60-second start-up: Tufferman

0-5 seconds: Sum your business up in a sentence

We specialise in shelving units, the kind that you’d find in a warehouse or garage.

5-10 seconds: What's the business model?

We sell online, mostly to businesses, however, we do get a large number of consumers buying our shelving for home-use. The customer is most definitely king in our industry, as repeat business is crucial to our ongoing success. 

10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?

There are a few guys online in the shelving market, notably Rapid Racking and BigDug. It’s a very ‘old school’ kind of industry, with only a handful doing the web well.

15-20 seconds: What's your USP?

We like to think we’re the ‘John Lewis’ of the shelving world, great product backed by a warranty and after care.

20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?

Self-funded so far, however, with the challenges of stockholding vs demand this may change in the future.

25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?

I was an eCommerce director for a well know sports brand, and my business partner, Richard, has built a number of successful businesses such as Field & Trek.

30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?

With a number of shelving units, a growing stock-based business goes through, the idea to sell shelving was based on our own repeat purchases over time. 

35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?

Taking a risk with leaving the full-time job to start Tufferman. This time next year Rodney, this time next year...

40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?

This isn’t business related, but I once wrapped my finger up in lettuce to see how hard the family's pet tortoise would bite. Turns out quite hard. Sure there is a moral in there somewhere that can be related to business!

45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would it be?

A Digestive for sure. Less prone to the dunking accidents than a rich tea biscuit. 

50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?

ASOS. I’ve seen the site grow from pretty much my first days on the web when they were “As Seen On Screen”. A great example of a fairly small, niche retailer blowing up and becoming huge.

55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12 months' time?

We’d like to continue to have steady, profitable growth so wherever that takes us really.

To find out more about Tufferman, click here. 

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