Challenges of 2020 in the Landscape Industry

The challenges of 2020 in the landscape industry, what did we learn, and what we can take into 2021

We spoke with our Director, Sam Selby, about his experience in facing the challenges of 2020 when it came to running the landscape gardening business, Selby. As the new year begins, he is looking back on the previous year to reflect on the lessons he has learned.

Can you name one thing that challenged you in 2020 that you hadn’t faced before?

One of the major challenges of 2020 was the mindset shift of so many people.
We saw enquiries go through the roof but at the same time, people are being so much more careful with what they spend.
People are spending more and more time at home but are looking to be resourceful and get the most value for money.

What change do you feel 2020 has had on the industry?

The change in the landscape sector in particular has been huge. We’ve had one of our best years yet as we see more and more people looking to invest their money on their homes and gardens whilst they can’t go on holidays.
At the same time, supply chains were severely affected and this did have a temporary negative backlash on small companies like ourselves.
I think that moving forward the landscape industry will go from strength to strength. This is a big shakeup for lots of industries but at the end of it all, people love being in their gardens and want them to look beautiful. Gardens can be a great help for mental health and give people a safe, personal place to retreat from the world.

What was the most surprising thing that you learned?

I think the thing that has surprised me most in 2020 is how much compassion people can show to each other and how much we can all get done when we work together with a positive mindset.

Did you change anything when it came to managing your team?

When the pandemic hit, one of our primary concerns was looking after the safety of our team. Without the team around us, we wouldn’t be able to build all of these amazing spaces. I think people feel really lucky to be in a secure job when there is so much uncertainty in the world. And what better job to have than to be working out in the fresh air, in touch with nature and all of those immune-boosting bacteria!

Selby Landscapes | Moat House | seating area
Selby Landscapes | Courtney House | verbena bonariensis

How has your attitude to work changed?

I have always been very determined in my work career and this definitely increased this last year. There was even more reason to ensure work came in, turned over and time, and left us with something at the end of the projects. I have been lucky enough to work alongside a lot of inspiring people through 2020 which has helped me to channel my determination and get systems in place to really expand my business and do the jobs I love doing. 

Did you panic at any moment in regards to the impact of 2020? If so, when?

There was definitely a lot of confusion and uncertainty when the pandemic first hit. Myself, as well as millions of others, were uncertain of how this would all play out and how it would affect businesses and individuals. With reassurance from mentors and government guidelines, we picked ourselves up brushed ourselves down, and came back better than before. 

If you could go back in time and talk to yourself in January 2020, what would you say?

If I could go back to January 2020 and talk to myself I would say keep confident, keep healthy and positive and reach out to others with more knowledge than you to help you through the tough times.

If you could do 2020 all again, not that many of us would, what would you change and why?

If I could change anything from 2020 it would be to give more back to the community. We are always so focussed on personal rewards and gains, something I would like to do through 2021 is reaching out and help others who need it the most.

What is the biggest change that you will make going forward?

My biggest challenge going forward would be to stay on track with building Selby. It easy to get complacent with what you’re doing and lose sight of the bigger picture and why you do what you do. I would encourage everyone to stay healthy, positive, and always reach for the stars. 

Happy 2021!!

Background Selby