Growth, Hints and tips, Small Business
Nottingham Post Business Entrepreneur of the Year 2016
After taking some time out from work to focus on her future, Tamika Martin decided to make the move from employee to business owner and set up her own business Ucreate PR and Events Management Ltd.
And after just one year in business, Tamika won Nottingham Post Business Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 – sponsored by Experian.
Two years since winning the award, we caught up with Tamika to find out what effect the Nottingham Post Business Awards had on her business.
Hi Tamika, can you please tell us about Ucreate?
I’m the Managing Director and Founder of Ucreate PR and Event Management Ltd, which is based in Nottingham – I’m currently in my third year of business. Ucreate is a PR, events management and talent management service with clients ranging from entrepreneurs to small and medium businesses. Due to the nature of the services Ucreate offer, I also work with entertainment industry clientele, such as sports personalities, musicians and models.
Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur?
No I haven’t actually. Growing up I always wanted to explore different job options and never wanted to close myself off into one career. I guess I’ve always had the entrepreneurial spirit, but the desire to become a business owner came along after I settled into the world of work.
What was it that made you take that step and start your own business?
For me personally, I wanted to become a business owner because I wanted to take control of my future and I think that would be the answer from quite a lot of business owners. It’s the independence and the ability to build your own innovative, creative ideas.
What’s the best thing about being an entrepreneur and running your own business?
I like the fact that you get to explore different ideas, different creations, different functions and because you’re your own boss – you can implement them as and when you feel is right. I like being able to change things and having that control. A 9-5 job suits a lot of people but I’ve personally never found them that easy to adapt to. I’m always wanting to bring about new ideas, I have a very innovative mind and think out loud. I’ve got a burning spirit and I’m always looking for something new to put into place and run with.
The Nottingham Post Business Awards 2016, did you put yourself forward for Business Entrepreneur of the Year or did somebody nominate you?
I put myself forward yes, but it was a joint effort between myself and another Managing Director who’s since resigned. I’d said I wanted to nominate myself but I was a little unsure as I’d only been running my business for just over a year, and the other person was like you’re doing it – we’re doing it. It was really interesting, we went through the whole process together and it was really quite nice looking back at what we achieved.
How did you feel when they announced you as Business Entrepreneur of the Year 2016?
I was flabbergasted – that’s a really good word to explain it. I went in with an open mind and tried not to get my hopes up too high – but I have a good energy and a good outlook on life, so I just hoped for the best. But yes flabbergasted explains how I felt on the day, I couldn’t believe it. It’s a big achievement for such a young business, because I was only a year into running Ucreate, so it was quite a big achievement for me. And still is.
Had you had a lot of success in that first year of being in business?
Yes, it went from strength to strength quite quickly and that was probably to do with my determination and entrepreneurial spirit. As a start-up you have to leave yourself open to a lot of opportunities and I think that’s really what’s got me where I am today.
What sort of effect did winning have on your business, did you get more publicity or business out of it?
Certainly yes. More publicity as opposed to business and more potential partnerships. Winning gave me credibility as you can imagine – if you’re getting Business Entrepreneur of the Year in your first year and it’s sponsored by a company such as Experian, it’s amazing for a young business. It just goes to show what you can actually grow and develop into, if in year one you’re already being recognised for such talents. But yes I’ve had quite a lot of partnership conversations and even overseas enquiries, so it has been quite a big deal for me and even this interview has come out of the fact that I won.
What would you say to someone who’s considering starting up their own business?
I think you do need to be cautious, but not overly cautious because I believe if you have an idea or a desire to do something, don’t procrastinate – just do it. That’s what’s got me where I am today and what will drive me where I’m going, and I’m one of the happiest people alive. For somebody who’s a bit like me, that just wants to dive in the deep end then go for it, because if it works it works, if it doesn’t it doesn’t. I’d say do it. Literally just do it.
Tamika has since been shortlisted for Female Entrepreneur at BEX Live 2018 in Birmingham.