Posted: Fri 15th Jan 2016
lan Tolfrey turned his passion for making models into a business. The Enterprise Nation member shares the story behind Mossley Modelmaker, his company providing models of factories, homes, pubs, schools, and tourist attractions from all around the world.
What was your motivation to start your own business?
It was a chance to retire from work early and I had always wanted to carry on and expand my then hobby.
Whilst you were starting up how did you balance home life with work?
It was a simple switch to become public with my hobby and I tried lots of different angles to see what brought more interest. That was around seven years ago.
What's your top tip for effective sales and marketing?
I am a sole trader so part of my success is very much based on ME and my attitude and eagerness to experiment with different approaches, especially because my work when I started was so unusual.
Which tools could you not live without in your business?
Camera, powerful mobile, PC with simple software. My car! Keeping an open and inquisitive mind and approach to life.
What movie, song or book offers you the most business inspiration and why?
Desert Song. Yep, I am old but the whole film is about keeping on top of things!
What has been your biggest business success to date?
I was commissioned to make a 6' wide model of the Grand Canal in Venice to slot under glass in the floor of an Italian restaurant.
If you had to live on a desert island with one entrepreneur who would it be and why?
I'd have to be the 'entrepreneur' and my advisors would be those who find and enjoy my website as being simple, basic and different.
What are your ambitions for the next five years?
To keep my health and optimism. To be able to sit well back and take breaks. Oh, and a must is to take at least one flight in a helicopter. I always try to take a 'helicopter view' whenever I'm awake!
How does being a member of Enterprise Nation help your business grow?
It's great to feel the passion that comes from the website. Sadly, being based in the hills north of Manchester, communications and mixing are difficult as such.
For more information visit the Mossley Modelmaker website and follow the company on Twitter.
If you'd like to join Alan and become an Enterprise Nation member to access exclusive benefits, sign up now and we'd be happy to profile your business.
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