To make the market analysis section of our business plan as complete as possible we now set out to find any industry statistics we can use to help develop our market analysis.
When you visit the Resources section of Landscape Today, you will find many useful links to sites which can help you with your research. One of the best resources for information is located at one of the leading industry trade associations, National Association of Landscape Professionals. Industry trade associations are very important within the landscape industry and we encourage you to read an overview on the benefits of trade associations for your business.
A great place to begin gathering your data for your market analysis is the About the Industry page at the National Association of Landscape Professionals. At this same site you will also find useful the Consumer Survey page. By becoming a member of this trade association our others in your local market you should be able to gain some industry statistics. There are also industry publications which run surveys to gather this information such as Lawn & Landscape Benchmark Your Business Section.
You will want to develop as many benchmarking statistics as you can develop when developing your market information.
- Average revenue per employee for landscape maintenance company
- Average revenue per employee for a landscape construction company
- Average hourly pay for hourly pay by different positions
- Average hourly pay for salary positions
- Direct cost for your business such as materials, equipment and more
- Indirect cost for your business which will cover much of the overhead you have included in your business pro-forma or on your financials.
To gain information about the competition in your market, your research could range from simple to very detailed.
- Google Maps and looking at the number of companies in your immediate geographic area you will quickly find out how many other businesses are in your immediate area.
- NAISC Codes – Each type of business has a North American Industry Classification Code. Here you can see all of the Landscaping Services codes. Hardscape and artificial turf services are listed in the All Other Specialty Trade Contractors. Other NAISC codes may need to be researched if you are not in these two definitions.
- License information – Depending on your state you may be able to obtain a list of all of the active license holders for a small fee.
- Trade Associations – Different trade associations on the resources page may provide a free listing of their members. If not be sure to call them and ask for information. Trade associations want smart business people to have the right facts about the industry.
- Census.gov – There is so much information available to you on this census bureau site it is difficult to list everything you may want to look for here. Some basic ideas include population in your area, number of households, median incomes, building permits.
- State & County Websites – Results will vary by state and county but your state and county may have some good information.
- Wholesale Suppliers – Contact different wholesale suppliers within the narrow market you have defined. They will have a lot of information about your future competitors and information on price ranges on supplies within your market. Different markets have different pricing and national averages can be deceiving.
- Competition – While there may be a hundred or over a thousand competitors in your market, you should make sure you identify who the leading companies are within the narrow space which covers your business plan.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics – You can retrieve information on pay, benefits and more for different parts of the country and metropolitan statistical areas on the Bureau of Labor Statistics wages website. This should provide you help as well with your human resource management. You can also get valuable information on Economic indicators.
All this information you gather will help you develop your competitive analysis, and the size of the market as you develop your market analysis.