Fern Snailham fell in love with promotions while working freelance, and after completing a degree in business management she decided to set up her own business. She tells BQ about her journey so far and why she has entered this year's If We Can You Can competition.
What did you do before setting up your business?
Uncertain whether a university degree was what I wanted after finishing a childcare course at college I decided to take a year out to work freelance in promotions, from promoting supermarket products to cars across the UK. This is when I fell in love with the industry and developed a real passion for it.
I enrolled on a business management course with Sunderland University to develop my knowledge base and experience with qualifications. Although I feel that I am a natural entrepreneur, the course allowed me to channel my abilities into a successful business model. Within days of graduating with a first-class Business and Management degree, I began setting up my own promotional staffing agency – UNEEK Staffing.
What inspired you to set up your business?
When I worked freelance in the promotions industry, I came across situations in which some agencies would send anyone to promote the products, but who weren’t necessarily right for the role - the personality and the brand were just completely off. At Uneek Staffing we want to make sure we match people’s personalities to the correct brand, to make sure it’s the correct fit for the campaign to achieve the best results possible.
When working in the field I often found myself facing frustrating challenges such as not being able to get through to the office on a morning due to busy phone lines when arriving on the job site. As well as often feeling disconnected and not feeling part of a team when booked on a job where staff where all at different locations alone. I wanted to stream line processes and keep staff connected.
I wanted to challenge how promotional staffing agencies operate and create a real team spirit culture within the company to achieve an overall great experience for staff and great results for clients.
What makes this business different?
UNEEK staffing provides premium promotional and event staffing solutions across the UK, supplying hand-picked experienced staff that look great with personalities perfectly matched to your brand, creating awareness and demand.
Uneek Staffing steamline past frustrations for staff working in the field. Staff are all provided with profiles in which they can manage and register interest in job roles. Instead of staff having to what can often be a timely task of getting through to the office on a morning they can simply GEO check in and out of their location through an app.
What inspired you to enter the If We Can You Can Challenge?
I was inspired to enter the If We Can You Can Challenge as I believe it could have huge benefits of opening Uneek Staffing up to more opportunities of gaining publicity and support to further grow the business. I believe that through this and growing further Uneek Staffing could promote job creation helping to contribute to the economy.
Where do you see your business in three years’ time?
In three years’ time, I envisage Uneek Staffing to be the go to agency of choice for both staff and clients across the UK. We want to ‘shake up’ the promotional staffing agency experience for both staff and clients and make it a more connective, matched and successful one.
I foresee Uneek Staffing growing and promoting job creation and contributing to the economy. The staff data base to increase up to 1,000 credible, reliable and quality staff per year giving clients the ultimate choice of the best talent in the industry.
What has been the most rewarding part of your journey so far?
The most rewarding part of my journey was the day Uneek Staffing launched, it was so rewarding after a lot of hard work and planning to get to the point of getting my company out there.
What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge has been the ‘unknown’. Not knowing if anyone will see my vision and want to be part of my company. if my business bring in a steady wage, and if I can grow a successful company.
Who/what gave you support or advice?
My family have been my rock throughout my journey and have been very supportive of my goal of making it a great success. They have offered advice and help where possible, which I am very grateful for.
What advice would you give to someone looking to set up their own business?
Do something that you’re passionate about. Ask questions and open yourself to continuously learning and developing yourself and your business. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t, anything is achievable if you work hard enough for it have plenty of grit and perseverance.