What do you currently do?
I’m the Managing Director and part owner of Marston & Langinger, the high-end designer and creator of luxury garden rooms. I manage a team of fifty people in Norfolk and ten based in London. Wealthy individuals and premium businesses trust us to provide the most beautiful garden rooms that meet all specifications to fit in with the style of their homes, improve their lifestyle, or enhance the image of their business
What is your inspiration in business?
At Marston & Langinger we aim to deliver value to the client, we want to create a beautiful extraordinary garden room. We want the design and finish to be exemplary using the best components, and provide an extension of the home for the client. My inspiration is to meet client demands and exceed them, improving their lifestyle and offering something beautiful in the process.
Who do you admire?
James Dyson. He invented something, marketed it superbly and made it in to an international must-have product. I like to think there are some similarities between that and what we are doing at M&L; we have set a precedent with the luxury finished product and others are now looking to follow it. The challenge now is to market our products to other areas of the world, giving the company a global reach.
Looking back are there things you would have done differently?
I think I have done things differently at M&L since I joined in 2009. We bought the business, which already had established a brand name, products and ways of working. We have kept what works and changed what did not to improve client service and culture.
I wanted to improve morale and motivation of the staff, by encouraging an open culture where ideas could be put forward, and everybody feels comfortable to innovate. I believe this environment gets the best out of people and achieves the best results.
What defines your way of doing business?
Integrity. Gaining the trust of the client, suppliers and employees is an integral part of the way we operate. We deliver what is promised. By encouraging an open environment, people can push the boundaries and come up with new and innovative ideas so that we are always one-step ahead of our competitors and are able to offer the best possible service for our clients.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Be very sure of your product and understand the market, know your competitors. The most successful products are often those that are niche, and offer the client specialism – therefore they are of greater value.
I would also say get the right advice – you can’t possibly know everything when you start out in business so talk to people and seek advice in areas that are not your specialism. Have good partners in place, the right balance of people in both your internal and external team, the right people will ensure things keep moving and developing.