New customer for K2

K2 Conservatories are proud to announce that newly established Clearseal Windows have become a K2 reseller.

Although the business itself is new, its owner, Bob Beeton, is an industry veteran. With over 20 years experience in the conservatory industry, most people will already know him.

Having spent his career both supplying the trade as a fabricator and working in retail, Bob made the decision to develop his new business working directly with the end-user. He believes he can make a real impact in this market, thanks to his knowledge of conservatory systems and customer service standards which will make him to stand out from the competition.

K2's Sales Director, Sharon Owen, comments: "We are very pleased to welcome Clearseal on board. Bob is keen to promote and offer a high-value proposition to the end-user, which is what we have been working hard to get out to market for the last 2 to 3 years. The K2 product range can offer him what he needs to build a successful retail business."

Based in Warrington, Cheshire, Clearseal Windows works all over the North West.

 

Spectra celebrates 10 years with K2

Established in 2002, Spectra Conservatory roofs is please to announce that they have reached their 10th year fabricating K2 roofs.

Anne-Marie Busch speaks to Darren Goddard to find out what the last 10 years mean to him and the business.

“Back in 2002 the Devon and Cornwall area was not covered by many fabricators and we saw an opportunity to carve ourselves a place in the market.

K2 was the obvious choice for us as they were not present at all in the region, and it was a system really talked about for its quality and ease of installation. We knew we’d made the right choice as soon as we approached them and we negotiated the exclusive rights to Devon and Cornwall.

Since then our working relationship has been more than satisfactory. We don’t believe we are high maintenance, but we can also vouch that whenever we needed something K2 has always been there for us; issues always get dealt with quickly.

The fact that we chose K2 when we started the business, and have been with them since, is a testament to their efforts to help customers develop their business. We started from nothing, to reach 10 roofs a week, going up to 20 /25 week.

Back then we already understood the industry well (Ben Cogavin – General Manager, and Matthew Clark – Factory Manager, both worked with Darren at Quantal prior to joining him when he set up Spectra), and knew that with K2 we had a quality, reliable roof system. The aim was to build a solid business, that would grow within a manageable size, to cover the whole South West; and I believe we have achieved this. We are now a perfectly formed team of seven people, working form a 3500 square feet factory.

We are actually looking to move into bigger premises to allow us to cater for increased demand, and the changing nature of the type of roofs we fabricate (larger installations, orangeries…). So there is no doubt that the future is looking bright.

Current trends for colours, glass roofs (with Celsius in high demand), aluminium, orangeries, and portal frames mean that higher value items now represent approximately 25% of our order volume and 35% of our turnover. The K2 products allow us to cater for these needs extremely well.

In addition, we believe our success is based on a combination of quality products, strong customer service, which includes the pre-assembly of every single roof that comes out of our premises, and being prepared to go the extra way to help our customers. We do not sacrifice quality over price.

Orangeries – How to sell them?

Anne-Marie Busch, K2’s Marketing Manager, talks about what it means to sell orangeries in today’s climate, and provides some hints and tips to help on the road to success.

1. Why sell orangeries?

Quite simply it comes back to supply and demand. Give the homeowners what they are asking for. There is a real buzz in the industry for orangeries, and there is no doubt that adding them to your product portfolio will at the very least get people through the door and generate enquiries.

2. Aren’t conservatories easier to install?

May be...you could argue that it depends on what you are selling now.

The increase in bespoke shapes and higher value installations means that conservatory retailers are now used to dealing with more complex installations, such as solid builds, large openings / bi-folds, complicated roofs. So it would be fair to say that a lot of the orangery roof solutions are no more difficult than these.

The K2 orangery is engineered to specifically ensure that there is minimum work to be done on site, resulting in limited disruption for the homeowner.

3. Understanding the key differences between an orangery and a conservatory

This might sound somewhat obvious, but be aware that some homeowners won’t really understand what these differences are:

Structure: true orangeries vary considerably from a conservatory as the complete roof will rest on structural supports (either integrated structural aluminium legs bolted to the foundations, or structural brick columns) rather than the window frames.

Visual: there are a number of key visual differences between a conservatory and an orangery. Internally a large soffit / ceiling space around the perimeter of the room is created, allowing for the inclusion of down lighters and / or speakers and greater options to personalise and decorate the room. The K2 soffit is 604mm deep and 510/560mm high (Rio and Venetian).

Externally, the walls / frames might not necessarily look different to that of a conservatory, depending on the customer’s design preferences. The key difference will be at the roof level, where you will have a large gutter area (543mm wide for the K2 Venetian) or flat roof area (625mm for the Rio), with the actual glass roof sat in the middle – the lantern (rather than extending all the way to the frames)

4. How to best sell orangeries?

To achieve the best results a variety of communications tools can be used:

Websites, professionally designed, are a fantastic way to present a company. The inclusion of the best installations in a gallery, good, practical information about the products sold, contact forms and how to find you are some of the key elements that will make a difference. Consider making the site viewable on mobile devices as over 50% of smartphone owners use their phone to browse the internet.

Google adwords: bring traffic to a website by advertising on Google. After all some 80% of all UK purchases are now researched online so this is an opportunity not to be missed.

Advertising: printed advertising can be carried out in the publications most suited to the product and its target market. Unique telephone numbers or reference numbers should be used to allow you to track the results more effectively.

Showroom: The orangery should be given pride of place in the showroom, with literature available for visitors to take away.

Direct Marketing: Existing customer databases are probably a company’s most valuable asset. They should be used to maintain regular contacts with them to promote upgrades to orangeries, glass roofs etc. Email addresses can also be collected online via the website. Always remember to abide by the “opt-in” requirements.

Social marketing: we might not necessarily like it, but we can’t avoid the fact that sites such as Twitter and Facebook are now an integral part of the communications-mix with more and more people expecting to find businesses on there.

Promotions and PR: special offers, competitions, open days are great ways of getting people through the door, and generating enquiries.

The potential customer will need reassurance about the system used. Most people about to invest 10s of thousands of pounds would probably prefer to know exactly what they are buying, so point them in the direction of your preferred orangery systems manufacturer, K2! (http://www.k2conservatories.co.uk/orangery-styles/overview)

In summary: Orangeries are currently perceived to be a luxury item; the systems companies, like K2, are currently working hard to bring the product to a wider section of the market, in the easiest possible way. This will benefit both the trade and homeowner by highlighting the skills, value and quality that we as an industry can provide.