Under The Posh Umbrella

Under The Posh Umbrella 1 2

There are not many businesses that can spark media attention within 24 hours of existence, have national enquiries before officially launching and be in talks with major brands in a matter of weeks. Then again, there aren’t too many businesses that provide half-naked Adonis types to wait on party guests – which is exactly what’s being offered by new enterprise Posh Butlers

The business has ignited with ferocious speed, taking founder Sarah Girbert quite by surprise: “It’s gone mad”, she laughs, “absolutely crazy!” So what are the secrets to this start-up success? 

Posh Butlers was conceived in a “eureka” moment after Sarah helped to organise a charity ladies night for prostate cancer in October.

“When I was trying to find butlers for the event I realised that there was nothing like the Dreamboys [hunky male strippers, for the uninitiated] based in the area, so I posted a message on Facebook and Twitter for men who fancied doing some butlering and literally within a day I was flooded with applications! After the event, I turned around on the way to my old day job one morning and said off the cuff ‘I think I’m going to start Posh with look-a-likes such as Simon Cowell.

Having identified a gap in the market Sarah’s entrepreneurial spirit leapt into action and has been going full pelt ever since.

The first port of call was to consolidate the battalion of butlers. Unsurprisingly, there are certain criteria required to become a Posh Butler: “They need to be cheeky, semi-good looking guys. Not being funny but we’re not going to have big fat ugly blokes! Women like to have something easy on the eye if you’re having a girl’s night.” Luckily, she was able to fill out the ranks with friends she already had in the industry (including some of the guys in Chip’N’Doubles from Britain’s Got Talent,

The guys are reliable, I know them or they’re friends of friends, they’re not common guys off the street that I’ve just gone and grabbed, you know they have to represent me and the brand, which is why I couldn’t have any Tom, Dick or Harry showing up at someone’s house

The obvious market for a business of this nature is hen parties and ladies nights, for which Sarah has already received a huge amount of interest from as far away as Scotland and Ireland, thanks to the wide reach of social networks like Facebook. However, she is not limiting herself in any way:

Weddings and corporate – that’s where more money is, so you’ve got to look at all ends of the scale. I’ve already put the forms in to be registered with the Top 100 Wedding Facebook page. The guys that I’ve got are good looking boys, they are models, so in or out of clothes they look fantastic!

In fact, the 30-something is already thinking ahead to make her business even more adaptable by employing lady butlers

I’m planning a Casino night in January for both ladies and gents, and this is why I thought you can’t just have topless butlers because obviously there will be men there! And that’s where I’ve come up with the idea. But they won’t be all cleavage or cheap and tacky, they will be in proper butler outfits. I’m quite snooty actually and I don’t want it to be smutty because you can spoil the brand if you go that way

An aggressive marketing and promotional campaign has helped to contribute to the fast growth of the business, with a range of merchandise from mugs to calendars already available to buy.

I’m very much into branding. I’ve worked in marketing and promotion practically my whole life, so I understand how it all works and how important it is to get the brand out there. I thought of selling birthday cards and Christmas cards because it’s cheeky and its fun, and it’s a small amount of money but you can make a lot of profit from it

Sarah has also handled the advertising, which has helped to keep her initial outlay to a minimum:

I’ve literally spent hours on Google looking for places to advertise and event sites. And I’ve designed all my business cards and fliers for the events myself as well which has really helped to keep costs down. I’ve probably saved myself over £100 by doing it all myself, and they really do look good!

As a one-woman band, things have been pretty hectic to say the least

My brain is on the go all the time, I’m constantly bouncing around ideas in my head and I always walk around with a notebook and pen. I’m literally burnt out at the minute, I’ve had so many late nights and early mornings, but I’m happy being burnt out and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’d rather give it 1000% and see where it can go, rather than sit there and let it tick along

But the hard work has paid off. Within 24 hours of finishing her day job and focusing on Posh Butlers full time, Sarah had managed to secure a full page in the Peterborough Evening Telegraph and appeared on BBC Radio Cambridge.

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