Published on September 16th, 2018 | by Blogger Local0
High Prairie Landscape Group’s Robyn Schmitz
Blogger Local: Okay. Welcome to the Small Business Superheros Podcast. Today our featured guest is High Prairie Landscape Group, and we’re talking to Robyn. Hey, Robyn. Thanks for joining us on the show.
Robyn Schmitz: Mary, thanks so much for having me.
Blogger Local: First, can you tell us about your company? What kind of products or services does your company provide, and what do you feel like makes you stand out from the crowd?
Meet Robyn Schmitz
Robyn Schmitz: Absolutely. So High Prairie Landscape Group basically designs, builds, and maintains European style gardens and outdoor living spaces. We do that by focusing on craftsmanship and high attention to detail, and in doing this, we help bring quality-minded homeowners outdoors with projects constructed to last for years to come is the goal.
There’s a few things that make us different, Mary, those things are first that we created our own hardscape construction process. It’s called the legacy method, and basically what that is is a method that combines the positive parts of both European and American construction processes into a single, much better construction process. The result is something that lasts for decades as opposed to just a few years. Kind of cool. Another thing we do that’s different than any other company I know of is we tour the country every year viewing plant trial gardens, and that’s cool because we’re able to see what’s cutting edge and coming up in the market before other people even know it exists. So we get it to Kansas City and start growing it here before anyone else even knows that it’s a possibility. Our clients love that because they’re getting the latest and greatest. Then last, we are one of the only companies I know of that actually utilizes soil sample testing from Kansas State to customize our clients care plans specific to their exact property for total lack of waste and impact.
Blogger Local: Wow. That’s cool.
Robyn Schmitz: Yeah.
Blogger Local: Great. Well, thanks for sharing that. Can you provide a brief history of you journey as an entrepreneur, and tell me kind of what you love about what you do right now?
Robyn Schmitz: Yeah, absolutely. So the journey as an entrepreneur is really started back in 2010. I started the business truly with a desire to help people avoid corner cutting contractors and an old jeep. That’s all we had was an old jeep. We hired our first full-time employee in 2013, and then in 2016, my husband Brett joined the business. So today, we have 25 hired specialized employees and one of the first ever full-service landscape company to win Top 25 Business in Kansas City. So we’re super proud of our team.
Blogger Local: Wow. I’m sure.
Robyn Schmitz: Yeah. It’s been humbling, but it’s also been incredibly rewarding. So we just tried to learn from our mistakes and evolve. But I absolutely love the challenge that every day brings something new.
Blogger Local: Is your business involved in any local charities or causes? Are there any special ways that you participate in or give back to the local community here in Kansas City?
Robyn Schmitz: We have a lot of amazing charities in Kansas City, but two of our favorites are Stand Down Casey, which is an event that helps Kansas City’s homeless veterans a couple times a year by getting them connected with the resources they need to better their lives. Stand Down is amazing and we like to bring a team and help out with that. One we just learned about is called Avenue of Life, and we just started to work with them. But they also help kind of … Their whole mantra is equipping and empowering low income families in our communities. So those are our two favorites.
Blogger Local: That’s awesome. Okay. So we’re going to kind of shift directions a little bit and talk about marketing a little bit. How has the internet changed the way you and your customers do business?
Robyn Schmitz: I think the big thing is consumers today are more educated and businesses are also held more accountable. I absolutely love that because when you don’t have anything to hide, that just empower people. So the big thing about the internet and the change is that now we’re able to provide value to people before we’ve even met them by providing educational tools to help them back the best decision for them.
Blogger Local: Right. How are you marketing to local businesses or local consumers here in Kansas City?
Robyn Schmitz: Sure. Well, first and foremost, I think business revolves around relationships, so because of that referrals are always going to be an important part of our marketing. But anyone that’s growing a business knows they also have to diversify their marketing to reach new clients. For us besides focusing on building a relationship, which is probably our most important, we think implementing a strong online presence. We optimize SEOs through Kansas City SEO. We’re creating informational videos through our local company called Real Media, and then last and certainly not least is we’re providing value to people through free educational content.
Blogger Local: That’s great. I think that’s such a good way to kind of establish yourself as a knowledgeable source of information in your industry.
Robyn Schmitz: Yeah. Well, I mean, it’s a win-win truly because it builds trust but it also helps people.
Blogger Local: Right.
Robyn Schmitz: So you both benefit.
Blogger Local: I agree. Okay. So do you have any advice that you would like to offer to would-be entrepreneurs who want to start their own local business?
Robyn Schmitz: Yeah. I think that it’s a wild ride. So there’s probably three big things that I would tell a would-be entrepreneur. I think first you have to know yourself well enough to capitalize on your strengths. But the other side of that equation, second is to be humble enough to know your weaknesses and outsource those weaknesses. Whether that’s within your organization or outside, know what you’re not good at and fill that void. Last, the power of the word no. You’ve got to be able to stick to work that fits your vision and that you can succeed in. Do not say yes to everything.
Blogger Local: Right. That’s good advice. Okay. So we’ve got a couple of fun questions that we wanted to ask. We are big fans of Kansas City, and sounds like you are too. What are your favorite things about Kansas City? What places do you like to visit? Do you have favorite restaurants or bars or events that you like to attend?
Robyn Schmitz: Oh, absolutely. Kansas City is amazing, and I love the community feel in Kansas City. We have such an abundance of people willing to help others. I would say one of my favorite things is I don’t know if you’re familiar with the HEMP Program, Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program. But it’s been pivotal in helping me grow as a business owner and really embody the community feel of our city. But in addition to that, we have tons of places we love to go. For a cocktail we love Tom’s Town. Barbecue, we love Char Bar. If you just want an amazing brew and an amazing pizza, Martin City Brewing Company is amazing.
Blogger Local: Awesome. I have actually not tried any of those places. So I’m going to put them on …
Robyn Schmitz: You haven’t? Oh, well I can give you the connections. They’re amazing.
Blogger Local: Sounds great. When you are not running your business, which I’m sure takes up tons of your time, what kind of hobbies or activities do you like to participate in with your friends and family?
Robyn Schmitz: Yeah. We love to kayak. I would say kayaking is one of the favorites. We don’t do it near enough. Big proponents have taken our dogs out to the lake. Just spending time out there. I love to grow gourmet garlic, which is a kind of strange hobby. Besides that, just visiting friends and family really.
Blogger Local: That’s great. Okay. Well, before we wrap up, do you have any special offers, promotions, or new products or services you want to share?
Robyn Schmitz: Sure. In the spirit of trying to share empowering information with people, I have a new book coming out this fall called Outdoor Living: A guide to design, construction, and budgeting. It’s going to be available on Amazon. It includes a special surprise offer for people in Kansas City in the back.
Blogger Local: Awesome. Well, we will keep an eye out for that. Congratulations on that book!
Robyn Schmitz: Thank you so much. We’re very excited about it.
Blogger Local: That’s great. Well, thank you so much for joining us and for your contributions to Kansas City and our local economy.
Robyn Schmitz: Thank you so much, Mary. I appreciate it.
Learn more about Robyn & High Prairie Landscape Group at: www.GoHPLG.com