In a series of posts, we are going to explore more about what makes our clients tick and what drives their brand stories!
First up, Butler Interiors, a luxury kitchen fitter and supplier based right here in Lancashire and Cumbria. We asked founder Mark Butler a series of questions about his business!
First up, can you tell us a little bit more about your business and how you got started? Your story if you will!
Upon leaving school I gained an apprenticeship as a cabinet maker manufacturing furniture. This naturally led me into the kitchen industry where I installed kitchens for a number of years as an employee for a couple of local companies.
In 1998 I began trading as a sole trader still installing kitchens again for other local kitchen studios. Moving on to May 2003, I became a limited company and employed my 1st staff member. Then, in February 2008, we opened our 1st showroom in Bentham after we were introduced to Schuller our manufacturing partner from Germany. We have never looked back and last year (March 2019) opened our 2nd showroom showcasing next125 kitchens. The upmarket arm to Schuller.
What values would you say your business and ultimately, your brand, are built upon? What drives Butler Interiors forward?
This is very easy. Quality and our relationship with our clients. Our aim is always to provide perfection at the right price. There is a lot of very good competition out there however I believe there is no one any better. I have never been driven by money.
Being based in Lancashire (as well as Cumbria), what benefits do you feel this has? We are big supporters of the region and know our clients are too.
We are based in a beautiful area. This is a huge benefit… going to work is never a chore. The outlook from both our studios is breath-taking. We also tend to find our clients are loyal. They like to buy local and in large can see you get what you pay for. Our clients often become friends where our paths can cross many times over the years following a ‘Butler Interiors’ kitchen install.
Can you tell us a little bit about your team and why they are important to your brand?
We directly employ two installers which is actually very rare these days. A lot of companies use sub-contract labour which sometimes (not always) can affect the quality of the installation. The very best kitchen in the world can be ruined if not installed correctly.
We employ two designers (one being Liam my son), and neither has targets to work towards. We are kitchen designers, not kitchen salespeople. You cannot design to the best of your ability if you are chasing sales targets.
We also employ two women in the office who are both are fantastic and truly believe in giving our clients the very best experience possible. Our delivery driver is my retired father so again always works in a way that is the very best for our company and our clients. My mother will step in to staff the showrooms as and when necessary. She keeps the showrooms looking pristine and more importantly supplies us with fresh baking! Those employees that are not family by the true term are very much part of our work family. They are friends not just colleagues.
I hold it together however each employee plays a key part that is vital in the process of kitchen design and installation. I can proudly say no member of staff has ever left my company. Treat them well and they will treat ‘Butler Interiors’ well. I also do not like the word ‘BOSS’, we are a team.
We recently rebuilt your web presence, what brought you to think about doing this and what results do you feel this has, and will, bring to your business?
Our existing website was very much out of date. I knew I needed to invest in a new website however had been putting it off due to the complexity of building it and being an area that I had no experience of. A chance meeting with Rob and then being introduced to Bekkie very quickly put my mind at rest.
Our new website was developed over a period of time with all areas thought out well. We were guided through each stage in an almost hand-holding type of way with Rob and Bekkie. The finished site is fantastic and has taken us to the next level of professionalism. It is a site I am proud to steer clients towards. At the time of building our website, we all had no idea of the crisis we were shortly going to find ourselves in with the COVID-19 outbreak. Our website has become our new shop window and what a wonderful website it is.
Finally, what do the next 3 years look like to you? What’s going to be important to you looking forward?
Again referring to the COVID-19 crisis it has given us all time to reflect and take stock of our businesses. We came into the crisis in a good position from the point of view of workload and reputation. We are now mid-crisis. We as a company will come through this and leave in a positive manner. The showrooms are stunning, our website is working really well and leads are coming in. Our batteries will be charged, we have put into place small admin improvements and I personally am mid through a ‘business to business’ campaign. Historically we have worked mainly with domestic clients. We have a lot to offer local house builders, developers, and architects.
My 3-year plan is to do what we do best. Design and install German made kitchens to the best of our ability at a fair price to our clients while at all times offering fantastic service and customer support. I am intending taking our relationship further with Rob and Bekkie at ‘Two Stories’ and building our brand further.
A huge thanks to Mark for taking the time out in our first client story. To find out more about the amazing work they do, take a look on www.butlerinteriors.co.uk
Keep your eyes peeled for our next Client Story!