Good things happen in threes. Florida, the 3rd most populated US state, boasts the 3rd largest economy in the nation and the 3rd largest civilian labor force. Florida is simply a tremendous place to do business—and to run a field services business.
Let’s take a trip to the Sunshine State to learn more.
Florida’s Business Environment is Ideal for Field Services Businesses
While tourism garners much of the spotlight (from theme parks to beaches to cosmopolitan cities, there’s something for everyone), Florida is an industrial-sized economic powerhouse. In fact, the state has the 16th largest economy in the world, and according to the Florida Department of Transportation, it moved a whopping 743 million tons of freight traffic in 2015.
Three of its top industries include:
- Manufacturing - Florida is home to over 19,000 manufacturers employing more than 331,000 workers. (Enterpriseflorida.com)
- Construction – With plenty of undeveloped land and lots of demand, Florida added the most construction jobs (22,300 jobs, or 5.1%) in the US during the past year. (Associated General Contractors of America [AGCA])
- Agriculture – Florida’s agriculture industry employs 2 million people and contributes more than $104 billion to the state’s economy each year, making it the second of 6 industries driving GDP growth (Investopedia). After all, Florida accounts for 56% of the total U.S. citrus production. (Freshfromflorida.com)
This is a heck of a lot of business activity (and orange juice)—and Floridians are busy driving the economy and attracting even more business development within the state. Something all of these industries—manufacturing, construction, and agriculture—have in common is a need to move people and products to customers and job sites.
And even outside of these industries, the massive state houses a population of just under 20 million who need services—and yes, to the delight of field services businesses, the commercial fleets to deliver them.
Challenges Faced by Floridian Field Services Businesses
What high-growth market lacks its share of challenges? Here are some common Florida roadblocks:
- Shortage of workers – An AGCA survey revealed 55% of business leaders in the state’s construction industry listed worker shortages among the biggest concerns for them and their business, while 73% said they were having a hard time filling salaried or hourly craft jobs. It’s no wonder one of the 3 “T” Questions Field Service Businesses Need To Ask In 2017 is “Do we have the right talent in place?”
- Road safety – An EverQuote survey found that three interstate highways (I-4, I-95 and I-10) in Florida have the highest rates for fatalities in the nation. Data found that Florida drivers use their phone on average 1.4 phone uses per trip and the state ranks 2nd worst nationally for phone use while driving. In Florida, the distracted driving law is only a secondary offense so drivers cannot be pulled over unless another violation is committed. Read the Florida Senate’s Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law for more.
- Gas Taxes – Florida is among 7 states (Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nebraska, Georgia, North Carolina, and Indiana) with the highest gas taxes in 2017. (Automotive-fleet.com)
Fast Facts on Florida Highways
The Florida Chamber of Commerce estimates that by 2030, six million more people will call Florida home, making it critical that lawmakers get “infrastructure policies right.” Their initiatives include protecting Florida’s transportation trust fund so major economic development investments in infrastructure connectivity can continue. Consider these facts:
- Florida's infrastructure ranks #2 in the U.S. (Enterpriseflorida.com)
- Florida has 122,000 miles of highway (Florida Department of Transportation)
- Florida had 207 billion auto vehicle miles traveled in 2015 (Florida Department of Transportation)
That’s a lot of road for field services business to cover!
Top Technology Solutions for Field Services Businesses
Today’s fleet management technology has opened up a world of opportunities for business owners and fleet managers to maximize their vehicle-related resources. In Florida, field services businesses have growth on their agendas, and they’re leveraging fleet telematics solutions to help them cut costs, engage workers and boost productivity, and provide a high level of customer service.
With driver safety of utmost importance, vehicle telematics tools like geo-fencing and real-time alerts give decision-makers information about their vehicles’ locations and driver behaviors so they can focus on boosting safety education and tracking success metrics.
And data-driven insights are only becoming more valuable to the customer experience. Take Todd Faden of Faden Builders, Inc., for example. With two offices in Florida, his company offers construction services for the entertainment industry, primarily, but also commercial and residential clients. He uses Automile to stay “on top” of his vehicles and drivers so he can be sure he’s meeting his customers' needs in a timely and competitive manner.
Florida Field Services Resources
You want your field service business to succeed—and so do these organizations:
- America's SBCD Florida provides new and existing Florida businesses with various consulting and development services.
- Enterprise Florida provides a number of economic development resources for companies operating in the state.
- Florida Power & Light Company has services for builders and developers.
- Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network provides tools, training and expertise to help businesses grow and succeed.
- Florida Trend magazine – insights for growing your business, including the 2016 Florida Opportunity Guide
- US Small Business Administration’s 2016-2017 Resource Guide for Small Businesses, South Florida Edition
- US Small Business Administration’s 2016-2017 Resource Guide for Small Businesses, North Florida Edition
And don’t miss these Automile resources that Florida businesses would love:
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