Robert Butchike is the owner and founder of the Robert Butchike Edmonton Concrete Company, a company that has gained a reputation in the greater Edmonton area for its quality workmanship and impressive attention to detail. The impetus for the Robert Butchike Edmonton Concrete Company arose out of Butchike’s experience working as a mason’s assistant during his summers off from school. He saw an opportunity to provide an in-demand service and, upon earning his business degree, began working on at-cost projects for friends of his family. The business took off by word of mouth and referrals, and Butchike now has two crews working under him in order to meet client demand.
The Robert Butchike Edmonton Concrete Company has handled a wide variety of projects and has completed a number of custom projects requiring highly skilled labor and intensive detail work. The projects have proven to be excellent marketing tools, as pictures of the works-in-progress and then the completed projects have resulted in an increased volume in requests for project quotes.
Butchike, while not underestimating the importance of his business degree, believes that it is his attention to detail and presence on every job site that ensures clients of the company receive consistently outstanding work and in turn provide priceless marketing by speaking highly of the company to their friends and family, who then become future clients of the Robert Butchike Edmonton Concrete Company. After several years in business, the company continues to expand. Butchike is considering adding yet another crew in order to meet the growing demand for his company’s services.
How did you get started? What sparked this business idea?
I got the idea for the Robert Butchike Edmonton Concrete Company after spending my summers working as a mason’s assistant. We did a lot of projects that involved pouring concrete, and I saw an opportunity to start a business that was also something I truly enjoyed doing.
How do you make money?
We do all sorts of construction projects, whether it is new construction or home improvement. We have multiple crews and a lot of great people working for us, so we are able to handle several jobs at the same time.
How long did it take to get your business into the black?
It didn’t take long at all for the Robert Butchike Edmonton Concrete Company to get into the black. We started out small, only taking on the projects that we knew we could handle without overextending ourselves. We focused on quality workmanship and building our reputation, and began expanding accordingly.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
No, I never had any doubt. I have a great deal of faith in my skills and we emphasize the importance of getting the job done right each and every time.
How did you get your first customer?
Our first job was for a friend of the family that we did at cost. They host a lot of parties and have a lot of people over to the house, so I knew that a lot of people would see the quality of our work and ask who did it. The first few months we worked strictly on referrals.
How are you marketing your business? What strategy works best?
We had a lot of word-of-mouth business at first, but now we have a professionally designed website where we post pictures of all of our projects. We also have a social media presence to ensure that lots of people are seeing our work.
Is there a trend in your industry that particularly excites you right now?
There is a lot of creativity in the industry, so a lot of clients are giving us more artistic license in the projects we take on. There have been a lot of times where a client has entrusted us with all of the design elements, and those projects have been really rewarding.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
We recently added a second crew, and that was very difficult. We were concerned that we might be taking on too much work, but it has worked out incredibly well for us.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
Without a doubt, it is our consistent attention to detail and attention to the requests of our clients.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Every time we finish a project and show the client what we have done. There is no better feeling than seeing the look on their face and knowing that they are thrilled with the work we have given to them.
Tell us about one of your hobbies when you’re not working.
Hockey, of course!
Do you have a favorite project that you have completed?
We had a client who was a big basketball fan and wanted us to pour a full-length, regulation size court. He had us paint his favorite team’s logo on the court and we then installed permanent benches, a scorer’s table and bleachers. He hosts a game on Sundays, so we go there and play when we aren’t too busy.