Determination and Passion Have Led Stephanie Schoot to Success with The Ground Guys of Myrtle Beach

As a woman in the landscaping industry, Stephanie Schoot has found the grass isn't greener on the other side, but where there is a will, there is a way.


Owning a landscaping company was never something Stephanie Schoot thought she would or could do. She leaned more toward the medical field, with a career in pharmacy for 12 years.

“I never thought the day would come where I was going to be able to leave the pharmacy to join the green industry,” she says. “If I can study and learn this industry, I know anyone else can. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise.”

Stephanie says it has been great to go into what is considered “a male industry” and succeed in it.

“If you were to tell me just five years ago where my business would be today, I would not have believed it,” she says. “Neither my husband nor I came from a family wealth, and nothing has ever been given to us. We built everything we have from the ground up.”

Her husband Ben Schoot started his own business during a difficult time in the economy in 2008. He continued to build this business on his own and in 2013, they decided to investigate a franchise.

Gip Contractor Profile“To create growth and compete with the larger landscaping companies, we had to make a big decision,” Stephanie says. “We looked into The Grounds Guys, a Neighborly company, and were determined to buy into it.”

In 2014, their business began operating as The Ground Guys of Myrtle Beach. For the first three years, Stephanie continued her time working in the pharmacy and as the company grew, it was time for her to leave so they could continue growing the business.

“Four years later, we have continued to work side by side and continue to increase our revenue yearly,” Stephanie says.

They started working from a storage unit and now have annual revenue of nearly $2.5 million.

“I would like to think that in five years, we will be better than where we are today, a little bigger and more employees, but just focusing on how we can be better overall for our company, employees and customers. Ten years from now, it would be great to have built the business we have and sell it and enjoy life,” she says.

The Ground Guys of Myrtle Beach offers a full range of services including lawn maintenance, lawn care, design and installation, irrigation, and hardscaping. They focus primarily on commercial properties with about 30% of clients being residential.

“We love to build a customer’s vision and make it a reality,” Stephanie says. “We do outdoor projects, including building a fireplace to a adding a full outdoor kitchen. However, our niche is in hardscapes and our commercial build. Starting from just dirt to the final project is rewarding when the project is complete. We like to stay in what works for us and what the needs of our customer base is.”

It is important to Stephanie and Ben that they maintain the company’s reputation in the area.

“Customer satisfaction and performing good work is our mission,” Stephanie says. “We want to make sure we are doing our work properly and making sure our customers are happy and love the work we have done for them.” That experience starts with the initial phone call, and they want to make sure the customers are talking to someone each time they call in.

As to marketing, their trucks and employees are the company’s biggest billboards. With a focus on building relationships and word of mouth advertising, Stephanie says they don’t spend a lot of time on marketing.

The Ground Guys of Myrtle Beach has worked with Pulte Homes in the Built to Honor program which provides mortgage-free homes to deserving military families. Time and materials for projects related to that program are 100% donated.

In addition, Stephanie and the company have been recognized over the years with awards including Woman of the Year, Personal Achievement, Top Gun (top 10% of brand sales) every year since 2015, Shining Star, Builder of the Year and the latest was Franchisee of the Year.

“I believe what makes our business successful is our determination and refusal to give up,” Stephanie says. “When you are determined and refuse to ever quit, a successful business shapes into place.” For her, success is when her customers are happy, the company’s reputation is great, and you have built a business where your employees know there is work every day they come in.”

As a woman in an industry that tends to be male-dominated, Stephanie says she is happy to be a part of adding more to the field. The Ground Guys of Myrtle Beach employs eight to 10 women currently.

“I have amazing women who work for me, and I am so proud to have them be part of my team especially in this industry,” she says.

Her advise to those that are willing to learn or have some knowledge of the green industry to not be afraid to jump in just because you are female.

“I have been around women who work in this industry operating machinery, and they do a great job at it,” Stephanie says. “I have also met women who are behind the scenes and handle the day-to-day tasks that keep the business efficient and functional. I am also friends with an amazing female who solely runs her landscaping company on her own, and I admire her so much for it.”

She acknowledges that sometimes just being heard can be an obstacle.

“I can be underestimated at times, being that I spend a lot of my time in the office handling all the behind-the-scenes operations of the company,” Stephanie says. “As I became confident in everything I was doing and seeing the positive changes that were occurring, the obstacles became less.”

From her perspective, determination and refusal to give up are two powerful factors and from there, everything else falls into place.

“To succeed in this industry, you must be determined, passionate, a go-getter and someone who does not worry about what the next person is doing,” Stephanie says. “The grass is never greener on the other side, and it is easy to get caught up on all the shiny trucks and equipment other companies have, but that is not what makes a great company. If you have the will to do it, make the jump and go after it.”

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