Belknap Landscape was founded over 30 years ago as a design/build firm and eventually expanded to include a maintenance division. Today, the company serves a mix of commercial and high-end residential properties around Squam Lake and Lake Winnipesaukee in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. At peak season, Belknap employees 90–100 people.
Despite having a strong market presence for over three decades, Belknap found its revenue was stagnant, hovering between $7.0 and $7.3 million in annual revenue since the mid-2010s.
“We just weren’t efficient in the field,” explains Andrew Morse, head of recurring services at Belknap. “It took too long to collect and collate data, and our account managers didn’t have the tools to understand job tracking and renewals. That’s when we started looking for a business management solution.”
Making the switch
After shopping around, Belknap decided to kick off a partnership with Aspire Software for two primary reasons: 1) Aspire's reporting capabilities and 2) the company's promise to provide a coach, or implementation manager, who would lead them through the deployment.
“Having a dedicated coach for the first four months was key to our success,” says Morse. “That person conducted remote webinars with us two days a week and made two site visits to keep us on track, give us homework, and mostly—make us accountable.”
To start off the partnership, Belknap ran its green/summer division through Aspire Landscape which represents about $2.7 million of business.
No sooner did Belknap complete its implementation of the Aspire platform than the company started to experience positive results.
“The first thing we noticed is how much more efficient we are,” states Morse. Because the company uses Aspire to manage every step of a job—contract generation, signing, pricing, tickets, invoicing—their processes became quick and consistent for every client. This allowed Belknap to identify and remove redundancies while also improving accuracy in billing.
One year in, Belknap has shortened its billing cycle from 2–4 weeks to a single week.
Additionally, Aspire has empowered Belknap to make better-informed decisions about clients by providing live data that allows leadership to gain a real-time understanding of the company’s profitability. “Our first round of renewals after implementing the platform was eye-opening because we were able to use data to understand exactly where we were losing money. That allowed us to have informed conversations with our clients and either adjust the contract or move on. Before, we didn’t have much faith in our data. With Aspire, the insights are real.”
The Aspire Software community
Beyond the efficiencies and profitability that Aspire helped uncover, Belknap was also pleased to discover the benefits of being part of the Aspire community. By attending Aspire Software’s conferences and webinars, Morse says he has tapped into so much more than just the software’s capabilities.
“There is a caliber of people at the Aspire conferences that is truly top-notch. Aspire has allowed us to expand our network, learn from industry experts, and improve the way we run our business.”
At first, Belknap ran only its green-season business through the Aspire platform. The company was so pleased with the experience that it decided to run $1 million of the snow division through Aspire as well. Throughout 2020, Belknap plans to transition all other departments to the app so that by January 2021, they will be fully Aspire-supported.
Already, Aspire Landscape has helped Belknap break past the $7.3 million mark where the company had hovered for years.
“Now, we’re focused on the 7-to-9 vision,” says Morse, referring to the fact that Belknap wants to break $9 million in revenue within the next three years. Additionally, Belknap wants to increase net profitability from the current rate of 5% to 10% in the next five years.
With Aspire, those goals seem entirely achievable.
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