Published February 5, 2018
Q1: Are you originally from Omaha?
Mr. Kreifels was born and raised in Omaha. He spent most of his time growing up in Papillion, a southern suburb of the city.
Q2: Where did the idea for WhiteTail Creek come from?
Kreifels used to have a taxidermy business on the side of his day job where he made a decent supplemental income. He had also always grown up helping his father with his lawn care business. So eventually, he decided that he could make some more money doing that and quit his taxidermy business to start his lawn and landscaping business.
Q3: How did you come up with your name and logo?
The name of Justin’s business came from a combination of his previous taxidermy business, along with his love of hunting and the outdoors. Justin wanted a very strong, wilderness-inspired logo for WhiteTail Creek. He had a designer come up with several designs, and ultimately loved the deer head charging forward and taking the world by the horns. Justin was very excited that he was able to incorporate his favorite hobbies into his new company’s name and logo.
Q4: How did you get your first client?
His first client was the CoCo Key Water Resort and hotel, which he was able to obtain through connections that his family had at the business.
Q5: How did you know you were passionate about what you were doing?
As mentioned above, Justin’s father got him involved in his own lawn care business when he was a boy. Although his father brought him along really for free labor, Justin actually found himself enjoying the work, and knew that it would make a good side business for himself.
Q6: What was your goal when starting your business and how has that changed?
At first, Kreifels’ goal was to make a better and more consistent side income than his taxidermy business. However, after seeing some success after only a short amount of time, he decided that it was time to make the business more professional and really double down on the time he spent doing it and hiring employees.
Q7: How many employees did you start with and how many do you currently have?
When starting off, Mr. Kreifels was a one-man show. Now, depending on the project, he has anywhere between two to ten workers.
Q8: Did you have any mentors that have helped you become successful?
Mr. Kreifels told me that he has had several individuals, both family and friends, help him along the way. During the interview, he told me that he built his business on relationships and his mentors helped him not only with business advice, but have also taught him valuable life skills.
Q9: Were there any businesses you looked up to or aspired to be like when starting out?
Kreifels told me that there are many lawn and landscaping companies in the city that are really top-notch. Ever since starting out, he has always strived for the best, and looked up to certain companies in particular to try to mirror their work.
Q10: What are one or two of the greatest challenges you have faced as a business owner?
Mr. Kreifels explained how, as his business has grown, he has found it more and more difficult to determine which jobs he should choose to accept and which he should leave on the table. Because he is a small business, he has to turn some jobs down. Usually, he ends up accepting the larger jobs that offer higher compensation and better business connections. The other greatest challenge he faces is mother nature. Unfortunately, even if he has a job scheduled for that day, the weather may prevent him from completing the job.
Q11: What services does WhiteTail Creek offer?
WhiteTail Creek has broken down Landscaping into five major categories:
2) Irrigation Maintenance
3) Drainage Installation/Maintenance
4) Dirt Work
5) Tree & Shrub Maintenance
Q12: What makes WhiteTail Creek unique?
The fact that WhiteTail Creek is a full-service lawn care and landscaping company is what makes the company unique. They offer everything from your basic lawn services to detailed corporate landscaping.
Q13: As a small business, how do you determine the best way to spend your money?
Justin expressed just how hard it is to budget as a small business. He told me how it is a dynamic struggle. At first, the questions are “how can I afford this new equipment? Should I rent an office or purchase a new truck? Etc.” But as WhiteTail Creek has grown, he now has to worry about hiring the right employees, keep upgrading equipment, and how he can reinvest money back into the company.
Q14: How do you advertise your business when going up against much larger businesses?
Justin has been lucky. He has never really needed to do any advertising, since his clients are always spreading word about his business via word of mouth. “I get quite a few referrals,” Justin told me. Just recently, however, he actually started branching out and building his social media presence since he has grown to a point where he is able to take on a much bigger work load.
Q15: What is your favorite part about doing business in the city of Omaha?
According to Justin, the best part about doing business in Omaha is meeting new people. He enjoys being able to establish true relationships with his clients versus going to do a job, getting paid, and then parting ways. He told me that, “Ever since I’ve lived in Omaha,” Justin told me, “I’ve always felt like Omaha was more of a large family. It’s growing, but is still small enough where you have that hometown feel.”
Q16: What is your current view of Omaha and where do you see it going in the near future?
Justin believes Omaha to be very family-oriented, as do most Omahans. He believes the growth of the city is a good thing and that it will only continue to attract good families from all over the Midwest. Justin said that despite this growth, he does not see Omaha losing its small town feel.
Q17: Why should someone from New York, LA, or Chicago move to Omaha?
Mr. Kreifels believes there is no better place to raise a family than Omaha. Also, from a business perspective, he believes there is enough diversification in the city to allow room for many small businesses such as WhiteTail Creek to grow and prosper.