Case Study: Paignton Model Shop

Paignton Model Shop marketing support realises growth potential


Paignton Model Shop is located in the centre of Paignton across from the Steam Dart Valley Railway and Paignton train station. It is a family run business that specialises in Hornby and other main brands of models, as well as selling accessories such as paint and glues required for model building.  Paignton Model Shop aims to give everyone a friendly and professional service either face to face, in their shop or via their internet links.

The shop was started in March 2007 with no prior knowledge of running a business, but a great interest in model railways and model making. The business side has been a great learning curve.  Susan, who owns the shop, said their aim was to enjoy what they are doing and make a “reasonable go of it”. They feel that they are 85% towards achieving this.

When asked what the best thing about the business was, Susan said: “We know our customer’s needs and that our customers not only keep coming back, but also spread the word about how good their business is.”

TDA support and impact

Paignton Model Shop has had one to one support with a qualified TDA business advisor. This support has helped them look at where they are and how they can take the business forward. From this, Susan and another member of staff attended a workshop examining marketing strategies, measuring the impact of these, and discussing the pros and cons of previous marketing activities with other independent retailers.  They found that this helped them to bounce ideas around and enable them to get their marketing right.  In January, they also attended TDA’s mini conference which gave them the opportunity to hear from a ‘retail expert’ with over 40 years’ experience. The expert shared what had worked well for his business, as well as mini presentations on social media and your business, and a talk from a local accountancy firm about business packages and top tips.  The session which was organised by TDA enabled Susan to have a free one to one appointment with another local accountancy firm, which she found useful as it reassured her that they were doing things right.

The future

Their goal is to keep growing. They have taken on another member of the family and they need to grow to sustain the extra staff. They want to build on the customer base they have and improve their marketing and online presence.  They have also given themselves specific growth targets to meet and are regularly monitoring these.  Initial indications are that they are above the targets they set themselves.

Paignton Model shop would recommend TDA to others and find it useful to know that they can contact a business advisor if they need help. To help them achieve, Susan said: “It is important to be able to have access to support, and giving local businesses support really does help”.

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