In just a few short weeks of using Aspire Crew Control, CTX Mowing owner-operator BJ Christlieb discovered significant time savings, enabling him to run his business more efficiently and focus on growth.
About four years ago, BJ started CTX Mowing, a Texas-based landscape maintenance and design company, as a side business to earn extra money while working full-time as a structural engineer. It started simply, with a neighbor asking BJ to mow his yard. Word-of-mouth took it from there.
"I drove around with a Jeep Cherokee with a lawn mower strapped in the back,” BJ says of his early days.
Everything changed in the spring of 2020. With concerns about COVID affecting the construction industry, his employer laid off remote workers, including BJ, who designed prefabricated homes. He applied for jobs in the same field and received job offers but decided to follow his passion and chose to focus on his budding business.
“I wanted to see what I could do with the business I started and see what it could grow into,” BJ says.
CTX Mowing typically employs ten employees and three crews, performing mostly residential maintenance and landscaping services, as well as landscape design and installation. The company remains on track to generate $750K in revenue by the end of the year.
BJ aims to grow the company by increasing annual revenue and eventually plans to adjust his role to owner-manager, so he can spend more time scaling the business. That’s where Crew Control comes in, freeing up his time so he can focus on growth.
Up-level customer satisfaction and get time back with automated communications
Before BJ found Aspire, he used the free landscaping software Yardbook, Excel spreadsheets, and text messages to notify and invoice customers.
“I would spend a good 30 minutes in the morning texting everybody, and then at least an hour invoicing everybody,” BJ says of his daily routine.
He wanted software that would automate his manual process of texting up to 60 customers twice a day. He onboarded with Aspire’s Crew Control in May 2022, and immediately witnessed efficiency improvements fueled by streamlined processes and automation. Now, it takes one click to send customer reminders and less than 10 minutes to send invoices.
"Aspire is the one-stop shop that gives me everything I need,” BJ says. “It’s been a lifesaver for me. I’m no longer spending hours a day trying to manage everything."
Crew Control billing ensures landscape company owners never neglect invoices due to backlog or bandwidth.
“Crew Control has a lot of cool features. I’m still learning new things every day,” BJ says. “I just found out how to export it to Excel so I can track all the paid invoices and how to track my unpaid invoices.”
He also appreciates a Crew Control feature that allows crew members to add comments and pictures, so BJ can review properties without having to visit the site before sending invoices.
With Crew Control Payments, landscape companies provide customers with convenient and secure electronic payment options.
About 35% of CTX Mowing customers use Crew Control payments, opting to pay by credit card or ACH, also known as bank transfer. BJ says the payment option is easy to use and more customers choose to use payments as they become familiar with it.
“It’s a breeze,” he says. “If you shop online, you know how to do it.”
Crew Control integrates with QuickBooks Online so landscaping companies can seamlessly manage the status of receivables, but the payment solution does not require companies to use QuickBooks Online. Plus, electronic payments with Crew Control cost less than QuickBooks payments.
Preparing for growth
In a matter of weeks, Crew Control streamlined CTX Mowing operations and gave BJ more time to focus on business priorities. He plans to spend more time seeking employees, which remains an ongoing challenge in the landscaping industry.
“It takes a lot of weight off my shoulders as far as the scheduling, tracking the income, the reminders, and invoicing,” BJ says. “Honestly, using Crew Control has already made it 10 times easier for me and less stressful. There are still stressful days, but nothing like the amount of time I used to have to spend doing things.”