An Altrincham mans drive for his own business

June 20, 2012 9:13 am

Pit Stop Check LogoAltrincham Man Ian Lilley, used his own experience to help others and set up his own business, he is now shortlisted to win £200,000 in the Orange different business awards.

We love to hear about different ways Altrincham residents are using their entrepreneurial spirit and setting up their own businesses, but Ian Lilley’s story really stood out to us because he used his own experience and instead of thinking about how bad it was, he looked to how he could help others stay safe and where the majority of accidents occur- on the road.

Here is his story….


There is plenty of time to reflect whilst in hospital, the costly collapse of yet another ill conceived business plan, then the end of your marriage, and why did I choose 5m up a tree as my preferred hiding place whilst playing with my 3 beautiful girls.

With compound fractures I spent a month with my leg pinned in what I called the hamster cage, isolated from my family and unemployed, I didn’t think things could get any worse, then dinner arrived.


Still with children to support I had to pick myself back up and carefully considered my next move, I could go back into the Restaurant game but 25yrs had taken its toll, and besides I desperately wanted my own business.

The view from the ward overlooked the packed car park, and I considered a car washing business but it’s been done, however the idea of a convenient tyre inflation service seemed logical as I myself hated using the dirty hose at the garage. The days where now spend more constructively whilst I scoped out the potential, I was shocked by the consequences of driving on poorly maintained tyres, and wondered why no one had spotted this “gap in the market” however I tried hard to not be so impulsive this time, and from my hospital bedside made appointments in Ireland, Germany, and booked the flights, I simply cannot resist a challenge.

Now out on crutches I made the meetings to a few raised eyebrows when I hobbled in fully framed up and in a 1 legged suit, apologising because the plane was delayed, the Pit Stop journey had really begun.Pit Stop Check Ian Lilley

Once a basic portable system was in place, and with money running out I made a demonstration to Holts, an industry leader in the manufacture and global distribution of automotive aftermarket products, with so much resting on it I wondered if they could hear my heartbeat.

They hadn’t and loved it, consequently we had an association with a company with Supermarket connections, and this led to trials for which I was fortunately able to secure all the funding.

I was also pleased and buoyed to be asked by Bridgestone’s to provide mobile tyre checks during a month long UK safety tour, perfect, this gave us valuable market research, and encouraging comments ringing in my ears, such as “we would change supermarkets to use this service”

We have now made improvements to the safety report, tweaking the software, and the service we will offer.

In the meantime, the wheel of fortune turned, I spotted a National competition with Orange to help “The Uk’s next different business idea happen” I entered and am very excited to now be in the final 10.

Ian Lilley has a good pedigree of running successful businesses and is well known around Altrincham; his family restaurant was Lilley’s restaurant in Hale, and Ian spearheaded the transfer to Est Est Est and managed the first Piccolino’s to be opened in the area.

On Thursday the 21st of June the ten shortlisted businesses will be shown and it will be open to the public to vote for their favourite business.

I hope you like my video presentation, this time my heart was firmly under control.


The video will be featured on and from the 21st June till the 5th July 2012 we will be trying to get our own Ian Lilley from Altrincham as many votes as possible. We think that his idea and business is a great example of how great Altrincham residents are and also given the funding can contribute to making the roads a safer place, not only in Altrincham but all over the UK.

Good Luck Ian!

If you want to see more about his business go to his website or follow Ian on Twitter.

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