customer who refused service due to pandemic. Pest control is still going strong as well. We maintain social distancing with our customer and use full PPE when doing callbacks inside a house. Also, we have skipped requiring getting customer signatures, just need name of customer for approval of service
  • We haven’t been affected yet. Gas prices are great. We limit who and how we communicate with. Most of our client base is home with kids out of school. We are praying the government doesn’t shut us down since we don’t come in contact with hardly anyone during work.
  • The uncertainty and ongoing progress of the epidemic hasn’t set-in, so far, staying close with clients, employees, vendors and the public is the (utmost) importance, as a company giving a sense of security and assurance is the best we can do. We will see in the coming weeks, and adapting to the circumstances, however, there are new business opportunities as well.
  • If the temporary lock down in Las Vegas is more than 30 days, it will start to take a toll on my clientele because their income will be affected.
  • May actually help because more people will be spending time at home and wanting to do more projects. Vacations are going to be canceled. I think they will do improvements at their homes.

 

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