Survey Shows Business Outlook Weakening For Landscape Architect Firms

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Posted by Heidi SchwartzFMAlert

The economic recovery remains flat for landscape architecture firms, according to the American Society of Landscape Architects’ third quarter 2013 Business Quarterly survey. Billings and inquiries for new work are down for the majority of firms, and plans to hire are on hold.

“Some of our firms indicated in the survey that the recent government shutdown led to projects being delayed or stopped and affected hiring plans,” says Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA, executive vice president and CEO of ASLA. “Despite these conditions, it is encouraging that third-quarter inquiries and billable hours have held steady or improved since this time last year.”

Key Survey Highlights:

Compared to the second quarter 2013, your third quarter 2013 billable hours were:

  • Significantly higher (more than 10%) – 17.5%
  • Slightly higher (5 to 10% higher) – 28.9%
  • About the same (plus or minus 5%) – 34.2%
  • Slightly lower (5 to 10% lower) – 11.8%
  • Significantly lower (more than 10%) – 7.6%

Compared to the second quarter 2013, your third quarter 2013 inquiries for new work were:

  • Significantly higher (more than 10%) – 15.6%
  • Slightly higher (5 to 10% higher) – 33.1%
  • About the same (plus or minus 5%) – 29.3%
  • Slightly lower (5 to 10% lower) – 14.4%
  • Significantly lower (more than 10%) – 7.6%

Year to year, compared to the third quarter in 2012, your third quarter 2013 billable hours were:

  • Significantly higher (more than 10%) – 26.9%
  • Slightly higher (5 to 10% higher) – 29.6%
  • About the same (plus or minus 5%) – 23.5%
  • Slightly lower (5 to 10% lower) – 10.4%
  • Significantly lower (more than 10%) – 9.6%

Year to year, compared to the third quarter in 2012, third quarter 2013 inquiries for new work were:

  • Significantly higher (more than 10%) – 28.4%
  • Slightly higher (5 to 10% higher) – 27.6%
  • About the same (plus or minus 5%) – 28.7%
  • Slightly lower (5 to 10% lower) – 6.1%
  • Significantly lower (more than 10%) – 9.2%

Firms are using social media for the following activities (multiple answers):

  • Interact with clients – 45.4%
  • Advertise – 42%
  • Research clients – 36.3%
  • Research potential new business – 32.1%
  • Research competitors – 37%
  • Research new products and services – 33.2%
  • Communicate with employees and other stakeholders – 24%
  • N/A – 27.1%

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