As summer becomes fall, it can only mean one thing: operating budgets for next year. We understand budget time can be stressful and overwhelming.
Unfortunately, there is an endless number of things that need to be anticipated and budgeted for each year. And things can get overlooked.
Such as, did you know you should budget 20% - 30% for landscape maintenance and improvements in a year? We know, that seems like a lot. Yet, landscape is a living breathing entity that needs care and attention.
Here are a few missteps to avoid, keeping your budget in line.
Not walking the property
We know properties are walked on a regular basis. In fact, sometimes properties can be walked so frequently we can become blind to smaller things.
Yet smaller things can become big things, throwing a budget out of alignment quickly.
Before assigning budget numbers, take a walk with fresh eyes. Look at all the details of your landscape. In fact, ask your account manager to walk with you.
After all, a landscape provider will know when bushes will need to be replaced, can point out any potential issues in the next few seasons, as well as provide insight and advice regarding how to optimize the outdoor space.
Plus, we are on site regularly, conducting quality assessments while maintaining your property. Your account manager can provide insights specific to your property, providing meaningful planning.
Budgeting without a plan
Every property can benefit from a master plan. A master landscaping plan recommends upgrades and improvements to be completed in the short and long-term.
Master plans not only include drainage, erosion control, and care for maturing trees and plants, but they can also line out overall themes and aesthetics of the property.
Improvements are prioritized, and costs are summarized, making it easy to budget for annual improvements outside your regular maintenance contract.
Not planning for a full year
The growing season in Colorado is shorter than other regions. And because of this, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking in only two seasons: summer and snow.
Yet landscaping requires year-round tending. While winter is known for being snow season, snowfall in Colorado is unreliable. Which means trees and other plant material might need winter watering.
As we move into Spring, cleanup from the winter is needed to prep the property for summer growing. Properties can be soggy and cluttered, or flowerbeds may have weeds from a dry winter. Also, this is the time when plants and turf benefit from fertilizing and aeration.
Don’t forget about annual color. Spring is when flowers should be planned and planted, ensuring beautiful color all summer.
After summer maintenance comes fall clean up, such as leaf removal, pruning, planting fall bulbs for spring display, and winter prep. Despite the relatively short growing season, landscape in Colorado is a 12-month item. Budget accordingly.
Just as rent on properties has gone up, so has everything else tied to the economy. Landscaping is no different.
Labor is at an all-time shortage in Colorado, which means the cost of labor will increase. Service industries such as landscaping have been hit hard, as every year the hourly cost of employees increases significantly in the face of this shortage.
It’s not just landscape companies themselves who are suffering from labor shortages, but suppliers and growers as well. This means not only is the labor to perform landscape work more expensive, but the plants and raw materials are more expensive as well.
While there are inflation items that are harder to plan, such as increases in fuel costs which drive up the cost of supplies, other inflation items can be seen ahead of time.
Not getting contracts in on time
While budgets themselves are not tied directly to contracts, failure to execute contracts in a timely manner can result in budget and forecasting failures.
Executing a contract does not mean work begins the next day. Lead time for work depends on multiple factors, including supply availability, labor ability, and other scheduled work.
Timely contract execution means work that is budgeted in April will be completed and billed in April. Expenses set for August will fall into August. However, if a contract is not executed until April, work budgeted for April will likely be billed in May or later.
Do not set your budget up for failure by delaying contract renewals or executions. A simple signature should not prevent the success of your budget.
Not utilizing expert vendors
Vendors are hired for their expertise and ability to perform the necessary tasks. As we mentioned regarding property walks, use us to help you understand risks and costs associated with your property.
Not only can your account manager walk your property, helping to create a master plan for improvements, but we can provide meaningful insight into how labor and supplies will impact your property specifically.
Landscape can be a costly budget item, and unplanned items can quickly throw a budget out of alignment. Not only can proper budgeting and assessment of your landscape keep long term costs down, it can ensure your budget remains balanced.
Let Bloom Floralscapes help you ensure your landscape budget is as healthy as your outdoor space.