11 Jan 2019, 07:00 — 6 min read
Business: Mr. Butler Home Services
Co-Founder: Marie Kristiansen Gallanosa
Year it was founded: 2017
Industry: Home Services
Location: Parañaque City
Their business was born out of a casual conversation about the challenges of newly married couples when they move in to a new house. They realized that there was a need for reliable handyman services within BF Homes, Parañaque City. This led the dynamic husband-wife duo to establish Mr. Butler Home Services.
From starting their business without receiving any external funding, their business has already hit one million sales even before celebrating its first anniversary!
In conversation with GlobalLinker (GL), Marie Kristiansen (Marie) shares her business journey.
GL: Tell us about your business and how it came into being.
Marie: Mr. Butler Home Services provides handyman, cleaning and errand services to the south area of Metro Manila. We recently added services that include groundskeeping, porch and garage cleaning, and home service carwash. We aim to professionalize blue collar jobs and provide trustworthy services to household, much like having a butler without having to spend on one
Mr. Butler came about when my husband and I had a random conversation about the struggles of being a newly married couple moving into a new house. Assistance is not readily available when you need to do the simplest handyman work like installing curtain rods. At that time, we had a failed call center business, where we used up all our savings, that lasted for only eight months without any income.
My husband (an Overseas Filipino Worker [OFW]) and I were actively looking to start a business, focusing on starting small. We thought, what if there’s a service provider that can offer reliable handyman services within BF Homes, Paranaque?
My husband did some research – thanks to Google – and found out that there weren’t any businesses providing these kinds of services in BF Homes yet. So we figured, why not try our hand at it? From starting the paperwork and recruitment with only my sister, now we are a team of 15 people. Believe it or not, we didn’t receive any funding; we just started with whatever little money we had and hired our first errand runner and a pair of skilled handymen who were colleagues of my husband.
GL: What are the challenges you have faced in establishing your business?
Marie: Funding is one of the greatest challenges we are facing as all our staff are fully employed. We are still continuously building and improving our branding and our service offers. Booking of our services alone are not enough to sustain us just yet.
GL: What is the Unique Selling Point (USP) of your business?
Marie: We stand by our tagline #HelpYouCanTrust. When you book Mr. Butler, it will bring you convenience and ease for having trustworthy individuals working to ensure you get your money’s worth. We also have a ‘done right’ guarantee, which means that if a job is not done properly, we will make it ‘right’ at no extra charge on the customer.
GL: What are some of the milestones of your business?
Marie: We’ve reached our one million sales before we celebrated our first anniversary as a business. I was also able to represent Mr. Butler Home Services at the TradeConnect event, GlobalLinker’s flagship initiative, thanks to UnionBank GlobalLinker. To us these are our big milestones because we literally started from the bottom with just 5 people, and now we have grown and are still growing.
GL: What role do you feel GlobalLinker plays in connecting & assisting SMEs?
Marie: Being an entrepreneur, it is vital to have reliable connections and to network with fellow entrepreneurs. UnionBank GlobalLinker makes it easier to connect with other people who could really help grow your business and be able to help other businesses as well.
GL: What is your big business dream?
Marie: Our big dream is to be able to provide our gift of convenience to one million households in Metro Manila. (We want) to widen the horizons of our fellow Filipinos by providing opportunities that won't define their worth based on their college degree.
GL: What is your message to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Marie: Just start it. I believe in living a life of no regrets - most of the time that means going with your gut and just going for it. There are probably a million reasons why you should not pursue your business idea but if your ‘why’ is strong enough, not even the fear of failure can stop you from taking the first step. As cliché as it may sound, life is short. Failure is not the end, it is usually the beginning of something greater than yourself.
When we started this business we found out we were expecting our second baby. I have the worst morning sickness and I was vomiting most days, but you just go through everyday doing what you can with whatever resource (time, money, sanity) is available. I used to think that as an entrepreneur, you should always be the first at everything and that idea scared me. I am not that creative and I feared competition, but I have learned that it is okay to celebrate other people’s victories as I prepare for mine. The right moment is now, so you should start living your business dream.
Network with Marie Kristiansen Gallanosa by clicking on the 'Invite' button on her profile.
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