Business conditions for landscape architecture firms declined slightly for the third quarter of 2015, according to the American Society of Landscape Architects’ (ASLA) latest Business Quarterly survey. Billings and inquiries for new work edged down for the majority of responding firms during the third quarter, while plans to hire remained stable.
The third quarter survey shows that fully 83.40 percent of responding firms reported stable to significantly higher billable hours, a drop from the second quarter (86.67 percent). Some 81.56 percent of firms reported stable to significantly higher inquiries for new work, compared to 84.51 percent during the second quarter.
Year to year, 81.30 percent of firms reported stable to significantly higher billable hours, dipping slightly from the 82.38 percent reported during the third quarter of 2014. Year to year, 84.52 percent said inquiries for new work were stable to significantly higher, compared to the 86.10 percent reported for the third quarter last year.
Some 48 percent of firms with two or more employees said they planned to hire in the fourth quarter of 2015, about the same as the previous quarter (48.10 percent). Some 54.76 percent of firms with five to nine employees will be hiring landscape architects, both experienced and entry-level.
The survey also asked questions about how landscape architectural firms find work.
The highest-ranked business development tools include referrals (4.57 mean score), client relationships with architects and engineers (4.30 mean score) and direct contact with potential clients, including corporations, nonprofits and government agencies (4.22 mean score).
The top ways firms cultivate referrals include current and past clients (98.43 percent) and people in other related professions, including architects, engineers, planners and environmental consultants (92.55 percent). View Report.