We have seen many things in the past few years, recession, unemployment and tightened regulations in many areas in the Outdoor Market. If you lay hardscapes, install pools, build fire pits or work with outdoor patio furniture we have seen it. Yet our industry is growing, some ask how can this be?

The outdoor industry is more than one specific industry. It is not about new and shiny products or keeping up with the neighborhood. It is about a lifestyle, friends, family and loved ones gathering to have mini vacations anytime they want.

You can see the economic impact if you look at company profiles on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. There are landscape companies, hardscape companies, and pool installers and services calling to hire qualified applicants everywhere on social media. In fact a study performed by Hearth and Home Magazine shows growth in the outdoor industry across the board (article can be found in the August 2016 issue on pg. 26).

In a survey conducted by Hearth and Home they look into expansion of products that were offered in the industry to do exactly what our industry is, selling a lifestyle of fun, convenience and family and friends. The only category that reported less interest to retail markets was torches. Every single category is expanding according to feedback from industry experts. The categories are as follows listed from most expansion interest to least::

​1) Fire Pits - Gas ​2) Outdoor Fire Places - Gas ​3) Grills - Gas ​4) Grills - Built in
​5) Outdoor Fire Places - Wood ​6) Fire Pits - Wood ​7) Grills - Charcoal ​8) Grills - Kamado
​9) Patio Heaters​10) Grills - Pellet​11) Outdoor Furniture​12) Barbecue Islands
​13) Refrigerators​14) Umbrellas​15) Pizza Ovens​16) Outdoor Sinks
​17) Grills - Electric​18) Outdoor Fireplaces - Electric​19) Beverage Centers​20) Torches*
​21) Venting Hoods​22) Outdoor Lighting​23) Outdoor Flooring​24) Pergolas
​25) Kitchen Cabinets​26) Gazebos​27) Pavilions​28) Stereo Equipment
​29)Televisions

*Product that will be carried less by retailers next year.

So what does this mean for the industry? It means more jobs, more strategic alliances with companies that specialize in a field that your company does not. It means that our industry is evolving and companies out there are moving into realms of work to solve the customer's needs, but above all it means we have to be innovative and wow every customer every time. There are companies out there that are doing just that now. If your company is not I highly recommend looking at companies like Chip and Dale's Landscaping, Flo Grills and Sutro. Even we put our money where our mouth is and built the fire pit industries first app controlled fire pit.

Remember the world is changing and innovation will not only keep you relevant, but make you the go-to company in your perspective region and hopefully grow your business into a household name.