Written by Stacey Dixon, one of The Purple Guys
Happy Mom & Pop Shop Day to The Purple Guys founders, Jon and Jill Schram! National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day is observed annually on March 29th. This national holiday was created to honor and celebrate the best kind of local business owners that make a huge impact on their communities.
Jon and Jill Schram married in 1994 and immediately after, dove into a life filled with entrepreneurship and philanthropy. Leading with the philosophy of “Better People, Better Solutions”, they founded an information technology consulting firm in 1996 that quickly grew to revenues of over $5 million, 68 employees, and established offices in Chicago and Overland Park.
In 2001, the Schrams decided to expand their passion for business and opened The Purple Guys. Fast forward 17 years, The Purple Guys have become Kansas City and St. Louis’s most reliable source for Managed IT Services and Computer Support for small to mid-sized businesses. Their IT company has consistently grown on average by 25% per year and now houses the largest IT service desk in the Midwest. The Purple Guys' 97.3% customer satisfaction rate averaged from over 6000 customers speaks to how much their services are depended on every day.
The road hasn’t always been easy and has accompanied with many challenges including the evolution of technology and best business practices. However, when the Schrams are faced with challenges, they seek to resolve it quickly by identifying the root of a problem. They’re dedicated to finding creative solutions and not just masking an issue with a temporary or quick fix. They intentionally focus their efforts on making the lives of their family, employees, customers, and the community around them more positive.
Since 1999, instead of gifting customers with traditional corporate gifts, the pair has been showing their appreciation by giving back to their local community. With young children of their own, they were drawn to their first cause to work with Truman Medical Center to establish a program that supports new parents struggling to keep up with current costs of keeping their children safe. The program’s funds provide brand new car seats, safety checkpoints, and educational workshops for expectant mothers.
The Schrams then began regularly supporting more local causes such as Habitat for Humanity, Open Door Education Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters KC, Harvesters, the Urban Christian Academy, and more. Some of their all-time favorite memories are tied to Jill Schram’s successful campaigns for Go Red For Women in support of the American Heart Association. Jon Schram also spends one hour per week reading to local kids through Lead to Read KC and regularly travels on mission trips with his Acumen group to help build homes for families throughout several countries in South America.
Their dedication to supporting the community doesn’t stop between the two, however. They provide regular opportunities for their employees to join in on efforts to enhance Kansas City and St. Louis communities. The Schrams are pleased that a high percentage of their team work with them on their charitable endeavors. "It makes us all feel good about our company and our community, " says Jon Schram. "It's about being good citizens. And it's the right thing to do."
The Schrams strive to offer a great work-life experience for their employees. They focus on making The Purple Guys a desired company to work for by empowering their employees, providing excellent benefits, supporting continued education, creating opportunities for growth and career development, and ways to give back to the community. With a team of fulfilled and happy people, it allows for a more genuine delivery of the company’s mission; to provide exceptional service as well as 5-Star technology support to businesses throughout Kansas City and St. Louis.
“When people enjoy what they do, they make the lives of those around them better.” – Jon says in his opening of The Purple Guys weekly team meetings.