Tim Johnson Landscaping implements cloud-based software to reinvent the business for growth

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4 minutes


May 2, 2023

Tim Johnson Landscaping implements cloud-based software to reinvent the business for growth


Prior to onboarding with Aspire, Tim Johnson Landscaping, with locations in Statesville and Charlotte, North Carolina, relied on paper and manual processes.

“There was paper everywhere,” says President Tim Johnson. “It bogged us down. By the time we got the data figured out, it was way too late to do anything about it.”

Aspire business management software changed all that by providing visibility into every aspect of the business, including real-time project insights, time reporting, and material tracking.

“We’re not just guessing anymore,” Johnson says. “We know our numbers, we know the data, we know the data in real time.”

Turning a new leaf

Johnson says his business was far from tech-savvy, which caused delays when choosing a landscape software solution.

“We went through the interview process for software multiple times before we finally said, ‘Hey, we cannot kick this can down the road anymore. We need to do this,’” he adds.

The company hired a consultant, Steve Steele, from Bruce Wilson’s consulting firm, and took their time selecting the right partner. 

“Our interview process took close to three months,” Johnson says. “We had multiple demos. What became very clear to us during the interview process was that nobody had the reporting flexibility Aspire had. 

“It gave us the data we needed, data we could actually use—not just loads of data we wouldn’t know what to do with,” he says. “That was the huge differentiator with Aspire.”

That data includes real-time job costing to see how actual costs and progress measure up against estimates and past performance, and flexible profit and loss reporting, which can be queried by branch, division, service, account manager, or crew.


The company worked with its consultant for 90 days to organize the business to prepare for implementation. Then, implementation lasted another 90 days.

“Let's make no bones about it; implementation is intense,” Johnson says. “You don't have time to procrastinate. It must be your active task, so you stay focused and get through it.”

And it was a whole team effort.

“Part of that probably speaks to how bad our processes were before,” Johnson says. “It was an easy sell for us when we said, ‘Hey, this is the software we've selected. This is why it's good.’ Our team responded, ‘Absolutely. You tell us what you need out of us. We're going to help you get there.’ They all bought in very early on, and helped work through the process.”

Breaking down silos

Before Aspire, the father-son business wasn’t operating holistically.

“My father loves maintenance, so he focused on that part of the business,” Johnson says. “My passion is construction, so I was leading there, and we had fallen into the trap of being division managers, not being owners of a business. Aspire gave us tools to manage the business as a whole, and not be stuck as a division manager.”

Johnson says Aspire revolutionized the maintenance side of the business. The company went from a 50-50 split of maintenance to construction work, to a 65-35 split with more focus on maintenance.

“Part of what was holding us back in growing our maintenance wasn't the source of new work, it was profitability,” Johnson says. “Now, we’re getting renewal reports and looking at property wizard. We're seeing what actual gross margins are versus budget gross margins, and we're reviewing those.”

Johnson notes the business went a decade without raising prices for any of their maintenance contracts. 

“We’re analyzing the renewal report monthly,” he says. “And it’s rarely, ‘Is there going to be an increase?’ but rather, ‘How much is the increase going to be?’ It's changed our entire mindset.”


With data transparency, Aspire inspires the whole Tim Johnson Landscaping team to work toward the same goals. This process helps create accountability if any issues arise.

“Aspire brought our team together because it gives us ways to hold people consistently and equally accountable,” Johnson says. “It provides tools to measure where we are and where we need to go.”

Reinventing the business for sustainability 

According to Johnson, the way he personally handled all of the estimating hindered the company’s growth.

“I knew what we were estimating, but I didn’t know how to share it with somebody else,” Johnson says. “We had to have a tool where I wasn’t the only person in the company estimating.”

In Aspire, team members can quickly build accurate estimates from templates and kits based on actual production factors. And job costing tools pair with a custom catalog to automatically factor in company-specific margins and markups into each item, protecting profitability.


Part of Tim Johnson Landscaping’s prep work to onboard with Aspire required creating the right processes to move the business forward. 

“If you're going to use Aspire effectively, your processes have to be in place,” Johnson says. “Our processes are all built around Aspire now, allowing for accountability and repeatability. As we're trying to scale, it's much easier for us to train somebody to take on a task that maybe only one person did before. Now, there’s a standard process in place.

“Aspire has essentially reinvented how we do business,” he adds. “We were still growing, but it couldn't have been sustained. We essentially went back and looked at every process for our entire company as part of implementation, and it helped make sure we were moving forward in a sustainable way.”

Want to experience software designed to help landscapers achieve growth at twice the industry rate? Schedule a landscaping business software demonstration with Aspire and see how you can take your profits to the next level.

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